Neymar’s World Cup is over after he sustained a fractured vertebra in his lower back towards the end of Brazil’s quarter-final victory against Colombia.
The hosts and tournament favourites set up a semi-final clash with Germany by disposing of los Cafeteros in an enthralling battle at the Estadio Castelao.
Thiago Silva bundled home early on before David Luiz struck a superb 35-yard free-kick, putting the Selecao out of sight despite James Rodriguez’s penalty leading to a nervy final 10 minutes.
However, the joy of that 2-1 win was tinged with concern over the fitness of star man Neymar, who left the field on a stretcher in the closing stages.
The 22-year-old was in tears after taking a knee to the back from Juan Zuniga, with Brazil doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirming he has sustained a fractured vertebra that will end his World Cup.
``It's not serious in the sense that it doesn't need surgery, but he'll need to immobilise it to recover,'' Lasmar said. ``Unfortunately, he's not going to be able to play.''
Lasmar expects the recovery time to be at least a few weeks, ruling Neymar out of Tuesday’s semi-final against Germany and the final, should Brazil get there, on July 13.
The forward was seen leaving the Estadio Castelao on a drip and, after initial analysis at the stadium, was taken to a local clinic.
Neymar was crying in pain and his absence will be a huge blow to Brazil, who will also be missing captain Silva for their semi-final with Germany through suspension.