MX23RW : Wednesday, December 19 06:15:01

Neymar: 'I mourned World Cup exit'

Neymar: 'I mourned World Cup exit'
© Reuters
Brazil winger Neymar admits that he was "in mourning" following his side's exit from the World Cup and hits back at criticism of his supposed playacting in Russia.

Brazil winger Neymar has admitted that he was "in mourning" following his side's quarter-final exit from the World Cup in Russia.

The pre-tournament favourites fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Belgium in the last eight of this summer's competition, with a Fernandinho own goal and Kevin De Bruyne strike firing the European nation into a first-half lead before Renato Augusto halved the deficit.

Neymar had been heavily criticised for his exaggerated reaction to fouls earlier in the competition, but he believes that it should have been those committing them who received the criticism.

"I was in mourning, I was really sad, but sadness passes. I have my son, my family, my friends and they don't want to see me moping around," the Paris Saint-Germain forward told AFP.

"People were faster to criticise the one being fouled than the one doing the fouling. 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. I can't be the referee and play at the same time, but there are times I wish I could."

Neymar scored two goals and assisted another in his five appearances at the World Cup.


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An upset Neymar during the World Cup quarter-final game between Brazil and Belgium on July 6, 2018
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