Brazil talisman Neymar has refused to rule out retirement from international football following Brazil’s World Cup quarter-final elimination.
With the scoreline level after 90 minutes of normal time, the Paris Saint-Germain forward thought he had finally won it for his side when he netted the opening goal in stoppage time of the first half of extra time.
However, Croatia refused to lie down and hit back through Bruno Petkovic’s deflected shot late in the second half of extra time to drag Tite’s men to a nervy penalty shootout.
The 2018 finalists then secured a place in the last four of the tournament after defeating the Selecao 4-2 on penalties before Neymar could even take a kick.
Speaking after the defeat, an emotional Neymar refused to commit his future to the Selecao but did not close the door on a potential return.
He said (via Evening Standard): “Honestly, I do not know. I think talking now is bad because of the heat of the moment. Maybe I’m not thinking straight.
“To say that this is the end would be rushing myself, but I don’t guarantee anything either. Let’s see what happens going forward.
“I want to take this time to think about it, think about what I want for myself. I will not close the door to playing with Brazil, nor do I say 100 percent that I’ll come back.
“I need to think a bit more about this – about what is the right thing for me and for the national team.”
Tipped by many as favourites for the tournament in Qatar, Brazil swatted aside everyone on their path to the quarter-finals, bar Cameroon in their final game of the group stage.
However, Croatia’s doggedness and resilience helped them usurp the Brazilians, who will now have to wait another four years to try again for their sixth World Cup triumph.
Neymar, now 30 years old, will be 34 when the next World Cup comes around, and it remains to be seen if he will be available for the Selecao then.
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