Brazil‘s 2-1 victory over Colombia in the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup has been soured by a serious injury to Neymar.
Brazil produced their best performance of the World Cup to date to eliminate an impressive Colombian side, but the win was completely overshadowed by the fractured vertebra suffered by their star player.
Neymar went down after receiving a heavy tackle from Colombia defender Juan Camillo Zuniga and the Barcelona superstar immediately knew that he had suffered a serious injury and informed team mate Marcelo that he could not feel his legs.
Brazil coach Luis Felipe Scolari announced that scans had revealed that Neymar had suffered from a fractured vertebra and confirmed that he was extremely unlikely to play any further part in the 2014 World Cup.
“He was kneed in the lower back,” Scolari said.
“Neymar is in hospital, with a lot of pain in his rib and he left crying.
“We don’t have the exact information but I can guarantee it won’t be easy for him to recover based on what the doctor told us and the pain he is in.
“It will be very difficult for him to play.”
Neymar released a video message after he was officially ruled out of the 2014 World Cup yesterday and the 21-year-old fought back tears as he encouraged Brazilian supporters that his side were still capable of winning the tournament in his absence.
“I’m certain that my teammates will do everything possible so that my dream, which is to be a champion, comes true,” Neymar said.
“My dream was also to play in a World Cup final, but this time it didn’t work out.”
Colombia went into their quarter-final clash with Brazil in excellent form, but their hopes of defeating Brazil for the first time since 1991 took a hit when Thiago Silva scored the opening goal of the game in just the seventh minute.
Brazil produced their best football of the tournament to date in the first half, but were unable to add to their lead before a brilliant David Luiz freekick in the 68th minute of the contest gave them some breathing space.
Colombia refused to give up their dream of qualifying for the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup and they got themselves back in the contest when James Rodriguez took advantage of a penalty opportunity after Bacca was bought down in the box by Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Brazil survived a couple of late scares to book their place in the semi-finals and set up an intriguing semi-final clash with Germany at Estadio Mineirao on Wednesday morning.
Leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au cannot split the two sides and both are available at odds of $2.75 to win the game in regular time.