Neymar, who will be 34 by the time the next World Cup is held in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, may continue his pursuit of a spot on the team. Here, find out if the forward could play in the 2026 edition of the tournament.
After a crushing 4-1 win against South Korea in Qatar, the bookies had Brazil as favorites for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. However, the 2018 finalists pushed the Seleção to penalties and eventually lost in a shootout thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.
Although Brazil has the most men’s World Cup titles with five, this is the second tournament in a row in which they have been knocked out in the quarter-finals. After scoring his 77th international goal at the World Cup, equaling Brazilian icon Pele’s record, Neymar’s delight turned to sadness.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward will be 34 at the time of the next tournament, but it remains to be seen whether that will stop him from trying to take part. Despite scoring some spectacular goals for the Brazilian national team, he is in danger of ending up without a major title to show for his efforts.
Will Neymar feature for Brazil at 2026 World Cup?
After the disappointing elimination, when questioned about his future with the national team, the player exacerbated such anxieties by suggesting it may have been his last: “Honestly, I do not know. I think talking now is bad because of the heat of the moment. Maybe I’m not thinking straight. To say that this is the end would be rushing myself, but I don’t guarantee anything either. Let’s see what happens going forward.
“I want to take this time to think about it, think about what I want for myself. I will not close the door to playing with Brazil, nor do I say 100 percent that I will come back. I need to think a bit more about this, about what is the right thing for me and for the national team.”
Despite this, it has been reported by the Brazilian news outlet Terra that the 30-year-old forward has changed his mind and is now eager to participate in the 2026 World Cup. The report adds that he has confirmed to friends that he would stop at nothing to make it happen.
The fact that it will be another three and a half years until the next World Cup is held, in 2026, and Lionel Messi’s World Cup performance in Qatar are both reportedly crucial elements. However, Neymar would be playing under a new coach if he were to rejoin the Brazil national team as Tite formally resigned after his team was eliminated from the tournament.