Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Brazilian star Neymar out of World Cup due to injury

By Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 11:53 AM EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Argentinian star Lionel Messi says: "I hope you recover very soon, friend!"
  • Neymar fractured a vertebra during Brazil's World Cup win, team doctor says
  • He is out for World Cup semifinal and, if Brazil beats Germany, the final
  • One Brazilian fan says, "It's like we have lost today"

Editor's note: How are you celebrating the World Cup? Join the global conversation on CNN Facebook Pulse

(CNN) -- Brazil is into the World Cup semifinals.

But its brightest star is out.

Neymar fractured his vertebra Friday night during his team's World Cup quarterfinal win over Colombia and will miss the remainder of the football tournament, team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told reporters after the game.

The 22-year-old got kneed in the back during a second-half collision with a Colombian player. He rolled on the ground afterward, then cried in apparent pain while being taken off the field on a stretcher.

"It's not serious in the sense that it doesn't need surgery, but he'll need to immobilize it to recover," said Lasmar, according to a story on the official website of FIFA, which runs the World Cup. "Unfortunately, he's not going to be able to play."

His loss is a huge blow for Brazil, which entered the World Cup with steep expectations given its traditional excellence in the sport -- it has won more championships than any other country -- and the fact it is hosting the tourney for the first time since 1950.

As one woman dressed in a Brazilian national team jersey told CNN on Friday night in Rio de Janeiro, "It's like we have lost today."

"It's terrible, terrible. I'm so sad," she added regarding Neymar's injury. "But let's go on."

Brazil's players celebrate after winning the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia on Friday, July 4. Brazil won the match 2-1 and advanced to the semifinals of the tournament. Brazil's players celebrate after winning the quarter-final football match between Brazil and Colombia on Friday, July 4. Brazil won the match 2-1 and advanced to the semifinals of the tournament.
World Cup: The best photos from July 4
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
World Cup: The best photos from July 4 World Cup: The best photos from July 4
The business of being Neymar
Brazil advances to the semifinals
Football fever sweeping Cuba

Many in Brazil still have a bitter taste from that World Cup decades ago, when the host lost in the finals to Uruguay.

It's not like the next game would have been easy regardless. In the semifinal Tuesday, Brazil will face Germany, which is undefeated in the tournament and handily toppled France earlier Friday. The final game will take place July 13.

Neymar is not the only one unavailable for the semifinal: Thiago Silva, the squad's captain, will also miss the game after getting his second yellow card on Friday -- which automatically rules him out of his next game.

Neymar has been the face of his team in his native Brazil and around the world. He has scored four goals, more than anyone else on his team and anyone in the tournament besides Colombia's James Rodriguez. (Argentina's Lionel Messi and Germany's Thomas Mueller also have four goals, like Neymar.)

A standout with the Brazilian club Santos, Neymar moved last summer to one of the world's richest, most successful clubs in FC Barcelona.

Messi, his teammate there, was among those who offered their regrets that Neymar is out of the World Cup and their best wishes for a speedy recovery.

The legendary Argentinian posted Friday night on his Facebook page: "Neymar, I hope you recover very soon, friend!"

Read: Brazil battles past Colombia

Read: Germany haunts France yet again

CNN's Harry Reekie, Fred Pleitgen and Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Keep track of the social buzz at Brazil 2014 with CNN's Facebook Pulse -- find out who the world is talking about.
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
It needed 120 minutes to separate the best two teams on the planet, but Mario Gotze's sublime strike gives Germany a fourth World Cup title.
updated 8:34 PM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
After 64 games, some huge shocks and 171 goals scored, now it's time to play fantasy football -- who would you pick in a World Cup dream team?
updated 6:55 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Germany won the World Cup, but these stats suggest that the host nation came top of the table at Brazil 2014 -- despite a crushing semifinal defeat.
updated 8:14 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Bare bellies, an on-pitch streaker, world leaders and superstar selfies -- the World Cup final had it all.
updated 7:32 AM EDT, Tue July 15, 2014
Having crushed home hopes of success, Germany prevents Brazil's worst nightmare by beating the World Cup host's South American rival in final.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
One of the joys of watching the World Cup is seeing relative unknowns come to the fore. Here are 11 players to watch at Russia 2018.
updated 5:37 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Stay informed with results of the latest World Cup matches and the full schedule for the month-long tournament in Brazil.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
In the sight of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer, the man who would be king awaits his destiny.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Sat July 12, 2014
Germany's semifinal demolition of World Cup host Brazil in Belo Horizonte is the game that seemingly everyone can't stop talking about.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
One of the joys of the World Cup is seeing relative unknowns come to the fore. Here are 11 players who have made their mark at Brazil 2014:
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
You thought Brazil's home humiliation was bad? Check out the greatest shocks in World Cup history...
ADVERTISEMENT