Neymar shares chats with distraught Brazil team-mates following World Cup exit: ‘I want to cry a lot’

Neymar of Brazil looks dejected after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter final match between Croatia and Brazil at Education City Stadium on December 09, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar.
(Image credit: Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)

Neymar has shared the conversations he's had with Brazil team-mates following their shock World Cup 2022 (opens in new tab) defeat to Croatia.

The Selecao were the pre-tournament favourites to win the title in Qatar, but crashed out on penalties in the quarter-finals.

A lack of unity among the players was one criticism directed at Tite’s squad following their elimination.

But Neymar hit out at the suggestion by sharing screenshots on Instagram of the supportive chats he’s had with Marquinhos, Rodrygo and Thiago Silva.

Marquinhos, a team-mate of Neymar’s at PSG as well as for Brazil, missed the decisive spot kick against Croatia.

"I'm dropping by to say that I am your fan," Neymar wrote to the centre-back.

"One penalty will not change what I think about you. I am with you forever, and you know it. Love you."

Marquinhos replied: "I really wanted it all to have worked out - it's dreadful to think that penalty was an obstacle in our dream! But let's go, we need to be strong, give time some time, and see what football has in store for us.

"Only we know what we went through to be here, what we went through those days over there, that's why it really hurts, the weight is big, but God knows what He does. If he gave me this, it's because I can endure it and carry on."

Chelsea defender Thiago Silva is taking the elimination badly, as it’s likely to be the 38-year-old’s final appearance at the World Cup.

Neymar wrote to him: "We're going to have to keep going bro, sadly that's how it is! I wanted a lot to give you this cup. You, me, and Dani [Alves] deserved a lot… But God has our purpose, and he knows everything."

"Brother, it's harder than what I thought originally,” Silva replied.

"I'm not holding up. I can't believe we lost! Every hour that I remind myself makes me want to cry a lot…But I will be OK."

Real Madrid forward Rodrygo is at the other end of the age spectrum, having appeared in the World Cup for the first time aged 21 in Qatar.

The youngster also failed from the penalty spot against Croatia, with his effort being saved by goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

Neymar wrote to Rodrygo: "Brother, I'm here to tell you that you're amazing. The only people who miss penalties are the ones who take them. 

"I already missed a lot in my career, and I learned with all of them. But I never gave up, always tried to be better and improve in every way."

Rodrygo wrote back: "Thanks, my idol. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sorry for anything and for delaying your dream as well. I hope you can continue with us, so we can win together."

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.