I am ‘psychologically destroyed’ by leaving the World Cup —Neymar

The 30-year-old scored an excellent individual effort to equal Pelé’s goal-scoring record of 77 goals for the Selecao in Friday’s game that ended 1-1 after extra time.

But he never got around to taking a penalty kick in the shootout that Croatia won 4-2 to advance to the semifinals.

Pre-tournament favorites Brazil must now wait at least another four years to win their sixth World Cup, the last dating back to 2002.

“I am psychologically destroyed. It is definitely the defeat that has hurt me the most, which left me paralyzed ten minutes after the game, after which I burst into tears without being able to stop,” Neymar said in an Instagram message.

“It’s going to hurt for a long time, unfortunately,” he added.

Neymar said immediately after Brazil’s defeat that he could have played his last game for his country, but Pele urged him to “keep inspiring us.”

The 82-year-old said on Instagram that he hoped the superstar striker would keep playing, adding that goalscoring achievements were not up to the honor of representing Brazil.

“You know, like me, that no number is greater than the joy of representing our country,” Pelé wrote.

“I am 82 years old, and after all this time, I hope I have inspired you in some way to go this far…. Your legacy is far from over.

“Keep inspiring us. I will continue punching the air with happiness with every goal you score, as I have done in every game I have seen you on the pitch”.

Pelé, who was hospitalized earlier this month during treatment for colon cancer, congratulated Neymar on equaling his goalscoring record.

“I learned that the more time passes, the more our legacy grows,” Pelé wrote.

“My record was set almost 50 years ago and no one has been able to come close to it until now. You did it, boy. That adds to the greatness of his achievement.”


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