Barcelona and Brazil superstar Neymar revealed he believed his career was over following his serious back injury at the 2014 World Cup.
The forward suffered the injury in Brazil’s quarter-final win over Colombia following a knee in the back from Camilo Zuniga, which subsequently ruled him out of the tournament.
The 24-year-old has admitted the injury was one of the worst moments of his career.
‘I have had a number of difficult moments in my career, but what happened during the World Cup in Brazil is the most painful memory,’ the forward told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
‘It was my childhood dream to become world champion on home soil, but it all went wrong because of an injury that could have forced me to leave football altogether.’
Neymar believes the people close to him helped him recover from what was a difficult time for the star.
‘That was a really difficult week for me. Fortunately I was close to my friends and family. It’s important to be able to call on the help of your beloved ones in a moment like that,’ he concluded.
Brazil was battered 7-1 by Germany in a stunning capitulation in Neymar’s absence before the side was beaten again in the third-place play-off by the Netherlands.