Brazil's Neymar out rest of World Cup with broken vertebra

By Kyle Johnson,

Brazil might have managed to top Colombia 2-1 on Friday, but it came with the heavy price of the loss of star Neymar for the rest of the World Cup.

In a contentious match that featured plenty of clashes between both teams, the only one anyone will remember is the one where Colombian player Juan Zuniga kneed Neymar in the back as they both went after the ball, New York Daily News reports.

Neymar was carted off and after examination, it was determined that the Brazilian star suffered a broken vertebra in the collision, leaving him out the rest of the World Cup for sure.

Before the news came out, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari didn't sound at all optimistic Neymar would be able to return saying, "based on what I've seen, I think it's going to be tough for him to play."

The New York Times noted that the match was violent from the start and blame for the eventual aggressive response from Colombia is on Brazil. The team, led by Fernandinho constantly initiated contact knocking Colombia to the ground.

Fernandinho had four fouls by the end of the first half, but was able to continue smacking into other players as the ref opted to only continue to warn him, but refused to actually produce a yellow card. Brazil was allowed to continually trip Colombia, while James Rodriguez was shown a yellow card for his first trip.

A wounded Brazil will play Germany, who topped France 1-0 in the earlier Friday match on Tuesday in the semifinals.

In addition to the loss of Neymar, Brazil will also have to soldier on through the semifinal match without team captain Thiago Silva who picked up his second yellow card of the tournament on a silly challenge Friday.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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