Neymar hints at playing at 2026 World Cup to fulfill 'very big dream'

By Sports Desk February 13, 2023

Neymar has hinted he may yet play at the 2026 World Cup, revealing that the "very big dream" still burns to lift the trophy.

The 31-year-old Brazilian said in the lead-up to last year's World Cup that it could be his last, while he was left devastated by his country's quarter-final elimination to Croatia.

In the immediate aftermath of Brazil's World Cup exit, Neymar offered no guarantees about his international future having been left "psychologically destroyed".

Two months on, Neymar appears to have digested that disappointment and said the door was not closed on his Brazil career extending to the 2026 event.

"I'll go year by year and we'll see," Neymar told TNT Sports. "Of course, I have a very big dream, that of winning the World Cup."

Neymar added that he was inspired by Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Lionel Messi's success with Argentina in Qatar.

"Leo has always been an inspiration," he said. "He always helped and encouraged me. Obviously, seeing him win at 34 [sic, 35], I think about it too."

Neymar will be 34 years old when the 2026 World Cup starts in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The forward was part of Brazil's 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cup squads, winning the Bronze Boot and being named in the All Star XI when the event was played in his homeland in 2014.

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