There was a heartwarming moment amid Brazilian heartache as the country was defeated in the World Cup quarter-final to Croatia on penalties on Friday.
Croatia stunned favorites Brazil as the 2018 runners-up reached the semi-finals again by way of a 4-2 shootout win.
It could mark the final international game for Brazil’s star player Neymar, whose goal in extra-time equaled Pele’s all-time national scoring record with 77 goals.
The 30-year-old, who didn’t even take a penalty, was in tears in the middle of the pitch as he reflected on the early exit.
But then came one of the classiest touches of the tournament – as the young son of Croatian footballer Ivan Perisic rushed over to Neymar to console him.
The child, which reporters identified as Leo, was initially stopped from getting too close by security. But the pair eventually shook hands and hugged.
A video of the moment was posted on Twitter by The Athletic’s David Ornstein:
Neymar said later he was unsure if he would play again for the national team.
“Honestly, I do not know. I think talking now is bad because of the heat of the moment. Maybe I’m not thinking straight,” he told reporters.
“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,” he added. “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% that I’ll come back.”
Against Croatia, Neymar put the South Americans ahead with a brilliant mazy run in the first half of extra time. But their rivals equalized three minutes from time and then won a penalty shootout to go through to the semi-finals where they will face either Argentina or the Netherlands.
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