Brazil great Ronaldo believes Neymar and other Brazilian players should have psychological help to deal with the “disproportionate pressure” from the World Cup.
Neymar admitted after his team’s World Cup quarterfinal defeat to Croatia on penalties that he was “psychologically destroyed.”
“I would advise having a psychological support to withstand this pressure, which is extremely disproportionate for human beings,” Ronaldo said.
“Neymar will come back with the same passion, with the same desire. But I wanted to reinforce this need to monitor the mental health of our players … It is very important for us to address this issue, especially when it comes to the World Cup, where the whole world is looking at the national team. The world was looking at Neymar.”
Looking to win his first major trophy with Brazil, Neymar, 30, had recovered from an ankle injury sustained in their group game opener against Serbia to play in the knockout round of the tournament.
He drew level with Pele as Brazil’s all-time leading men’s scorer with 77 goals after hitting the back of the net in extra time against Croatia before Bruno Petkovic equalised to take the game to penalties.
“When I saw the [Neymar’s] interview saying that he was psychologically destroyed, it broke my heart in a way that I was also psychologically destroyed,” Ronaldo said.
“I wanted to find a way to help him. That help exists today. In my day it was little talked about.”
Neymar said he was unsure he would play again for Brazil.
Ronaldo said earlier in the tournament that he was “shocked” by the level of “envy and evil” that Neymar was having to deal with after getting injured in their group opener against Serbia.
Some Brazilians celebrated Neymar’s misfortune and the two-time Brazil World Cup winner advised the Paris Saint-Germain forward “to turn the hate” he was getting “into fuel.”
Ronaldo says Neymar shouldn’t be too hard on himself.
“There’s no risk of throwing away absolutely nothing you’ve done in your career,” he said.
“Everything you’ve done is done. Neymar is consecrated. Logically everyone wants to win the World Cup, and everyone starts to realise that it’s not easy. We have five stars [World Cups], we are the biggest winners.”
Brazil, meanwhile, are looking for a new coach after Tite confirmed he was leaving following the World Cup exit after six years in charge.
Reports in Brazil on Monday named Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti as a candidate to take over from Tite as national team coach, with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said to be willing to wait until the summer of 2023 to appoint the Italian.
Sources told ESPN that Ancelotti was not aware of the interest, and was currently happy in Madrid, where his contract is due to expire in June 2024.
Ancelotti has previously said that the Real Madrid job is likely to be his last before retirement.
The CBF released a statement on Monday saying that they had “not authorized any person, inside or outside the confederation, to look for any coach or football professional to join the Brazilian Men’s Football Team” with an announcement on Tite’s successor not due until January 2023.
Amid reports that the CBF is considering a non-Brazilian coach with Pep Guardiola and Abel Ferreira also rumoured candidates, former Brazil international Rivaldo believes it would be a “lack of respect” if a foreigner was hired as Tite’s replacement.
According to Rivaldo, Tite’s successor must have “Brazilian blood running through his veins.”
“I believe that we have coaches capable of taking over the Brazilian national team at this time and doing a good job,” Rivaldo said.
“Bringing in a foreign coach is not a certainty that we will be world champions … Foreigners are undoubtedly very good coaches too, but the Selecao is ours, the nation’s and it has to be managed by someone who has Brazilian blood running through his veins.”
However, Ronaldo disagrees. He said: “There are a lot of amazing names that would do a lot of good, Ancelotti, Abel, from Palmeiras, Mourinho, from Roma… They are incredible names. All of them with contracts. I don’t know what the CBF will do, but my opinion is that I would support a foreign coach.”
Alex Kirkland contributed to this report.
Ronaldo says Neymar should have psychological support