'Psychologically broken': From Neymar to Ronaldo, how 6 football stars reacted after shocking World Cup exits

The 2022 edition has seen the rise of underrated teams like Morocco, Japan, and Senegal, which made it to the Round of 16

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Published: Tue 13 Dec 2022, 2:50 PM

The 2022 edition of the Fifa World Cup, held in Qatar, has seen the rise of underrated teams like Morocco, Japan, and Senegal, which made it to the Round of 16. Morocco even became the first Arab team to reach the semi-finals of the biggest tournament in football.

However, this came with a number of elite teams unexpectedly falling out of the race to win the coveted trophy. The following are the reactions from decorated players belonging to the teams that made shock exits:

1. Neymar

Photo: @neymarjr/Instagram
Photo: @neymarjr/Instagram

"I'm psychologically destroyed. This was certainly the defeat that hurt me the most, which made me paralysed for 10 minutes and right after I fell into non-stop crying. It's gonna hurt for a loooong time, unfortunately. We fought until the end. That's what I'm proud of my teammates because there was no lack of commitment and dedication," he wrote on Instagram.

"This group deserved it, we deserved it, BRAZIL deserved it... But this was not the will of GOD! It was worth every sacrifice to feel the affection of each one from inside the field... Thank you all for your support with our national team"

"Unfortunately it didn't work out... it's gonna hurt for a long, long time. Thank you for everything my GOD, you have given me everything so I can't complain. Just thank for watching over me. All honor and glory are always for you, regardless of the circumstances."

2. Harry Kane

Photo: @harrykane/Instagram
Photo: @harrykane/Instagram

"Absolutely gutted. We’ve given it everything and it’s come down to a small detail which I take responsibility for. There’s no hiding from it, it hurts and it’ll take some time to get over it but that’s part of sport," he wrote, in an Instagram post.

"Now it’s about using the experience to be mentally and physically stronger for the next challenge. Thanks for all the support throughout the tournament — it means a lot.

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3. Cristiano Ronaldo

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

" Three aspects of reality: pain, uncertainty, and constant work," he said, in a cryptic Instagram story.

Photo: @cristiano/Instagram
Photo: @cristiano/Instagram

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4. Virgil Van Dijk

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

"I'm very disappointed that we're out of the tournament, after a very eventful game ... We showed great character, we came back last 15 minutes, got extra time then it's penalties," as per a Fifa Plus article.

"Unfortunately we couldn't get the job done. We're going home. I'm very sad about that, but that's life. We lost on penalties, and that's the thing that is difficult. It's like a lottery."

"We practiced penalties a lot but unfortunately, he [Emiliano Martinez] made two great saves and we're out."

"I think we were confident, but you can't replicate a full stadium where 80,000 fans are whistling against you and a different goalie that you don't face in training."

"I never took it in the Premier League, so it's quite difficult. It's never easy, you're under pressure, but I was looking forward to it, I was ready for it.

"He saved it, fair play to him. Bad for us, bad for me. I'm very sad, but unfortunately things like this happen in life and it's about how you deal with it."

"I'll be very sad for the next period and I'll regroup, be with my family, and think about good things in life. These things happen unfortunately, you can miss, but it doesn't mean you feel fine, I'm very hurt and I felt like I let my guys down a bit. It's about turning that feeling into hunger for the rest of the season."

5. Sergio Busquets

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

“We wanted to continue. It was a very physical game, with them [Morocco] locked up defending. It was very difficult. In extra time it was more of the same. We had one chance in the last second and we went out in the cruellest way,” he said, as per a report from Barca Blaugranes.

“We have tried to wear them down and turn them around, but we have lacked a bit of luck in the last pass or the shot.”

“Now the important thing is not this. We have to get up ... We are in a good dynamic, with a young group and with a future. We must continue like this.”

6. Manuel Neuer

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

"I'm totally frustrated and upset that we gave up the game ... That was more than unnecessary," he lamented, according to a Mirror report.

"We created a lot of chances to score, so luck and bad luck go hand in hand. The imperative that we wanted to score the second goal was perhaps missing and we brought Japan back into the game.

"After the break, we didn't have that flow of play anymore, didn't play with the self-confidence we had in the first half. It was a bit more difficult because they started higher, but we still have to play well.”


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