Even before a ball was kicked at the 2014 World Cup Brazil forward Neymar was being billed as one of the stars of the show. It was his face that started out from every poster and featured in every advert. Unfortunately for the 22 year old his tournament has come to a premature end at the quarter final stage due to injury.
While his side progress to the semi final with a 2-1 victory over Columbia Neymar left the pitch on a stretcher late in the second half after a rough challenge from Juan Zuniga. After analysis in a hospital in Fortaleza it was revealed that the Brazilian had fractured a vertebra in his spine and would be four weeks to recover, ruling him out of playing any part rest of the World Cup.
Neymar stole the show in the tournament’s opening game, scoring twice as the host nation defeated Croatia 3-1. His exciting brand of fast paced, skillful and direct football captured the imagination of his nation, obsessed with the beautiful game.
He was left frustrated by the goalkeeping heroics of Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa but Neymar soon found his goalscoring touch in the third group game, scoring twice as Brazil beat the Cameroon 4-1.
When it came to the first round game against Chile Neymar looked dangerous again, while he failed to score he held his nerve in the penalty shootout to convert Brazil’s final penalty and help take his side into the quater final against Columbia.
The injury means that the host national will have to face Germany on Tuesday without their most dangerous attacker. Also missing will be suspended Brazilian captain Thiago Silva who picked up another his second yellow card of the second round against Columbia.