By Chris Wright
Glum news this morning that Neymar has been ruled out of the World Cup entirely after being stretchered off during the latter stages of last night’s hustlin’, bustlin’ quarter-final against Colombia.
According to BBC Sport, Neymar has suffered a broken bone in his spine after being hit by a rough running knee to the back by Juan Zuniga.
Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told SportTV:
“Unfortunately, he’s not going to be able to play. He is very, very sad.
“It’s not serious in the sense that it doesn’t need surgery, but he’ll need to immobilise it to recover.”
Neymar appeared to be in tears as the medics carried him from the pitch, with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari later criticising Brazil’s last three World Cup opponents (Cameroon, Chile and Colombia) for deliberately “hunting” the Barcelona striker.
Zuniga, who has since become Public Enemy No.1 in Brazil overnight, reportedly explained his actions thus…
Zuñiga on his contact with Neymar: “I wasn’t planning to do something evil. I was simply trying to do my best to serve my country.”
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) July 5, 2014
So, that’s Brazil without Neymar and Thiago Silva (who picked up his second booking of the tournament against Colombia) for their semi-final against Germany next Tuesday.