Neymar said he “cried for five days straight” after Brazil’s exit from the 2022 World Cup and added that he considered retiring from internationals after their quarter-final defeat to Croatia.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward, 31, has not played for his country since the penalty shootout defeat on December 9.
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Neymar put Brazil ahead with what looked like the winner in extra time, before Croatia equalized with three minutes remaining and won the shootout to progress to the semi-finals.
“I can’t tell you what went through my head,” Neymar told YouTuber Casimiro. “It was the most painful loss of my career, for sure. I cried for five days straight. It hurt so much that my dream had turned into nothing.
“I would have preferred not to have scored the goal, for it to remain 0-0 and lose on penalties, instead of “I scored the goal, they drew and we lost on penalties”. It’s a pain only the players and staff can understand.
“It was the worst moment of my life. It felt like a funeral, someone crying on one side of you, someone else crying on the other. It was horrible, a feeling I don’t want to experience again.”
Neymar has played for Brazil in three World Cups: 2014, 2018 and 2022.
In 2014, they were humiliated 7-1 by eventual winners Germany in the semi-finals on soil after the striker suffered a back injury in the previous round.
Four years later in Russia, Brazil were beaten 2-1 by Belgium in the quarter-finals before being eliminated at the same stage by Croatia in Qatar 2022.
In an interview with CazeTV, Neymar said he had considered international retirement after the latest disappointment, but was now ready to leave again in 2026.
“After  The World Cup, I honestly didn’t want to [return to the Brazil national team]”But I’ve changed my mind,” he said. Because I’m so hungry, right? I changed my mind.
“After the World Cup, I didn’t want to go through the pain of losing again. Seeing my family suffer so much, it weighs heavily on me. But they will have to endure it again. It will be fine. It has to be.”
Brazil’s qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup begins in September.
The CBF have appointed Fluminense’s Fernando Diniz as their new interim coach on a one-year contract as they pursue Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti as a long-term appointment.
Neymar is back in pre-season training with PSG, now coached by his former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique.
They play Le Havre in a friendly on Friday before heading out on a tour of Japan that will see them face Al Nassr, Cerezo Osaka and Inter Milan.