Neymar Jr. Opens Up About Ankle Injury, Emotional Journey at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Neymar Jr. had his eyes on winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Brazil had gone 20 years without lifting the trophy; however, it would not play out like that for the 31-year-old who suffered an ankle injury during the group stage.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar was set to be a defining moment for Neymar Jr. and the Brazilian team. The group aimed to claim the elusive sixth World Cup title and end a 20-year drought.

However, destiny had other plans for the star forward. Neymar suffered a heartbreaking ankle injury that caused him to miss two group-stage matches.

“It was one of the worst weeks of my life,” Neymar said in an interview with the Youtube channel “Que Papinho.” “Besides me being hurt, nobody knew it, but I got really sick. Very, very sick. I did the treatment lying in bed, sleeping the whole day. I only had my foot out of bed and the physiotherapist was there doing all kinds of treatments. It was bizarre, you know?

“First day, I stayed until 10:30 am doing treatment, and Marquinhos gave me company. It was very intense, I didn’t know how I was going to come back. I came back without any pain, 100%. I wasn’t 100% because I was sick. (..) What hurt was the defeat more than the ankle.”

Moreover, Neymar revealed that he seriously contemplated leaving the Brazilian National team after the World Cup. Brazil fell in the quarterfinals to Croatia, as it became another disappointing tournament. The frustration and dissatisfaction from the injury took a toll on his motivation to continue representing his country.

Nonetheless, after some months passed, the star forward is now setting his sights on playing in the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which the United States, Canada, and Mexico will host.

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