'Hunted' Neymar out of World Cup with fractured vertebra
Brazilian superstar kneed in back in challenge by Colombo's Juan Zuniga
Brazil forward Neymar will miss the World Cup semi-final against Germany after taking a hit to the back in the closing stages of the 2-1 World Cup quarter-final win over Colombia on Friday.
Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said: "Unfortunately, he's not going to be able to play. He is very, very sad."
Furious Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari accused opponents of hunting down Neymar.
"Neymar was going to be hunted. For three matches that has been happened," he said.
“We lost Neymar on that play, and based on what I’ve seen, I think it’s going to be tough for him to play,” he said earlier.
“He was kneed in his lower back and he was crying out in pain and 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 and as it is lower back.”
Neymar, who has scored four goals in the tournament to lead Brazil’s attack, went down after a challenge by Colombia’s Juan Zuniga in the 88th minute and looked to be in pain.
He had to be carried off on a stretcher and was replaced by defender Henrique.
Brazilian television said Neymar was taken straight to hospital without elaborating on the nature of his injury
Brazil will face Germany in the semi-final in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday without captain Thiago Silva who was booked on Friday and misses the game through suspension.
Neymar also received support from the country’s president, Dilma Rousseff, who tweeted: “Like all Brazil I am one of those cheering from the sidelines for our star Neymar to get better.”