Neymar was kneed in the back by Colombian defender Juan Zuniga in the 88th minute of Friday’s Brazil-Colombia match, and the team’s going to have to find a way to play without the most talented and dynamic player remaining in the World Cup.
Brazil’s team doctor says Neymar ruled out of World Cup with fractured vertebrae
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) July 4, 2014
Normally, it’s all about “next man up,” but in this case, there’s no suitable replacement for a player of his caliber. Up until this point, he was in the running for the Golden Boot award, with four goals scored in the tournament.
It’s hard to overstate how much the team will miss his presence. He creates chances for his teammates and also scores goals at the most timely moments. He makes everyone around him better, and opposing defenders gravitate toward him. He’s never left unmarked. Numbers never lie:
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 5, 2014
The sportsbooks are already making the appropriate adjustments.
The @LVSuperBook has adjusted odds on Brazil winning w/Neymar out. Goes from 7/4 to 2/1. Germany goes from 9/4 to 2/1.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 5, 2014
Fans have even gathered outside of the hospital he was taken to, showing their support for one of the world’s most elite young players.
Courtesy of BBC: fans wait outside the hospital in Fortaleza where Neymar was taken pic.twitter.com/7goXMUBweL
— Andi Petrillo (@AndiPetrillo) July 5, 2014