Over the FIFA international break this month, a clip from Neymar Jr.’s documentary made its way onto various social media platforms. In it, the 29-year-old stated that the World Cup in Qatar next year could be his last.
Neymar added discussed the mental strength needed to play for both club and country. The Brazil international stated he doesn’t know if he wants to go through for another four years to prepare for the 2026 World Cup.
In an interview with Prime Video Sport France (via Canal Supporters), Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti came to the defense of his teammate. The 28-year-old stated that people must understand the weariness of the player due to the pressure placed on him from an early age in his native country.
“Neymar is a very humble, very generous guy. He always has a smile. I fully understand, and I do not suffer a tenth of what he sees. We are asked to behave like normal people, but when we act like normal people, we are criticized for it,” Verratti said.
“We are told that we cannot act like this because we are footballers. It’s always like that with footballers. From the outside, everyone thinks that we earn a lot of money to play football. But it’s also a job; in the end, it’s not just a game.”
Verratti does understand the pressure Neymar is dealing with despite winning the UEFA Euros this summer. The PSG midfielder has the task of making sure Italy qualifies for the World Cup next year after missing the tournament in 2018.