Neymar ‘Psychologically Destroyed’ After Brazil Knocked Out By Croatia, Pelé Consoles Him Over Instagram
World Cup 2022 has sprung many shocks on unsuspecting football fans.
One of them was the defeat of mighty Brazil to Croatia on penalties.
The loss has left superstar Brazilian forward Neymar Jr. psychologically destroyed, he said.
That may explain why he burst into tears on the pitch after it was confirmed.
Brazil knocked out 4-2 on penalties during quarter-final
Brazil, a pre-tournament favourite, was knocked out of the World Cup on Saturday (10 Dec) morning Singapore time after a quarter-final with Croatia.
It was a rollercoaster game for fans and also for Neymar himself, as he would’ve been ecstatic to score a magnificent opening goal in extra time after a goalless 90 minutes.
Indeed, he would’ve been forgiven for thinking he’d single-handedly won the game for his country.
However, it was not to be — Croatia equalised just three minutes before extra time, heralding penalties.
The Eastern European country then prevailed 4-2, with Neymar never getting to take a penalty.
That means Brazil must now wait till at least 2026 to win the World Cup, having last won the trophy in 2002.
Neymar bursts into tears after final whistle
After the final whistle, a despondent Neymar broke down in tears, as could be seen from multiple photos and videos of the game’s aftermath.
His teammates tried to console him, but seemingly to no avail.
Even the son of Croatian player Ivan Perišić tried to comfort him, and the two shared a hug on the pitch.
Neymar says he’s psychologically destroyed
In an Instagram post later, it was obvious the wounds were still fresh.
That’s because Neymar, 30, said he was “psychologically destroyed”, as evident by the 10 minutes of paralysis and then non-stop crying.
Describing the defeat as the one that hurt him the most, he added,
It’s gonna hurt for a long, long, time.
He felt his country and his teammates deserved to go through at they fought till the end with no lack of commitment and dedication.
However, it just didn’t work out.
Neymar receives support from Pelé
In response, Neymar received support from Brazilian footballing legend Pelé himself.
The three-time World Cup winner reminded the younger player that the goal he scored in the Croatia game equalled his own official record of 77 goals for Brazil.
Congratulating him on the achievement, Pelé said the goal is more than a number but an inspiration for colleagues and all those who love football.
He also pointed out that Neymar was the first person to even come close to his record in 50 years — a feat in itself.
Pelé told him he’s certain that he’ll always be a source of inspiration as his legacy is “far from over”, adding,
I will continue to punch the air off happiness with every goal you score.
The words of encouragement were all the more meaningful given that Pelé was hospitalised last month with “general swelling”, more than a year after surgery to remove a tumour from his colon.
However, his daughter has said that it was not an emergency.
Cristiano Ronaldo also breaks down after Portugal’s elimination
Neymar was not the only football star left in tears at this World Cup.
The next day, Cristiano Ronaldo also broke down after his Portugal team was eliminated from the competition due to a 0-1 loss to Morocco.
Cristiano Ronaldo Exits Pitch In Tears After Portugal Upset By Morocco In World Cup Quarterfinals
The 37-year-old has likely taken part in his final World Cup, meaning he’s missed the chance to win the trophy with his country.
While winning and losing are all part of the game, it does tug at the heartstrings to see supremely talented individuals weep after a tough defeat — it makes us realise that they’re also human, just like us.
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Featured image adapted from Fabrizio Romano on Twitter and Neymar Jr. on Instagram
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