[BRAZIL 2014]Brazil star Neymar will miss the rest of the World Cup with a fractured vertebrae suffered when Colombia defender Juan Zuniga kneed him in the back late in their World Cup quarterfinal match Brazil won, 2-1.
Neymar was taken off the field on a stretcher and then to a Fortaleza hospital, where he the extent of the back injury was confirmed.
"Unfortunately, he's not going to be able to play," said Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar. "It's not serious in the sense that it doesn't need surgery, but he'll need to immobilize it to recover."
Zuniga said he did not deliberately try to hurt Neymar.
"We wanted to score, and it was a tough game," he said. "Brazil was marking strongly. I hope it's nothing serious, let's pray to God."
The Brazil-Colombia match was a foul-ridden affair with 54 fouls, the most at the World Cup. The second most: Brazil-Chile with 51 fouls.
The Brazilians fouled 31 times as they took aim at young Colombian star, James Rodriguez, whose late penalty kick was his tournament-high sixth of the World Cup.
Much of the blame for the nasty match will go to Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo, who whistled 41 fouls before issuing his first yellow card in the 64th minute to Brazil captain Thiago Silva for blocking Colombian keeper Ospina as he went to kick the ball.
It was a costly yellow as Silva, who scored the first Brazil goal, will miss the semifinal against Germany.
July 4 in Fortaleza
Brazil 2 Colombia 1.Goals: Thiago Silva 7, David Luiz 69; Rodriguez pen. 80.
Brazil --Julio Cesar, Maicon, Thiago Silva, Luiz, Marcelo, Fernandinho, Paulinho (Hernanes 86), Oscar, Neymar (Henrique 88), Hulk (Ramires 83), Fred.
Colombia --Ospina, Zuniga, Zapata, Yepes, Armero, Guarin, Sanchez Moreno, Cuadrado (Quintero 80), Rodriguez, Ibarbo (Ramos 46), Gutierrez (Bacca 70).
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)