In 2014 in his home country of Brazil, Neymar learnt how painful a World Cup can be.
Expectations were high on home-soil, and Neymar was the star of the team, the man charged with handing the Seleção their sixth world triumph.
The main man handled the pressure well – however an injury put the situation out of his control – he was ruled out of the semi-final against Germany.
The rest is history, as the Germans inflicted a painful 7-1 hammering in front of the home Brazilian crowd, as the Germans went on to win their fourth World Cup.
Unfortunately, more pain was in store for the samba squad.
Neymar had a stop-start tournament – he managed a couple of goals and displayed flashes of brilliance – yet received world-wide condemnation for supposed diving and play-acting.
Footage of Neymar rolling on the floor against Mexico was shared high and wide, as the striker was roundly mocked.
He was powerless to stop an energetic counter-attacking Belgium side – Roberto Martinez threw caution to the wind in a breathless 2-1 victory for the Red Devils to boot Brazil from World Cup contention.
The PSG star had been silent after the bruising quarter-final exit - yet has finally spoken up via an exclusive interview with AFP.
"I wouldn't go as far as to say I didn't want to play again but, I didn't want to see a ball, or to see any more football played” he said.
"I was in mourning, I was really sad about it, but sadness passes, I have my son, my family, my friends and they don't want to see me moping around. I've got more reason to be happy than sad”.
Clearly still reeling, the forward also addressed the criticism of his conduct throughout the tournament.
"I went to the World Cup to play, to beat the opposition, not to get kicked. The criticism of me was exaggerated, but I'm a big boy, I'm used to dealing with this kind of thing
"And I can't be the referee and play at the same time, but there are times I wish I could," he said.
Neymar also shrugged off any suggestion of a move to Real Madrid, after heavy rumours linking him with another world-record transfer.
"The guys who come up with these stories seem to know more about my life than I do. I won't respond to this type of question because nothing happened".
The Brazilian needs to dust himself down and prepare to protect his status as PSG’s main man after teammate Kylian Mbappe became a World Cup winner at the age of 19.
It’ll certainly be intriguing to see how both perform this season.
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