The competition favourites crashed out at the quarter-final stage on Friday following a penalty shoot-out defeat to Croatia.
Antony, who joined United from Ajax in a £85million deal in the summer, came on as a second-half substitute in that game and was one of his side’s biggest threats going forward.
‘Not how I wanted to begin this message… but first of all, I need to say how proud I am for each of you who has lived this dream with me!’ Antony wrote on Instagram in the aftermath of Brazil’s elimination.
‘It’s been years, months, weeks, days and more days thinking about bringing this title back home, the country of football! And we tried everything …. Every drop of sweat poured, every vibration, every dribble and goal… We made it!
‘Today, there is the sadness of an elimination, of an interrupted dream… However, I am sure that we will come back even stronger, more united and with the same desire to give joy to all who cheer for us!!
‘Antony who leaves Qatar today is the same one who painted the streets of Osasco dreaming of a World Cup title.
‘Not now, but we’ll be back! We will cry today, we have that right, we are human beings, but tomorrow we will start to rebuild our history.’
Antony was inundated with messages of support, including one from Manchester United teammate Alejandro Garnacho.
But perhaps the most notable was from football legend Pele, who reminded the 22-year-old his story is ‘just beginning’.
‘You are part of the upcoming generation,’ Pele’s account wrote. ‘Don’t give up and stay strong the story is just beginning.’
Pele’s health has dominated headlines in recent weeks with reports suggesting the 82-year-old has been moved to palliative care. Pele has been receiving treatment for colon cancer, having undergone surgery to remove a tumour in September 2021.
The Brazilian’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, last week refuted claims made in the press, insisting he is not receiving end-of-life care.
‘He is sick, he is old. But at the moment, he is there because of the lung infection. And once he feels better, he will go home again,’ Nascimento told TV Globo.
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