Brazil’s star player Neymar will not participate in the rest of the host nation’s World Cup matches after suffering a broken bone in his back during the 2-1 win over Colombia in Friday’s quarter-final.
The Brazilian forward was stretchered off the pitch having fractured a vertebra in his spine when kneed in the back by Juan Zuniga in a challenge that ultimately went unpunished, ruling him out for rest of the tournament.
Brazil’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said: “Neymar was going to be hunted. For three matches that has been happening.”
Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told Brazil’s SportTV: “Unfortunately, he’s not going to be able to play. He is very, very sad.”
The injury also rules Neymar out of contention to claim the Golden Boot for top individual goalscorer of the 2014 World Cup. The 22-year-old currently lies on four, while James Rodriguez leads with six despite his Colombia side losing 2-1 on Friday night in Fortaleza after goals from Thiago Silva and David Luiz won the tie for Brazil.
Rodriguez is still favourite among the bookmakers to be top scorer, although 2010 Golden Boot winner Thomas Muller has more matches available with Germany and is now 6/1 with Bet365 to claim that honour.
Germany beat France 1-0 in the other quarter-final on Friday thanks to a Mats Hummels header.
Muller lies on four goals, as does Argentina’s Lionel Messi who plays in his side’s quarter-final match against Belgium at 5pm on Saturday in Brasilia. Titanbet offer enhanced odds of 3/1 for Messi to score first against Belgium, and also 3/1 for Argentina to come out on top in two offers for new customers only.
Hosts Brazil will now meet Germany in the semi-final in Belo Horizonte at 9pm on Tuesday 8 July.
They will not only be without Neymar, but also captain Silva who will miss the semi-final clash through suspension after picking up a second booking of the tournament against Colombia.
Saturday’s World Cup action sees Argentina and Belgium kick off at 5pm, while the Netherlands take on Costa Rica at 9pm. You can compare all the World Cup betting odds for the tournament right here meanwhile.