August 4, 2021

Neymar thought about quitting football but PSG forward has learned to ignore haters

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The Paris Saint-Germain star has become a controversial figure over the years and has thought about bringing a premature end to his career

Neymar has admitted that he considered retiring from football.

The Brazil international is regarded as one of the most divisive stars in the game. The 28-year-old became the most expensive player in world football when he left Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

But the forward has earned a reputation for diving over the years and has been heavily criticised throughout his career.

The backlash has had an effect on Neymar and forced him to think about quitting the game.  

“I will never lose the passion for football, but I have had moments that I did want to stop playing. Once, I reached a point of asking myself why I should keep playing if they do not like it,” he told Gaffer.

“I used to go home hot-headed and then remembered everything I’ve done to get me here. The love I have for football and all those things just calmed me down and brought me back to reality.

“I have never felt pressure. Quite the contrary, I am a person that can easily manage pressure; being the No. 10 of Brazil’s national team, the No. 10 at PSG and just being Neymar.

“I am a very brave person, my greatest virtue is my courage. It’s hard to say what people may see in me now, though.

“When I was a kid, it was easy. I was always that boy who was above average in every age group, I always played in the top categories and this made me popular in the city of Santos. It was easier back then. But, now? It’s hard to answer because today I believe I have become an idol, an icon in football.

“Now, I am alongside the best players in the world, I am very proud to be here and also very proud to be treated as an idol, to be honoured by everything I have done on the pitch. I just hope to continue to bring joy to football.”

The former Santos star believes social media has made it easy for people to attack him, but he tries not to let the opinions of others bother him.

“I think social media is one area where many people can come and take part of your life, by judging you, hating and envying you,” he added. “That’s why I never take people’s comments seriously. I don’t like reading things that are not cool, things that are not necessary. 

“But, there are people around me, my friends, family and teammates, who end up reading these comments and get upset. The world is very sensitive for that reason. It is very easy for people to talk about your personal life without really knowing you. 

“But, I always tell people, there’s only one way to live. Enjoy life! Be happy! That’s it.”