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Neymar says ‘no guarantee’ he will play for Brazil again

Neymar is consoled after Brazil's loss to Croatia in the Qatar World Cup. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP

Brazil star Neymar hinted he might quit international football on Friday, saying he could not “100 percent” guarantee he would play for the national team again.

Speaking after his side’s World Cup quarter-final defeat in Qatar, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar suggested he could step away.

“I am not closing any doors on the national team but I am also not guaranteeing 100 percent that I will return,” said an emotional Neymar, 30.

“I need to think a bit more about this, about what is the right thing for me and for the national team.”

Neymar equalled Pele’s record tally of 77 goals for Brazil with a brilliant strike on Friday but Bruno Petkovic levelled with minutes remaining.

The Brazilian did not take a penalty in the shootout. Rodrygo’s effort was saved by Dominik Livakovic and Marquinhos hit the post, while Croatia scored all four of their efforts to win the shootout 4-2.

Four years ago in Russia Neymar and Brazil suffered elimination at the same stage at the hands of Belgium.

In 2014 the Selecao were humiliated 7-1 in the semi-finals by Germany without Neymar, who missed the game with an injury.

“It is an awful feeling, I think this is a worse feeling than what happened at the last World Cup,” said Neymar. “It is difficult to find the words to describe this moment.

“We fought and I am proud of my teammates, proud of the character they showed to step up and take penalties.”

Brazil coach Tite confirmed he was stepping down after the match.

“It is a painful defeat but I go in peace,” he said. “It is the end of a cycle.”

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