By DAN KARELL
Brazil’s biggest star will have to spend the rest of the World Cup watching from the sidelines.
Brazilian National Team winger Neymar was ruled out of the World Cup with a with a broken vertebrae by team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar speaking to Brazilian TV outside of a hospital in Fortaleza. Neymar took a knee to the back from Colombia’s Camilo Zuñiga in the 87th minute of Brazil’s 2-1 quarterfinals victory, hitting the ground in agony and needing to be taken off the field on a stretcher.
Neymar was brought to the hospital following the conclusion of the match and underwent tests, which diagnosed a fracture in his third lumbar vertebrae, or L-3. Initial estimates put Neymar out for four to six weeks but an official timeline will come only after more tests are done.
Neymar is expected to wear a brace and remain with the Brazilian squad for the remainder of their World Cup campaign.
Losing Neymar for the rest of the World Cup is a huge blow for Brazil, who have struggled to dominate games and play up to expectations. Though they’ve remained undefeated in the tournament, Neymar scored four goals including two game-winners, assisted on Brazil’s first goal on Friday against Colombia, and scored a crucial penalty kick during the shootout against Chile last Saturday.
Zuniga said he did not intend to injure Neymar and defended the challenge, calling it just part of the game.
“It was a normal move,” he reportedly said after the match. “I never meant to hurt a player. I was on the field, playing for the shirt from my country, not with the intent to injure. I was just defending my shirt.”
In addition to losing Neymar, Brazil will be without captain and centerback Thiago Silva for the semifinal against Germany due to yellow card accumulation, meaning Brazil will be without arguably their two best players for the next match.
What do you think of this news? Sad to see Neymar gone? How do you think Brazil can overcome this loss? Who do you see Brazil turning to, to step up in Neymar’s place?
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