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How has Neymar performed in World Cups?

04:29 BST 19/04/2022
Neymar Brazil World Cup
The Brazilian forward will be making his third appearance in the World Cup...

Neymar Jr. is one of Brazil's most important players. The Selecao are regarded as one of the contenders for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar which is slated to kick off on November 21, and Neymar's form will be key to their chances.

The 30-year-old forward made his international debut on August 10, 2010, in a friendly match against the United States at the age of 18. He took just 28 minutes to score on his debut as he headed the ball into the net from an Andre Santos cross in a 2-0 win for Brazil.

During the 2014 World Cup, all eyes were on Neymar as the marquee event was being hosted on Brazilian soil and the PSG player was expected to lead the team to the title. He made his World Cup debut against Croatia in Sap Paulo, which also happened to be his 50th international appearance. Although Croatia took the lead, Neymar scored a brace to help Brazil start their World Cup campaign with a 3-1 win. After drawing a blank against Mexico, he scored another brace against Cameroon which propelled Brazil to the Round of 16.

In the first match of the knockouts, Brazil faced Chile. Neymar was a livewire but failed to find the net. However, he scored the winning kick for Brazil in the tie-breakers. In the next game against Colombia, he was injured after Juan Zuniga's horror tackle and was ruled out of the World Cup.

However, Neymar was named in the 10-man shortlist for FIFA's Golden Ball award and was named in the World Cup All-Star XI. He won the bronze boot as the tournament's third-highest goalscorer.

After a disappointing end to the 2014 World Cup, Neymar had a point to prove in Russia. He headed into the 2018 World Cup after scoring in friendlies against Croatia and Austria. However, he failed to replicate that form against Switzerland and Brazil were held to a 1-1 draw. Nonetheless, he found the net in the second group game against Costa Rica which took him to the third spot in the all-time goal scoring chart for Brazil, behind only Pele and Ronaldo. In the third game of the group stage against Serbia, he assisted once but failed to score. However, he was back on the scoresheet against Mexico in the Round of 16, while also assisting Roberto Firmino's goal.

But Brazil's joy was short-lived as they were ousted from the tournament by Belgium in the quarterfinals. Neymar could have saved the blushes but Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois denied him on a couple of occasions. In the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, Neymar would be looking to propel Brazil to their record sixth World Cup title. He is Brazil's highest goalscorer in international football with 71 strikes to his name and the South American nation will be pinning their hopes once again on him.

Year

Matches

Goals

Assists

2014

5

4

1

2018

5

2

2