Neymar continues to struggle to come to terms with Brazil’s World Cup exit, saying that he “still hurts like hell from loss”.
Pre-tournament favourites Brazil were bundled out of the World Cup by Croatia 4-2 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 following extra time.
Neymar, who scored a brilliant goal in extra-time but did not take a spot kick in the 4-2 penalty shoot-out loss, wrote on Instagram on Saturday that he was “psychologically destroyed” by the loss and doubled down on that with another post on Sunday upon his return to his homeland.
“On Brazilian soil… still hurts like hell from loss, we were so close, so close,” Neymar wrote. “Unfortunately or fortunately I still haven’t learned to lose. Defeats make me stronger, but they hurt me too much and I’m still not used to it.
“Anyway, we have to move on… life moves us on, even if it hurts and the hurt takes time to heal, we have to move on.
“Once again I want to thank the Brazilian people for their support and affection. Hearing from you that we fought, delivered until the end comforts a little of our pain.
“Thank you Qatar for everything. The cup was beautiful and she had to be from Brazil to crown it all, but by God’s destiny it wasn’t.”
It has been speculated that this will be 30-year-old Neymar’s final World Cup, and he was reluctant to commit to playing on for his country in the immediate aftermath of the game.
He added on Instagram: “We keep going… Now it’s to turn off the key, take advantage of family and friends, recharge energies because dealing with this defeat will be very difficult, it still hurts me A LOT! FAITH.”
Neymar also reserved a special ‘open letter’ post for 61-year-old Brazil head coach Tite, who has stepped down from the role following the World Cup after six-and-a-half years in charge.
“I knew you as a coach and I already knew you were very good but as a person you are MUCH BETTER!,” Neymar wrote. “I come here to openly thank you for everything, all the teachings you’ve given us… and there were so many.
“You will always be one of the best coaches I’ve ever had or will have, I will always lift you up. We had beautiful moments but we also had moments that hurt us a lot and the latter will hurt us for a long time.
“You deserved to be crowned with this cup. We all deserved it for everything we did and for everything we gave up to try to achieve our biggest dream. But God didn’t want it that way, patience. God has given us EVERYTHING!”