Brazil Icon Ronaldo Urges Neymar to Play in 2026 World Cup

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Brazil legendary striker Delima Ronaldo has backed PSG’s Neymar to represent Brazil in the next World Cup following their painful exit from Qatar.

Brazil icon Ronaldo
Delima Ronaldo

The 46-year-old Ronaldo believes Neymar still has a crucial role to play for his country, despite his age and injury raising doubts about his continued International duty.

Neymar’s play time at the Qatar World Cup was, however, ruined by an ankle injury in the opening match, which caused the PSG star to sit out their remaining group-stage fixtures.

Neymar sustained an ankle injury

Neymar missed the clashes with Switzerland and Cameroon, before returning to action in the 4-1 victory over South Korea in the last 16.

Neymar weeps profusely after their shocking exit from Qatar

However, the five-time World Champions, Brazil, were shockingly defeated by Croatia in the quarter-finals on Friday, December 9, as they crashed out of Qatar on penalties.

Meanwhile, the 30-year-old PSG superstar, Neymar revealed after Brazil’s exit from the World Cup quarter-final to Croatia that it’s not certain if he would play for the national team again.

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Neymar, who is 30 will be 34 by the time the 2026 World Cup rolls in and there have been issues about his injury which have been raising doubts about his talent.

However, Brazil icon Ronaldo believes the PSG superstar will be a vital instrument for Brazil irrespective of his age, come 2026 World Cup.

Brazil icon Ronaldo
Brazil football icon Delima Ronaldo

This means Neymar’s ambition to win the World Cup continues as we await the next World football tournament in Canada, Mexico, and the USA.

The 46-year-old Ronaldo, who won the World Cup for Brazil in 1994 and most famously in 2002, urges Neymar to be available for international duty in four years.

Ronaldo believes Neymar’s disappointment at the Qatar tournament will meet a rewarding crack of winning Brazil’s sixth trophy in the next World Cup tournament.

Ronaldo told AP: ‘I think Neymar is very upset with the result of the World Cup for the Brazil national team.

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‘Normally, he’s feeling that way for now, but I’m also sure that he will come back stronger and continue playing with the national team. He’s still young… I think he can play the next World Cup.’

Despite Brazil’s elimination from the World Cup, Neymar was able to make a landmark as he equals Pele’s goal record after scoring against Croatia during Friday’s World Cup exit.

Brazil icon Ronaldo still admires Neymar’s dedication to his country despite Brazil falling out of the tournament.

Brazil star Neymar
Ronaldo still admires Neymar despite Brazil’s exit from Qatar.

The 46-year-old Brazil all-time legendary striker hailed Neymar for his commitment and sacrifice to represent his nation in the glamorous World Cup tournament in Qatar.

Ronaldo said: ”I’m very happy that he showed the world a commitment for the last six months, for the Brazil national team.”

“He behaved himself. He took care of himself. And he played a good match, the first match. He got a very strong tackle on his ankle.”

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”He made a huge sacrifice to play again for the national team. He played very well in the last match. I think he’s very important to us. So I hope that [he] gets well soon and back strong in the football world with PSG and the Brazil national team.”

What’s next for Brazil and Neymar?

Brazil’s national team will now look ahead to the 2024 Copa America competition, and they will also be aspiring to put on a strong performance in other to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be held across Canada, Mexico, and the USA.

On the other hand, Neymar could feature in PSG’s return to competitive action when they host Strasbourg in Ligue 1 campaign on Wednesday, December 28.

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