Brazil veteran Thiago Silva has responded to the shock comments made by Neymar recently, in which the Paris Saint-Germain superstar suggested that he could retire from international football next year.
Neymar, who has been capped 114 times for his national team, admitted that he doubts he has the "strength of mind to deal with football anymore", comments that sent shockwaves through the sport.
While it has not been confirmed, Thiago Silva, a 100-time Brazil international, has now offered his support for the former Santos and Barcelona winger.
"Here at the national team, I have gone through some moments that are very similar (with what Neymar is going through), especially after 2014 World Cup," he said, according to Goal.
"I was called a cry baby, weak, very weak, mentally. These are things that hurt you and you know that you are not what you have been called.
"I hope he doesn't lose his joy, continue to be happy the way he always is. He is a very special kid and, when he's happy, doing what he loves, he delivers."
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What is Neymar referring to?
The PSG forward made his debut for the Brazilian national team at 18 years old, and was widely viewed by supporters as the player that would restore the side's status as the most feared international outfit in football.
While he has scored heaps of goals and come up with spectacular performances, Neymar has only won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil's senior side – in 2019, he missed the Selecao's Copa America-winning tournament through injury.
This appears to have fractured his relationship with Brazil fans, some of whom reportedly even went as far as to announce their support for Argentina ahead of their own country's 2021 Copa America final at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in July.
The Albiceleste, captained by Lionel Messi, went on to win 1-0 courtesy of an early goal from Angel Di Maria, further straining Neymar's relations with those back home.