Neymar has shared the emotional messages he sent to his Brazilian team-mates after their shock World Cup exit to Croatia in an attempt to fight off claims of a squad split.
The Selecao lost 4-2 on penalties in the quarter-final in Qatar after a 1-1 draw during the game, with Marquinhos and Rodrygo missing decisive spot kicks.
And Neymar, who scored in extra time to put the forward level with Pele on 77 goals as Brazil’s all-time record goalscorer, shared the interactions he had with Marquinhos, Rodrygo and veteran Thiago Silva following their elimination – despite not having their permission.
Neymar shared the messages he sent to Brazilian team-mates after their shock World Cup exit
Neymar explained on his Instagram story: ‘The decision to reveal the chats (without permission) was made to show how much we wanted (to win the World Cup) and how united we were.’
‘I am Brazilian with a lot of pride and with a lot of love!’
The PSG forward had messaged his club team-mate Marquinhos after the defender missed the decisive spot kick to condemn Tite’s side to defeat.
He posted on his Instagram story that he was sharing the messages to show how united the squad were and to fight off claims of a squad split
Sharing the private WhatsApp chat on his Instagram story, he said: ‘How are you? I am here to tell you I am your fan. One penalty won’t change how I feel about you. I am always with you and you know that, I love you.’
Marquinhos responded: ‘Hey brother, I’ve been improving little by little, just giving time to recover from all this! And you? How are you? Thank you for the message and for thinking about me man, you are so amazing, I wanted everything to go well.
‘It sucks to think that penalty was an obstacle in our dream! But let’s move forward, we have to be strong, let time pass and see what football has awaiting for us.’
Neymar then responded: ‘That’s my exact thinking, give time… more than anyone I know that EVERYTHING PASSES, good moments and bad …
‘Stay strong, enjoy your family and remember that I’m not just a companion but a friend and I want you feeling well, I love you and we move on together.’
Marquinhos clearly appreciated the well wishes from his team-mate, and highlighted his admiration for Neymar. He continued: ‘That’s true brother, only we know what we went through to get here, what we faced in all the days, and that’s why it hurts so much.
‘The pain is strong but God knows what he is doing; if he gave me this to face, it is because he knows I’m strong enough to overcome it. You are amazing man, seriously! I am your fan, thank you, stay well too, we will need each other in the upcoming battles, I love you so much.’
He took the time to message his PSG team-mate Marquinhos, who missed the decisive penalty
Marquinhos’s final spot kick crashed against the post, condemning Brazil to elimination
Neymar also took time to reach out to Thiago Silva with the 38-year-old likely to have played in his last World Cup after winning 113 caps over the past 14 years for the Selecao.
He said to the Chelsea defender: ‘We will have to move on man, unfortunately it’s like this! I wanted to give you this World Cup so much. You, Dani (Alves) and I all deserved it so much. But God has a purpose for us and knows everything.
Silva, who was playing in his fourth World Cup responded: ‘Brother, it is harder than I imagined, for real! I can’t take it. I can’t believe we lost! I can’t believe it. Every time I remember I feel like crying. But I will be okay.’
The forward also messaged Rodrygo after his penalty miss, with the 21-year-old one of the most talented Brazilian youngsters but likely to be crushed by his spot kick heartache.
Neymar also sent Thiago Silva his well-wishes, who seemed distraught by Brazil’s elimination
Neymar said: ‘Little Bro! I am here to tell you that you are a baller… it’s an honour to be a part of your career, to hear you call me an idol of yours and to see you rising to be a historic player for Brazil!
‘Penalties are only missed by those who step up to take one, I’ve missed many penalties in my career and have learned from all of them.
‘But I never gave up, I always looked for better and fought to improve myself in everything. I like you a lot, not just for you as a player but the kind-hearted and good kid you are.
‘Stay strong, the critics will only make you stronger and you will remember what I have told you… “you will still bring a World Cup to Brazil.” I wish you all the success in the world; shut your mind off these days, relax, and come back with everything! I’m here if you ever need me. We’re together in this.’
Rodrygo clearly appreciated his country’s star man reaching out and responded: ‘Thank you my idol, for everything from the heart.
‘I’m sorry for anything I caused and for delaying your dream, I hope you can continue with us [the national team], so we can win it together, obviously only if it is best for you [to continue]!! We are always together in this and thank you for the love.’
Neymar reaffirmed his praise for Rodrygo, before moving the mood onto a lighter tone.
He said: ‘Neymar: Don’t say sorry. Are you crazy? Only those who step up will miss, and you are a baller! But later I can teach you how to take them [penalties]. We’re together in this, take care man.’
Real Madrid wonderkid Rodrygo, 21, missed the opening spot kick in the shootout for Brazil
Neymar sent his best wishes to Rodrygo, insisting he will one day win a World Cup for Brazil
Rodrygo responded: ‘I will need it’, before adding seven crying with laughter emojis.
The fall-out from Brazil’s defeat has already begun, with manager Tite having resigned in the aftermath of the defeat to Croatia.
There is also uncertainty over whether Neymar, who has 77 goals in 124 caps, will continue his international career.
After their elimination, he had said: ‘I’ll have to analyse and think a bit about everything that’s good for me, what’s good for the Selecao.’
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