Neymar could cut ties with the Brazil national team after World Cup 2022
The PSG superstar admitted that criticism directed at him has now blown over the top.
There are also those who call him a “popcorn man”, and those who defend him saying that he plays “alone”. But the fact remains that the player carries expressive numbers in the Brazilian national team. Despite not having won a Cup yet – which is why many criticize him – he is close to becoming the top scorer and the player who most played for the Brazilian national team. The ace never listened to such criticism, but that seems to have changed in recent months.
The Brazilian sports press tends to get tough with the player, not only for their attitudes on the field, such as expulsions in decisive matches, but also for those outside the four lines, such as going to parties, political positioning and opinions on social networks. Abroad, it’s no different.
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The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) player was recently criticized by France Football, France’s biggest sports magazine, who called him egocentric and accused him of trying to hurt rival players after losing a game. Fans also do not leave for less: in the last month, Ney was accused of being out of shape on social networks, and responded with photographs showing his physical bearing.
In September, after Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Peru, in a match valid for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, the player was very uncomfortable and said after the game: “I’m very happy, very happy, with the help of my partners. But I don’t know anymore what I have to do with this shirt so that guys can start respecting Neymar”.
In an interview in October, the player made the statement that generated even more repercussion: the ace said that the 2022 World Cup could be the last of his career. The striker also stated that he will hardly have the psychological skills to play at a high level until 2026: “I think it’s my last World Cup (2022). I see it as my last one because I don’t know if I’ll be better able, head on, to stand up to more football. So, I’m going to do everything to get there very well, do everything to win with my country. To make my dream come true since I was little, and I hope I can do it”.
Many journalists treated the speech as a certain threat, as the star knows that he is still the biggest name in Brazilian football – and that it will probably still be in 2026, when he will be 34 years old. The teammates, however, came out in defense of the player, and asked for patience with the athlete and with the performance of the team, which, despite the positive results, has not been showing great football under the command of coach Tite.
Before the last qualifiers in October, Thiago Silva – one of the most experienced players in the national team – defended Neymar at a press conference, saying that the charge “is very strong” and that he is criticized for things “that have nothing to do with it” :
“I went through similar moments, especially after the 2014 World Cup. Things that hurt you and you know it’s not. I hope he doesn’t miss this joy. He’s a super special kid. When he’s happy doing what he likes, he always gets the job done and performs what he always did”
commented the defender, who added that the criticism of Neymar seems to be of a personal nature.
Luckily for the national team, Ney seems willing to ignore the criticism and present good football. In Brazil’s last official match, on October 14, against Uruguay, in the World Cup qualifiers, the ace was the best on the field and helped the team build a solid 4-1 victory. In addition to having scored one (1) goal, the striker also gave two assists.
Neymar’s numbers by selection
Neymar has very expressive numbers for the Brazilian team, which tend to improve even more, despite the criticisms. The ace is only 29 years old and can still play many more matches with the hopscotch, if he changes his mind about not playing in the 2026 Cup.
He has already competed in eight (8) official competitions with the green and yellow jersey, including two World Cups. Not having won the biggest competition on the planet is one of the reasons why many Brazilians get a “flea behind their ear” in relation to the player. His best finish in the tournament was 4th place in 2014.
Despite this, the ace has already lifted the 2013 Confederations Cup and was a gold medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games. He also won the Superclásico das América – a friendly tournament played against Argentina – in four (4) opportunities.
The number of matches and goals is what draws the most attention: there were 115 matches with the five-time world champion shirt and 70 goals. The player is only seven (7) goals behind Pelé – the greatest player in the history of Brazilian football – and may soon become the greatest scorer in the history of the selection of the Brazilian soccer team. As for the number of games played, he is in 4th place, and has only 27 games less than leader Cafu, captain of the five-time world champion team in 2002.
Neymar has everything to become the greatest scorer and the player who played the most matches in the history of the Brazilian national team. We can only hope that he remains focused on playing good football, because then the titles will be a consequence. And wait, too, for his decision regarding the 2026 World Cup – a mystery that only the ace will be able to unravel