This Friday was not all good news for the Brazilian national team. Striker Neymar took a knee to the back at the 87th minute, fractured his third vertebra and is out of the World Cup. He was barged by Colombian side Zuñiga. The information about Neymar's contusion was confirmed by the Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar.
The Brazilian playmaker left the match on a stretcher straight to the São Carlos Hospital in Fortaleza. “The tomography scan showed a fracture at the third vertebra. It is not serious enough to require surgical intervention, but the injury needs immobilization and Neymar will not be in condition to play," said the doctor in an interview with TV Bandeirantes. The player has returned to Rio de Janeiro this Friday night.
Neymar bids farewell to the World Cup with four goals scored, two against Croatia and two against Cameroon, all in the group phase. At the press conference after the victory over Colombia, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari already showed pessimism about the striker's situation. “Based on the way he left the pitch, I think it is very unlikely that he will able to play the next match," the coach said before receiving confirmation of Neymar's injury. “He is being hunted down on the pitch and nobody says anything," criticized Scolari.
In addition to Neymar, Brazil will also have to make do without captain Thiago Silva in the semi-final against Germany. The defender received his second yellow card and is suspended for one match. Defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo, who served his two-yellow-card suspension on Friday, can now return to the team.
» Castelão ends World Cup participation with average attendance of almost 60,000 per match, 359,896 fans overall