Pelé urges Neymar to “continue to inspire us” after the elimination of Brazil in the World Cup
Pele urged Neymar to “keep inspiring us” on Saturday after the Brazilian striker hinted at retirement following his team’s upset World Cup loss to Croatia.
Neymar said he may be ready to quit international football on Friday after Brazil suffered a painful quarterfinal exit in Doha. The 30-year-old did not confirm if he would return to play for the five-time champion after a game in which he equaled Pele’s scoring record with 77 goals for the Seleção.
“I don’t close any doors on the national team, but I don’t guarantee 100 percent that I will return either,” said Neymar, who left the field in tears after the penalty shootout loss.
Pele, 82, said in a post on Instagram that he hoped the superstar striker would keep playing, adding that goalscoring achievements were not up to the honor of representing Brazil.
“You know, like me, that no number is greater than the joy of representing our country,” Pelé wrote on Instagram.
“I am 82 years old, and after all this time, I hope I have inspired you in some way to go this far….
Your legacy is far from over.
“Keep inspiring us.
I will continue punching the air with happiness with every goal you score, as I have done in every game I have seen you on the pitch”.
Pelé, who was hospitalized earlier this month during treatment for colon cancer, congratulated Neymar on equaling his scoring record.
“I learned that the more time passes, the more our legacy grows,” Pelé wrote.
“My record was set almost 50 years ago and no one has been able to come close to it until now.
You did it, boy.
That adds to the greatness of his achievement.