Neymar Wants to Play for Brazil National Team in the 2026 FIFA World Cup

Neymar Wants to Play for Brazil National Team in the 2026 FIFA World Cup

Brazilian and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar is one of the most technically sound football players in the world. Being such a skillful icon for Santos, Barcelona and now PSG, Neymar was influential in his clubs’ journey of winning numerous league and cup titles. Nonetheless, Neymar’s accomplishment with his country is less star-studded as compared to his club endeavours, with only a 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup captured for Brazil to date. The 31-year-old’s performance and fitness level in the biggest football tournament, the FIFA World Cup, had always been criticised, prompting many to think that he would not feature in the 2026 edition next time around.

Seleção Was the 2022 FIFA World Cup Favourite

Brazil national team came into last year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar as the favourite to win it all, as the team was stacked with attackers namely Neymar himself, Richarlison, Raphinha, Gabriel Jesus, Antony, Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo, Gabriel Martinelli, etc. The sixth World Cup trophy looked to be on its way when Brazil became one of the earliest nations to qualify for the knockout round and its empathic display of football skills in the Round of 16 against South Korea further proved its chances in the tournament. Unfortunately, the team met a resilient Croatia in the next round and had to settle for a cruel penalty shoot-out defeat despite taking the lead with 15 minutes plus added-time left to be played in the extra time.

As for Neymar, his history in the FIFA World Cup had its ups and downs. One can still remember that the forward scored four and assisted once on home soil in 2014, before he went out of the tournament due to a back injury and Brazil suffered devastating losses against Germany (7-1) in the semifinal and Netherlands (3-0) in the third-place playoff. Many expected the fit-again player to bounce back and lead his country to glory four years later, but uninspiring plays and poor form saw Brazil defeated by Belgium in the quarterfinal.

Then, in Qatar, he was injured and missed Brazil’s remaining two group matches, before coming back to play in the two knockout round fixtures and scoring one of the best goals in the World Cup history against Croatia in the Last 16 stage. At 34 in the next tournament in North America, fans and pundits would think Neymar had already played his last World Cup match against the eventual third-placed Kockasti.

Neymar: “Winning the FIFA World Cup Is My Big Dream.”

Players in their mid-thirties, especially forwards, are likely to transit into a different role. As for a versatile footballer like Neymar, converting into an attacking midfield or other positions will prolong his playing career and extend his chances of playing for Brazil in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

When asked about this matter, the 31-year-old played it down by saying he would monitor his performance in the next few years to decide whether he should play again for the Seleção in 2026. His statement read “I’ll go year by year and we’ll see. Of course, I have a very big dream, that of winning the World Cup.” The Mogi das Cruzes-born megastar added that he has drawn inspiration from his PSG teammate Lionel Messi’s moments of sheer brilliance in leading Argentina to win the eventual trophy in Qatar, highlighting that “Leo has always been an inspiration. He always helped and encouraged me. Obviously, seeing him win at 34, I think about it too.”

Ronaldo: “I Believe He Will Come Back Stronger.”

In relation to this, Brazilian icon and the second-leading scorer of the FIFA World Cup Ronaldo backed Neymar’s intention to play in 2026. He mentioned: “I think Neymar is very upset with the result of the World Cup for the Brazil national team. It’s normal that he’s feeling that way for now, but I’m also sure that he will come back stronger and continue playing with the national team.”

Emi Martínez said this about Kylian Mbappé in a recent interview.

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