I was ready to quit: Melo
Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo has revealed he was on the verge of quitting football after Brazil's World Cup exit.
Melo, 27, was widely criticised after the World Cup this summer as Brazil exited to Netherlands at the quarter-final stage. Melo was initially credited with an own goal in the game - although it was later given to Wesley Sneijder - and was then sent off for stamping on Arjen Robben.
"After the World Cup I no longer had the motivation to play," Melo told La Repubblica. "I had no joy in it anymore and had decided to leave football. I played a decent World Cup, but in Brazil everyone said we had gone out because of me.
"Those who understand football know that we were going to go out anyway. You just had to look in the eyes of the Dutch players before my red card to realise it. I am not an angel, but I understood that I could be hard without going over the top."
Melo also endured a disappointing first year with Juventus after his 2009 move from Fiorentina, but he has rediscovered his form this season under new boss Luigi Del Neri.
"At the age of 27 I can still change," he said. "The faith of Gigi Del Neri and [Juve sporting director] Beppe Marotta really helped me to change, as I realised there were people who truly believed in me.”