'I couldn't look at a football' after the World Cup — Neymar

Saturday, July 21, 2018

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PRAIA GRANDE, Brazil (AFP) — Brazil star Neymar admits that after his nation's quarter-finals defeat to Belgium at the World Cup he couldn't look at a ball and didn't want to see any of the remaining matches.

"I didn't want to see a ball, or to see any more football played," Neymar told AFP in an exclusive interview on Saturday.

The Paris Saint Germain forward was talking at his Neymar Praia Grande institute where the Red Bull Neymar Jr 5's (five-a-side-soccer) tournament was being played.

Dressed in a sleeveless t-shirt with his six-year-old son Davi Lucca upon his knee, the striker was however in a relaxed mood.

Asked about reports in Spain linking him with a transfer to Real Madrid the forward said "That's all speculation from the press."

"I'm really looking forward to the new season," Neymar said of his second season in Paris since a world record move from Barcelona.

"We have signed a football legend (Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon) who will bring with him all his experience and that will be a great help for this coming season," he said.

Neymar has been hit by a barrage of criticism for theatrical rolling around after being fouled at the World Cup, but says he should have been better protected.

"I didn't go to the World Cup to get kicked," he said.

"And I can't be the referee and play at the same time, but there are times I wish I could," he said.

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