Barcelona star Neymar has revealed he feared his career could be over after he sustained a serious back injury at the 2014 World Cup that ended his dream of being crowned world champion on home soil.
The attacker suffered the injury in Brazil's quarter-final win over Colombia following a reckless challenge from Camilo Zuniga and consequently missed the remainder of the tournament.
Neymar has not forgotten the incident and admits it was one of the worst moments of his career.
"I have had a number of difficult moments in my career, but what happened during the World Cup in Brazil is the most painful memory," the 24-year-old was quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"It was my childhood dream to become world champion on home soil, but it all went wrong because of an injury that could have forced me to leave football altogether.
"That was a really difficult week for me. Fortunately I was close to my friends and family. It's important to be able to call on the help of your beloved ones in a moment like that."
Brazil were beaten 7-1 by Germany in Neymar's absence, before losing the match for third place against Netherlands 3-0.