13 Dec, 2019
Chapecoense plane crash survivor Neto has announced his retirement from football.
Neto decided to hang up his boots due to the injuries sustained when the aircraft carrying the Chapecoense squad, management and a number of journalists to Medellin for the first leg of the 2016 Copa Sudamericana final crashed, killing 71 people on board.
The 34-year-old defender had been hoping to follow in the footsteps of Alan Ruschel – who along with goalkeeper Jakson Follman were the only other players to survive – by returning to the professional game.
However, after spending two years trying to work his way back, Neto agreed with Chapecoense doctors to call time on his career.
"I'm stopping. It is aligned with the doctors and the club," Neto told Globo Esporte.
"I wanted a goodbye game, but I chose not to. I was invited to play the last minute against CSA [Chape's final home game of the 2019 Campeonato Brasileiro on December 4] but I chose not to.
"Of course, I have a fondness for the fans and it would've been a gift, but life is a gift.
"My body couldn't take it anymore. The pain was greater than the pleasure. I talked to the doctors and soon there will an official statement from the club.
"There is no pain in my daily life, but in high-level training I could not stand the knee and back pain, which saddened me and forced me to leave the pitch behind."