April 11, 2024
2026 World Cup

Will Neymar Play in the 2026 World Cup?

Neymar 2026 world cup

Preparations are in top gear as the United States, Mexico, and Canada prepare to host the world’s biggest sporting event – the FIFA World Cup.  As excitement continues to build up, most soccer fans in the three hosting nations and all over the globe have one question in mind – will Neymar play in the 2026 World Cup?

To answer this question, let’s look at two important factors: age and form.

How old will Neymar be at the 2026 World Cup?

Born on February 5, 1992, Neymar will be exactly 34 years, four months, and seven days old when World Cup kicks off at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico, a tournament the USMNT will be hoping to win for the first time ever.

It should be remembered that his icon and former Barcelona and PSG teammate Lionel Messi was 35 years old when he ceremoniously won the World Cup in Qatar against France in what was arguably one of the most entertaining finals in the competition’s history.

If Neymar maintains good physical form, it’s likely that he’ll play in the World Cup.

But speaking of physical form, that brings us to the next question.

What’s Neymar’s recent form like?

No doubt that Neymar isn’t the dazzling player we were once used to.

His much-publicized transfer to Saudi Pro League giants Al-Hilal in the summer of 2023 hasn’t brought out the skillful Neymar we both fell in love with (at least from a footballing perspective).

I’m talking about the 2011 Puskas winner version of Neymar.

For context, at the time of writing, the Brazilian has featured in five games in all competitions and scored only one goal for the Saudi club. He is still generous with his assists, though, dishing out three in five appearances.

A quick look at Neymar’s stats shows a player who, sadly, appears to be on the decline.

At Barcelona, he played 186 games, scored 105 goals, and provided 76 assists.

At PSG, he featured 173 times, bagged 118 goals, and dished out 77 assists.

At Al Hilal, at the time of writing, he hasn’t had that much of an impact, bagging a single goal in five appearances.

The problem? His injury record.

An overview of Neymar’s injury record

In Saudi, the left-winger has already missed 30 games due to a cruciate ligament tear, and seven more due to muscular problems.

To give you perspective, in the 23/24 season alone so far, Neymar hasn’t played in 224 days due to injury.

This is actually his longest spell on the sidelines due to injuries. Although he struggled with almost a similar record in previous seasons, he only missed 139 days due to injury in 22/23 and 111 days the season prior.

The conclusion?

Neymar’s injury crisis is getting worse. His age isn’t helping, either.

So, whether or not he’ll play in the 2026 FIFA World Cup all boils down to only one thing – his physical form.

What about his age, you ask?

This is Neymar dos Santos we’re talking about. All it takes, for a player of his quality, is good physical form.

Like they say, form is temporary, but class is permanent.

Neymar, injured or not, is and has always been, classy.

Davey Pambo is an experienced soccer journalist with vast knowledge of international soccer news. Has written betting predictions, match previews, and bookmakers reviews published at Football Whispers and Pundit Feed websites.Davey has written soccer news for EPL, La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and Serie A as well as leagues in Africa and across the United States. Other competitions that have featured in Davey’s writings are UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, CAF Champions League, AFC Champions League, and CONCACAF competitions.Davey is an exemplary researcher with a degree in Economics.