Neymar: 'Too Early to Say' If 2022 World Cup Was Last with Brazil

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 9, 2022

Brazil's forward #10 Neymar (C) is consoled by Brazil's defender #13 Dani Alves after their team lost the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-final football match between Croatia and Brazil at Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha, on December 9, 2022. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil's star forward, Neymar, declined to make a declaration about his future or whether Friday's heartbreaking loss in penalties to Croatia would be his final FIFA World Cup appearance.

"It's too early to say that," he told reporters. "I've no clear ideas yetβ€”I can't guarantee anything."

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar played a similar tune in November when asked about his World Cup future.

"I'll play like it's the last," he told Globo last month (h/t Adriana Garcia of ESPN). "I talk to my father, we always talk, to play each game as if it were the last because you don't know what will happen tomorrow. I can't guarantee that I'll play another [World] Cup. I honestly don't know. I'll play like it's the last. Maybe I'll play another one, maybe not. It depends. There's going to be a coaching change and I don't know if that coach will like me."

Neymar moved into a tie with the legendary PelΓ© at 77 goals, the most in Brazil men's national team history, after scoring the game's first goal on Friday. Marta is the country's all-time leader at 115 goals.

It was Neymar's second goal in Qatar, the third time he's posted multigoal performances at the World Cup.

One of the few accomplishments Neymar hasn't checked off in his incredible career has been a World Cup title. No country has more World Cup triumphs, as Brazil have won the tournament five times, but not since 2002.

So if Neymar wants one last chance, it will come at the 2026 tournament, when he's 33. A number of stars at this year's World Cup have exceeded that age, including Lionel Messi (35), Luka Modrić (37) and Cristiano Ronaldo (37), so it's hardly a stretch to believe that Neymar might still be in fine form and able to make a major impact for Brazil in four years.