Neymar 'didn't want to see a ball' after Cup exit

SAO PAULO • With the International Champions Cup in Singapore just three days away, much of the talk has been on whether star players will play in the July 26-30 pre-season friendly tournament.

Arsenal have announced that a full squad of 25 including key players like Petr Cech, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil will be in Singapore as they prepare to face Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid.

It remains to be seen if stars from the other two teams will be present at the National Stadium, especially those who were involved in the latter stages of the World Cup.

One name on the minds of most fans is PSG's Neymar, who is on a break after Brazil were knocked out of the World Cup by Belgium in the quarter-finals over two weeks ago. Last Saturday, he said he could not look at a ball and did not want to see any of the remaining games in Russia after that 2-1 loss.

"I wouldn't go as far as to say I didn't want to play again but, I didn't want to see a ball, or to see any more football played," Neymar said at his Neymar Praia Grande institute in Brazil.

"I was in mourning, I was really sad about it, but sadness passes," he added.

"I have my son, my family, my friends and they don't want to see me moping around. I've got more reason to be happy than sad."

Neymar getting ready to kick a ball again is good news for fans, although chances are slim that he will be in Singapore this week.

PSG will meet Arsenal on Saturday, and Atletico two days later.


• Ticket prices start from $28 and are available at, Singapore Indoor Stadium and The Star Theatre box offices, Scotts Square Concierge and SingPost outlets.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2018, with the headline 'Neymar 'didn't want to see a ball' after Cup exit'. Subscribe