Brazil's main man Neymar ruled out of remainder of World Cup
The Barca star suffered a broken vertebra in last night's bruising 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia and his World Cup is over.
Last night's 2-1 win for Brazil over Colombia was pockmarked with lots of overtly physical play and cynicism, chiefly from the home side.
But the only serious injury to emerge from the Fortaleza clash was suffered by the Selecao's most important player, Neymar. Late in the game the knee of Colombian defender Juan Zuniga caught Neymar in the back and he had to be stretchered off the pitch.
Overnight the worst fears of Brazil have been confirmed; his World Cup is over.
Rodrigo Lasmar, the Brazil team doctor, explained the news: “This news is not easy but he will not be available for the rest of the World Cup. Neymar has a broken vertebra. He will be out for four to six weeks.”
Neymar has clearly been Brazil's only creative spark. With four goals to his name, he has also been instrumental in breaking down opposition defences, his set piece delivery has led to goals for David Luiz in the last round and Thiago Silva last night and he has proven himself to be nerveless from the spot too. In short, his loss is absolutely massive for Brazil and a tremendous boost to Germany, who must face Brazil in the semi-final later in the week.
And, while Brazil's play last night lost them a lot of fans, you would have to be very hard hearted not to feel bad for Neymar, who at just 22 had carried the huge weight of his nation with such grace. Now, whatever happens, he will only be a spectator.