Neymar Out for Remainder of FIFA World Cup
Photo Courtesy of Fox Soccer Twitter / @FoxSoccer
The worst fears of the Brazilian fans were realized just moments ago as team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar announced that the Barcelona striker would be out for four-to-six weeks with a fractured vertebra suffered in the host nation’s 2-1 win over Colombia on Friday. Obviously that time-frame would end Neymar‘s chances of making any more impact for Brazil in this FIFA World Cup.
The injury came late in the match as the Brazilians were attempted to spring a counter-attack off of a Colombian corner kick. The ball was headed out of the box in the direction of Neymar who flicked in into the path of another attacker. He was met with a violent knee-to-lower back collision from Colombian defender Juan Zuniga which knocked the superstar to the pitch in obvious pain.
Brazil’s medical team was allowed onto the pitch nearly 30 seconds after the collision after the referee played advantage. Almost immediately the training staff was signalling that a change needed to be made. It was very difficult to watch the agony on his face as he was stretchered off the field.
Now Brazil must move on and focus on their semi-final with Germany on Tuesday which just got even bigger now with the injury. Brazil has plenty of attacking options in Hulk, Fred, Oscar and Fernandinho but Neymar was the center-piece of the Brazilian attack. He would float around the attacking third to find the ball and get it into a better position for his teammates.
Neymar was having a player of the tournament type performance to this point with four goals and an assist to his credit. Now he will be forced to watch as his teammates attempt to win their record-sixth FIFA World Cup Title.
Matthew Evans is a soccer writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter, or add him to your network on Google