The Selecao star generated a lot of controversy by setting a time for his national team retirement last week.
In an emotional interview, Neymar suggested he will not continue playing for Brazil beyond the 2022 World Cup. The comments were surprising to many observes, given that the PSG star is 29 years old.
However, the Selecao forward has now backtracked on his comment, claiming that these statements are part of what he does to motivate himself.
“I said something, but people understood a different thing,” he told Red Bull. “I said that, yes, this would be my last World Cup and that I would face it in the best way possible.
“I will give my best to be there at 100% because it’s as if I had a game the next day, it’s how I go about it. If there’s a game tomorrow, that game to me, it’s as if it was the last one in my life.
“So, for that World Cup that’s coming up, I’m thinking about it as if it was the last one for me because I don’t know how tomorrow will be and what can happen.
“When I said that, it was a bit controversial, with people saying I wanted to stop playing football and that I would leave the national team. People understood a completely different thing. I wanted to say that I’m seeing it as if it was the last one. Why? Because we don’t know how tomorrow will be and what can happen.”
Neymar has featured in eight games for PSG across all competitions this season, scoring one goal and providing two assists. It remains to be seen whether he can use his form to fulfill Brazil’s long-held wish to win their sixth World Cup title next year.