Neymar could have been paralysed -Report

Brazil’s World Cup dream suffered a major setback with the revelation that the country’s talisman, Neymar, has been ruled out of the rest of the ongoing competition with a broken bone in his back sustained in the 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia on Friday but things could have been worse for the 22-year-old and his country.


The playmaker fractured a vertebra in his spine and was stretchered off in the 88th minute in tears after he had been kneed from behind by Juan Zuniga – in a challenge that the Colombia player did not receive any punishment for.

He was immediately taken to hospital in Fortaleza.

But reports that doctors have said that “if the Barcelona forward had been hit by Zuniga an inch higher, he might have been paralysed.”

Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told Brazil’s 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.”

Lasmar added that he expected the recovery period to take at least a few weeks.

Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said: “Neymar was going to be hunted. For three matches that has been happening.”

Neymar recovered from thigh and knee injuries sustained in the second-round win over Chile to play against Colombia.

The Barcelona forward has featured in all five of Brazil’s matches at the 2014 World Cup and is their top scorer with four goals.

Neymar had a quiet game on Friday and was replaced in the 88th minute after Napoli defender Zuniga challenged him for a header, with referee Carlos Velasco Carballo taking no action.

Scolari added: “Not even a yellow card, nothing.

“People think Germany, these or the others, only they are hunted, but not Neymar.”

But Zuniga insisted: “I never meant to hurt a player. It was a normal move.

“I was playing for the shirt from my country, not with the intent to injure. I was just defending my shirt.”

Thiago Silva’s early goal and a stunning David Luiz free-kick in the second half set up victory for Brazil, who withstood a late Colombia onslaught that saw James Rodriguez score an 80th-minute penalty.