Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior said today that in all likelihood FIFA World Cup next year in Qatar would be his last, as the strain of the game has taken its toll on the Brazilian’s body and mind.
The PSG star has represented the Selecao at the 2014 World Cup on home soil and in Russia four years later but expects the tournament next winter to be his final appearance on football’s biggest stage.
“I think it’s my last World Cup,” the 29-year-old said in DAZN’s exclusive new documentary, Neymar & The Line Of Kings.
Neymar, who has played in two World Cups and is his country’s second top scorer of all time behind Pele, will be 34 when the 2026 tournament rolls around.
“I see it as my last because I don’t know if I have the strength of mind to deal with football anymore. So I’ll do everything to turn up well, do everything to win with my country, to realise my greatest dream since I was little. And I hope I can do it,” he said.
Neymar will be 34 in 2026 when the USA, Canada and Mexico will host the biggest competition in the world.
Aside from the Olympic gold, he won at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Neymar’s only trophy with the national team came in 2013 when Brazil lifted the Confederation Cup.
Neymar played in the 2014 World Cup on home soil and scored four goals.
However, he was to suffer a back injury before Brazil were humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals.
Four years later, in Russia, Brazil were knocked out by Belgium in the quarter-finals.
An injury ruled him out of the 2019 Copa America which Brazil won as well as the 2021 edition where Argentina triumphed in the final.
Brazil are comfortably placed to reach the 2022 World Cup in Qatar having won all nine of their qualifiers in the South American region so far.