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'Brazilian football needs Neymar' - Dani Alves urges World Cup team-mate to avoid international retirement

11:48 PM MYT 10/12/2022
Neymar Dani Alves Brazil 2022
Dani Alves urged Brazil team-mate Neymar not to retire from international football after Friday's World Cup exit to Croatia.

WHAT HAPPENED? The 30-year-old, who equalled Pele's scoring tally of 77 goals for his nation with his extra-time strike against Croatia, hinted that Qatar 2022 might be his last performance in a Brazil shirt. However, World Cup team-mate and long-time colleague Alves urged against Neymar hanging up his boots for his country, arguing that Brazilian football "needs" him.

WHAT THEY SAID: "This World Cup was my last one, for me it's time to say that," Alves told reporters after the game. "But I don't think it will be the same for Neymar; he's great, Brazilian football needs him to keep going."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Alves wasn't the only player to send words of encouragement to the Brazil star, after legend of the game Pele posted on Instagram to congratulate him and send support for the loss. With Neymar's international future up in the air, veteran defender Thiago Silva hinted that he too could call time on playing for the national team, with a World Cup trophy set to evade both players' illustrious careers.

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WHAT NEXT FOR NEYMAR? While questions remain over his international career, Neymar will return to club duty when PSG face Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on December 28.