Neymar ruled out of the World Cup

NeymarBrazilInjured1-ColombiaWorldCup2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Brazil’s biggest star will have to spend the rest of the World Cup watching from the sidelines.

Brazilian National Team winger Neymar was ruled out of the World Cup with a with a broken vertebrae by team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar speaking to Brazilian TV outside of a hospital in Fortaleza. Neymar took a knee to the back from Colombia’s Camilo Zuñiga in the 87th minute of Brazil’s 2-1 quarterfinals victory, hitting the ground in agony and needing to be taken off the field on a stretcher.

Neymar was brought to the hospital following the conclusion of the match and underwent tests, which diagnosed a fracture in his third lumbar vertebrae, or L-3. Initial estimates put Neymar out for four to six weeks but an official timeline will come only after more tests are done.

Neymar is expected to wear a brace and remain with the Brazilian squad for the remainder of their World Cup campaign.

Losing Neymar for the rest of the World Cup is a huge blow for Brazil, who have struggled to dominate games and play up to expectations. Though they’ve remained undefeated in the tournament, Neymar scored four goals including two game-winners, assisted on Brazil’s first goal on Friday against Colombia, and scored a crucial penalty kick during the shootout against Chile last Saturday.

Zuniga said he did not intend to injure Neymar and defended the challenge, calling it just part of the game.

“It was a normal move,” he reportedly said after the match. “I never meant to hurt a player. I was on the field, playing for the shirt from my country, not with the intent to injure. I was just defending my shirt.”

In addition to losing Neymar, Brazil will be without captain and centerback Thiago Silva for the semifinal against Germany due to yellow card accumulation, meaning Brazil will be without arguably their two best players for the next match.

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What do you think of this news? Sad to see Neymar gone? How do you think Brazil can overcome this loss? Who do you see Brazil turning to, to step up in Neymar’s place?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, FIFA World Cup, International Soccer, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

149 Responses to Neymar ruled out of the World Cup

  1. Increase0 says:

    Wow, just wow. That cowardly Reffing shattered a man vertebrae. He could have been paralyzed.

    Does anyone else feel that FIFA told refs to try to keep players in the game? This game had maybe 2 or 3 refs in it. Some on Columbia and I would say Ferdandinho had a good chance at one too. France/Nigeria had a broken ankle that was magically only a yellow in it too.

    I really hope the Semis get better…

    • JayAre says:

      A few people should have been sent off in the first half.

      • Increase0 says:

        I know I’m saying the Ref did it. This is harsh but it really is his job to keep people calm and actually playing the game. He didn’t do that and he didn’t even try.

      • JayAre says:

        Whats more amazing is the game only had 4 yellows!!!! I saw 4 yellows in the first 30 minutes!!!

    • Increase0 says:

      Er 2 or 3 reds. Not Refs

      • CÉU says:

        You Americans love to say that every drop of Neymar is “DIVE”. Now he has two fractured vertebrae, this “” Dive “this good for you??

        • Rich D says:

          I feel for Neymar and I’ve read/watched how hard he has worked to help Brazil win this WC. I also know that if anyone else was fouled like he was they would have suffered the same injury. However, when I see him on the field I can’t help but think he looks extremely fragile. He should be working with a strength trainer/nutritionist to give him a better foundation since he is fouled like no other and is always on the ball making defenders look silly.

        • Luis Esco says:

          Americans aren’t the only ones that say he dives…. Neymar and Robben are compulsive divers

        • Dan says:

          You shouldn’t stereotype “Americans” as all thinking that Neymar took a dive. No one wants to see players injured! Ever!!!
          A big problem with this sport is that MOST players perform theatrical “dives” to draw a foul call from the refs… It has become part of the game and is difficult for refs to distinguish a real foul from minor touching except for the most blatant fouls committed conveniently directly in good view of a watching ref.
          If FIFA would just allow the refs to view instant replays in order to catch real fouls and start calling fouls on the theatrical divers, then maybe players on both sides of every team would concentrate on playing cleanly.
          Every viewer of these games on “TV” has the advantage of instant reply… AND multiple close-ups from different angles! If FIFA would allow, the same instant closeup replays could be flashed up on the stadium jumbo TV screens for both REFs and Fans to see instantly! Refs will be given the clear information to make better calls, and fans can be instantly assured that the correct call was made. The excuse that the ref can’t see everything would be eliminated! FIFA will never allow that sort of thing to happen… It would completely take their ability to control outcomes of games!

          • Broadsthooligans says:

            Instant replay is a nice idea, but soccer is an endurance game. You run around for 90 minutes with one 15 minute break. If you add in multiple five minute breaks for instant replay throughout the game it starts to look like American football. The most common suggestion I’ve seen is to give each team a certain amount of “challenge”flags like they do in the NFL. The problem with this is that even if each challenge only takes 3 minutes, you’re adding a significant resting period to an endurance game.

            • Dan says:

              Good point on delay time, but I think the instant replays could be made in seconds, not minutes, like we see on TV. Especially in cases of critical game changers, such as off sides calls and goals. Fit each ref with Google glass, so the TV camera feeds can reach their eyes instantly.
              I like your “Challenge” suggestion… That would actually work… But how can anyone pressure FIFA into implementing a change to improve the officiating?!?

        • MiopicObservations says:

          We forget Neymar is a tiny little guy, he just looks rather fragile.

    • Maykol says:

      For the love of God, its Colombia with an “O”. Sorry that really bugs me. But i agreed with everything else you said, terrible ref

      • Increase0 says:

        Homophones man. Dirty dirty Homophones.

      • Alex says:

        +100000

      • TheBornsteinSupremacy says:

        Why on earth would such a thing matter? It’s like griping about Brazil being spelled Brasil. Or, more apropos, Colon being called Columbus.

        • frank from santiago says:

          TheBornsteinSupremacy , because they are actually 2 different locations (colombia, columbia) in the map. i’ve never seen it misspelled anywhere, except when n. americans write it….

          • Increase0 says:

            That’s because no one else ever thinks about Columbia. They don’t use the word at all. So guess what, sometimes we automatically use to more familiar one.

            I bet a fair share of foreign types have written the “District of Colombia” over the years. Whatever who cares. Find something more important to think about or keep wasting energy.

          • MiopicObservations says:

            That is because the other Americas are inferior and we loathe you.

    • KenC says:

      No doubt a red card offense; however, it looked nothing like a paralyzing blow. That’s just ridiculous.

      If the X-rays show a hairline fracture that will mean being out 4 to 6 weeks, it is rather minor. The doctor in the ESPN report called it “benign”.

      • Increase0 says:

        I have seen a mans arm break from catching a football(US) thrown by a normal person. Things happen.

        Christopher Reeve fell off a horse. That’s maybe a 5 foot fall? Oh, I don’t know what he landed on or how fast he is going but my point is that thing things happen.

        • Landy Cakes says:

          So what you’re saying is Neymar could paralyze himself at any time doing anything therefore the ref should not be held responsible?

          • Increase0 says:

            Why are people being intentionally obtuse?

            Impact injures to the nervous system are bad. I don’t see how this is so hard.

            • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

              I know this doesn’t help, but I was scanning the Christopher Reeve comment and looking for the punchline before I realized you were actually not telling a joke.

              Man grade school really messed my head up on that poor guy.

              Sorry.

            • KenC says:

              Obtuse is confusing a fracture to the spine with a “nervous system” injury. He did not injure his nervous system.

              • Increase0 says:

                You are also being obtuse. Down play spinal injures. Smart.

                Be exactly like the medical staff who didn’t even bother to use a spine board to carry him off the field.

        • OwnGoal says:

          Benign knees to the back after a two handed neck punch. Take off your Colombo glasses

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            “two handed neck punch”

            That is the softest “punch” I have ever seen.

            The knee made solid contact; no need to go embellishing with other Mortal Kombat strikes.

        • KenC says:

          I’m not at all sure what those “freak” accidents have to do with Neymar’s injury.

          Having said that, Reeve fell off a MOVING horse in an event involving jumping over barriers. The kinetic energy involved in landing when a horse jumps and throws a rider is huge. I assure you it was not a simple “5 foot fall”.

          • Increase0 says:

            So you think a the knee of a running man can cause a serious injury. Good for you. Why do you go test it out.

            As pointed out, earlier and I need to do so again because your reading comprehension is poor.

            “I don’t know what he landed on or how fast he is going”

            Congratulations on pointing something out I already addressed. Good job buddy.

      • GW says:

        benign?

        Go ahead and shatter one of your lumbar vertebrae and tell me how “benign” it is.

        Enormous pain and potentially lethal. Benign? Right.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Was Neymar’s vertebra “shattered”? All I saw in the report was that it was “fractured,” which could mean anything from a hairline fracture that will heal on its own as long as it is not further impacted (i.e., would rule him out from play but not from sitting on the bench with the team) all the way to a pulverized bone that is nothing but dust.

          Let’s not use the word “shattered” unless we know that it was, in fact, shattered.

          • GW says:

            Fractured. It’s still really, really painful. And Neymar is still lucky it wasn’t worse..

        • KenC says:

          Benign is the doctor’s characterization of the injury. If it were anything more, it would not be categorized as a 4 to 6 week recovery.

          I come from a family of 5 doctors and surgeons. Generally, anything is “potentially lethal”, but that foul was no worse than the crazy fouls you routinely see Marquez try on Cobi Jones.

      • froboy says:

        The Brazilian team doctor that actually used the word benign in his interview on Brazilian tv.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      Increase, you’re absolutely right about the ref. This whole match was an atrocity of no-calls.

      Then James Rodriguez gets a yellow for his first challenge of the match….

      • Paul Terry says:

        Your anti-Brazil bias is evident. The knee was a red card and a more dangerous challenge than even Suarez’s bite. Everybody every once in a while gets an undeserved yellow. The ref should be suspended from pontificating football.

        • frank from santiago says:

          funny thing is, the broadcast i was watching (in s. america and they called out the ref multiple times) kept mentioning that fifa was looking for the ref to officiate the actual finals.
          then again it’s fifa, nothing should surprise us at this point.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          “anti-Brazil bias”

          I’ve been a Brazil fan ever since I lived there over 20 years ago. For USA’s Independence Day, I chose to wear my Brazil blue “away” jersey to represent my two homes (since blue is a USA color). Nice try, but you’re too sensitive.

      • Mason says:

        Prior to the caution for interfering with the GK’s release of the ball back into play, there were 40 fouls without a caution.

        That’s BS.

  2. JayAre says:

    Sucks for the kid. Without him I think this might be Germany’s cup now.

    • Deutschbag says:

      Yeah, probably Germany

      But the topic today should really be about officiating.
      1.) FIFA tries to have refs from all over the world, but is everyone really up to the task?
      2.) How do you officiate the modern game with so much diving and faking?
      3.) So glad this wasn’t Geiger

      • Birgit Calhoun says:

        I wonder whether he was afraid of dishing out yellow or even red cards. This game was predestined to be won by Brazil. If Columbia had won, would the ref have come out alive?

        • Bee says:

          Columbia did not play

        • Iggy says:

          He was probably afraid because of that god awful yellow card accumulation rule. FIFA needs to change that. Even a blind man can see it hurts the game in so many ways.

        • GW says:

          Wilde Lake High school of Columbia Maryland won the MPSSAA championship in 1997 but I don’t know how they did this year and I doubt they are good enough to play in the World Cup.

          • JayAre says:

            Long Reach High School is the new cream of crop when it comes to High schools in Columbia Md, but I’m pretty sure they won’t be able to cope with the WC heat.

    • Landy Cakes says:

      It was always Germany’s cup (along with the Dutch). Brazil have been rubbish since their first match against Croatia.

      All I have to say is Vamos Ticos!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONCACAF THUNDER.

      • Dave says:

        Paul
        Carr
        Blow Your Mind
        Paul Carr Blows Your Mind

      • JayAre says:

        Today’s game should have showed you that the Ref’s love Brazil. It’s hard to count them out.

      • Paul Terry says:

        It’s nobody’s cup yet. Although I favor Germany now, Argentina is winning not playing awsome. Wait till they play awsome, thedutch will be dispatched 3-3 or 4-2 with a brace by Messi, that’s if they make it past Costa Rica, the best CONCACAF team in the tournament.

        • Landy Cakes says:

          Los Ticos are the second best CONCACAF team in the tournament as determined by world cup qualifying rankings. Snow Classico.

  3. James A. Bofill, MD says:

    Very sad for Neymar and Brazil. The challenge did not appear to be serious but X-rays and CT scans don’t lie. It will be interesting to watch Brazil park the bus against Germany. This is very unfair but the shoe is now on the other foot for Brazil.

    • Really? says:

      Park the bus? Brazil? On home soil? Shameful if they do. Too much talent to hide behind one kid.

    • Duke says:

      Yes, too bad about the kid. Im not sure Brazil would beat Germany anyway but now it’s even more strongly slanted towards Germany advancing. WIth the initial timeline given, I have to think its more of a crack then a total break… which is better I guess

  4. bodeguero says:

    Live by the sword, for by the sword.

    I fault Brazil for intentionally bringing a violent game plan knowing they would get away with it. That set the tone, and Colombia responded accordingly.

    • Dr.K says:

      stupid comment. If Brazil is violent , Then the Ref must punish them EARLY to stop the violence. Columbia was not the victim here. They were no less violent than Brazil. The REf made a victim of both teams. Worst job yet.

      • Bee says:

        Columbia played? At least get the spelling right, man..

      • Zocklo says:

        Columbia is not in the WC, Colombia is.

      • bodeguero says:

        Maybe it’s because I’m just too stupid, but I fail to see how my comment is stupid. And I fail to see how your supposedly smart comment — in which you stupidly misspell ColOmbia — really is all that different from mine. Please enlighten my stupid neanderthal mind as to where exactly I claim ColOmbia is the victim.

        • jill says:

          You made it sound like you thought colombia was the victim when you said ” colombia just responded accordingly ” along with how you said brazil brought an intentionally violent. game showing you thought of brazil as the aggresser

          • frank from santiago says:

            brazil had more fouls than colombia. they set the tone early and often, yet the ref swallowed his whistle.

    • Older & Wiser says:

      Agree absolutely. Ain’t karma a bitch? That was the worst, most-cynical rendering of the beautiful game I have ever seen. 40 fouls before the first half was even complete and a referee who apparently left his cards in his kit bag the first half. Ironic that after mugging Colombia in the first half Brazil gets undone by it’s own tactics in the second. No way this Brazil team beats Germany without Neymar and Thiago Silva (Silva apparently is as bright as Suarez). That ref should be ashamed of himself for failing to control the match. That was worse than watching Liga MX. As boring as Germany/France was in stretches, at least it was a soccer game, not a cage match.

  5. Del Griffin says:

    Hope their manager brought a like for like replacement

  6. deepvalue says:

    I hope Columbia has good body guards. Seriously, Brazil fans are going to be that angry.

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      Let’s not get that started. The story of the Escobars is still televised very frequently. I think I just saw it again on Wednesday.

    • Bee says:

      I’m not sure about Columbia but I know Colombia has.

      • Sunil Gulati says:

        My word this takes me back.

      • Paul Terry says:

        Troll, stop correcting people on the misspelling of Colombia. Colombia is a sh!t place only known for its crime, drugs and hoes. Nobody should like to live in that place, backwards la-mordida culture corrupt country. In other words, nobody cares about Colombia.

  7. quozzel says:

    Well, at least Brazil has an excuse to lose to Germany and not get their heads chopped off by an angry mob.

    Some ways, maybe this helps them. Now they’re underdogs, and the nation can get behind them. Certainly feels like dealing with pressure has been Brazil’s biggest problem through the tournament.

    They might actually have to play something other than a 4-3-3, as well. Germany will hog the ball and mow them down if they try that, especially with Neymar out; they’ll be defending with just seven and the three up top will never see the ball. Might force them to plug up the midfield a lot more than they would have done if Neymar had been available, which against Germany is not a bad idea, at all.

    • Landy Cakes says:

      So how much do you think Neymar paid the doctor to lie and say he was injured?

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      quozzel, all excellent points. And I think it could add up as you say except for the added loss of Thiago Silva. I don’t know how Brazil changes it’s formation to account for both absences.

      • Paul Terry says:

        Your anti-Brazil bias is evident. Wait until the game to rule them out. Brazil is not the USMNT, their players have way better quality. Neymar will be missed, but he has not scored or done much in the last two games. This Scolari same line-up sh!t was hurting them even when they were playing horribly. Dante, who knows Germans, will now be starting. Wait, just wait for the game.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          I’ve been a Brazil fan ever since I lived in its Nordeste over 20 years ago. I still consider it one of my two homes.

          Whatever you’re interpreting as “anti-Brazil bias” is a gross misinterpretation.

      • GW says:

        Dante for Silva,

        Willian for Neymar

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Yes, that makes sense as a change of lineup. I don’t think they need to change formation.

    • Duke says:

      Neymar really hasnt done much in the last couple of days. His being gone may not be as big a deal as everyone thinks but I agree, I think Germany would beat them anyway and now theres a save face excuse

  8. Clint says:

    What? Scolari didn’t bring a backup for Neymar?

  9. Vasco says:

    i thought the ref was horrible today. the cheap shot on Neymar was terrible too. knocking a guy down, requires body, not a knee raised to the lower back.

    I was looking forward to a great South American game, and we got diving whining, lousy ref, and a cheap shot that has now knocked out one of the best players in the game today.

    • Ali Dia says:

      It’s a bummer in that way, but I still thought the game was crazy entertaining S. American action, as promised.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        True—at least the first half. By the second, I was getting too frustrated by the refs letting so many dangerous fouls go.

  10. Dr.K says:

    Insanity! The foul on Neymar was and obvious RED. This was an intentional Attempt to injure. Each of these incidents must be dealt with regardless of what happened previously. Deliberate fouling to stop the flow of the game must be punished.This Ref was a catastrophy. The players could see that this ref was weak and you could intimidate him. The first brutal foul meant a talking to, so make your early fouls brutal ones. There is little to fear. The catastrophic English style Of talking to players and not interupting the flow has spread like a cancer, with the cynical brutality taking advantage without fear of punishment. Sad day for soccer today.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      I totally disagree with you that Zuniga went in with the intent to injure. The replay doesn’t show that at all (in my eyes).

      I do agree, however, that the “talking to” business is ridiculous. What, have the players never heard the rules before?

      Veteran Player: “I’m sorry ref, I didn’t know I couldn’t kick someone’s knee from behind.”

      Ref: “Oh, well in that case, I’ll just wave my hands in a ‘cut that out’ gesture.”

      • Paul Terry says:

        Maybe not to break his vertebrae, but with the intent to hurt, definitely.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Intent to hurt? Of course. You wanna show me how many of the 54+ tackles and fouls in that game were NOT committed with “intent to hurt”?

  11. MikeG says:

    I am all for letting the players play out the game and let small things go, but blatant fouls and the safety/rules of the game belong the the ref and linesmen. Sad officiating. As a result, somebody got hurt. Too bad for Neymar. I like his go for it nature. Luckily, his injury is not worse. I know from experience some hydro therapy in the pool will help him a lot in recovery that will reduce any kind of impact on the spine. Good luck in your recovery.

    • Dr.K says:

      If you played, then you know it is simple. Be violent early, for the ref will only give you a warning at worst. Try to tackle with intent to injure their best player if possible .See how the Ref responds That will dictate how violent you can be. The ultimate goal is to WIN. If you play with an English Ref, dont worry about violence, you will only get a talking to. Think about the last WC final with an English ref. Another catastrophy. Lets get real in this blog, for gods sake.

      • Mason says:

        Howard Webb did a lot more than talking in the last final. He awarded 14 yellows. You can’t really blame the English Referee if the Spanish and Dutch players want to have a street fight.

  12. BrianK says:

    Brazil was fortunate. Hulk was not touched on the ‘foul’ call that led to Liuz’s goal.

    • Paul Terry says:

      Brazil scored two legitimate goals and Colombia one pk goal. Based on the fact that games are won by the team that scores more goals, Brazil should advance to the next round because they scored more goals than Colombia in the game they mutually played. Is that clear enough?

    • Paul Terry says:

      What did Colombia do other than in the last 15-20 minutes to deserve the game more than Brazil, other than your biased anti-Brazil bigotry?

  13. Scott1 says:

    So, if this going to be review post-game and will a life time suspension be applied to the perpetrator??? Everyone wanted to ban Suarez forever.. So where is the justice. How about all the other red card offenses that occurred behind the ref’s back???

    • chuck says:

      Matuidi should be suspended until Onazi heals.

    • wfrw07 says:

      The Neymar foul didn’t happen behind the ref’s back. He called a foul, but played the advantage since Brazil broke free.

      • Scott1 says:

        Okay let me repeat, how about all the red card offenses that occurred behind the ref’s back.. in every game I have watched this world cup, and happens in many professional games??? When are they going to be reviewed and punishment applied after the fact?? Why does Suarez get punished and no one else?? It is absolute insanity I tell you!! Does anyone get this? Anyone???

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          I don’t see any relevance to Suarez.

          • Scott1 says:

            Ummm, they were both fouls? And Suarez sets a new precedence for punishment, obviously. Not sure what else to add here.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              Scott1: specifically, I don’t see any relevance of Suarez to Zuniga.

              They were both fouls. Apples and oranges are both fruit.

              I guess it’s fine to ask why other players aren’t punished for punches/kicks/pinches, but it seemed like you were trying to associate Zuniga and Suarez.

              • Scott1 says:

                “guess it’s fine to ask why other players aren’t punished for punches/kicks/pinches,”

                Yup, that’s what I was getting at.

        • Dan says:

          Scott1… I get!

  14. JP says:

    There is always discussion about getting rid of divers in the game, which I support.

    Can we start taking more often about getting rid of hackers?

    • Dr.K says:

      diving is a red herring by commentators who dont get it. Ifv someone dives, give them a yellow. Diving is much less dangerous than violence. Dont get distracted by non-violent diving. Focus in on the real danger to the game. That is violence against the skilled player. Protect the beauty , dont worry about harmless theatrics. Get over it, diving is amusing at worst.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      I hope you’re not suggesting that Zuniga is a “hacker.” He’s averaged only 1 foul per game.

  15. Talon says:

    Neymar is a victim of Brazil’s style. This is not the first time they bring the overly physical style of play. Live by the sword……..

    • Dr.K says:

      Sure, Blame the victim. How pathetically stupid .How shallow in a partisan type of way. The buffoon should say that Neymar is the victim of COLUMBIAS style. Certtainly Brazil should have BROKEN James leg if that was their style. What stupidity. Are you saying that Brazil was not violent enough? Then at least you would be honest.

      • bodeguero says:

        I kinda sorta think he’s blaming the *aggressor*. Brazil set the tone very early and very strongly. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Ref let the match get out of control, and this is the type of thing that happens in those matches.

        • Paul Terry says:

          That was a cheap knee from behind in the back. Zuniga is a coward for doing that. Zuniga is a low life Colombian scum who hurt one of the best players in the world purposely without being penalized by the ref or FIFA for it. I DON’T CARE HOW PHYSICAL BRAZIL WAS BEFORE THAT.

        • Mason says:

          At one point there had been 40 straight fouls called with no cards. Of those fouls, Brazil had committed 24 and COL had committed 16. Brazil was giving as good as they got.

  16. Angelo says:

    Dirty Colombians just showing who they are are and what they represent.

  17. Garth says:

    Agreed, the refereeing was terrible. Good point but yellow card accumulation encouraging refs to avoid them. Due to the fouling, the game itself was choppy and lacked any flow. James was targeted by Brazil and Neymar by Colombia. The ref’s job includes giving out yellow card for frequent fouling not to mention the out and out violent hacking.

    • Dr.K says:

      yes I agree with you but lets not be afraid of RED cards if warranted, not the automatic first card yellow.

    • GW says:

      This was a World cup quarterfinal with a semifinal spot at stake.

      The “physicality” on display seemed about par for the course.

  18. FRANK says:

    WE CAN SPELL COLUMBIA WHATEVER WAY. IT DOESN’T MATTER. NEYMAR IS STILL OUT
    BRING ON THE BEAST MODE HULK

    • CSD says:

      Hulk from what I have seen has been their most dynamic attacking player. He seems to always look dangerous on the attack during the tournament.

    • Ali Dia says:

      I have no idea if this is “FRANK” or if there even is such a thing but the man is correct. And he is being way more polite than Joey Barton would. Brazil should be flat-out embarrassed if they can’t move on and win without Neymar. They have supreme talent and they are playing on home soil, with only two matches standing between them and glory. Is a 19 year old kid really the excuse if they don’t win?

      He is amazing, no doubt, but this a shambles of a fear for a team with their luxury-car talent. For Christ’s sake, USMNT managed to get out of the qualifying heats while driving a beat-down, decades-old Dodge Dart with the muffler dragging along behind and a badly stained Chris Armas air freshner hanging from the rear-view. If we hadn’t become distracted by that Waffle House we’d be pulling that jalopy up to play Argentina tm.

      • Vasco says:

        AGREED

      • GW says:

        What year Dodge Dart? They were pretty reliable, solid if unspectacular.
        Wiring up a dragging muffler is no big deal.

        I don’t remember Armas ever getting an air freshener endorsement deal. .

    • deno says:

      nope, not FRANK

    • keith forest dweller says:

      Common courtesy to honour other countries by correct spelling would be appreciated by all.

      • GW says:

        A lot of people here would be upset at routinely spelling it:

        The United States of Amorica, or Amarica, or Amurica, or Amirica,

  19. CSD says:

    I don’t like him and won’t miss him. Brazil still wins the Cup.

    • CSD says:

      I thought it was a great game today. Even with the physicality the game was played at a hectic pace.

  20. deno says:

    The boy who cried wolf.

  21. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Zuniga is right that these kinds of challenges are normal parts of the game. Just ask, for example, Modric who suffered an elbow to the neck from—you guessed it—Neymar in the opening match: link to youtube.com

    I never wish injury on anyone, but I won’t be sad to be able to root for Brazil without having to watch Neymar’s crybaby face faking injury every two minutes. (No, I do not believe that he is faking this particular 1 out of 100.)

    Anyway, that was one of the worst refs ever. Did not protect the players at all—including Neymar, who incidentally should have already earned a red card before this foul: one yellow earlier for his dive(s), then a second yellow for encroaching on the free kick.

    • Fahq says:

      I honestly didn’t think Neymar was even hurt there, it was the exact same reaction to contact he’d already shown 10 times in that game.

      I also can’t believe with a possible back injury the physios just lifted and rolled him into the stretcher without a brace or board. Do they not understand basic spinal injury procedure in Brazil?

      • empty space says:

        I think your first sentence answers your question.

      • Vasco says:

        Don;t forget the bouncing around while jogging off of the field. I mentioned it to my wife while they were doing it.

      • vlad says:

        Don’t criticize something you have absolutely no clue about. The rolled Neymar onto his side and then put the stretcher against his back and rolled it back with him on top. It is the exact same procedure we teach EMTs and Paramedics

    • Paul Terry says:

      There was short pass in the free kick which allowed Neymar and his team mate to encroach the actual shot. Review it and stop misinforming those you deem slower than you. Neymar flops the same as those nasty Colombian players; did you not see that Brazil got called for more fouls, many that were not really fouls? The one that comes to mind is the free kick awarded to Colombia on a supposed foul by I believe Fernandinho in the 36th minute, when the replay clearly showed a mutual challenge by both player, but since the Colombian player faked the injury the ref whistled.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        “those nasty Colombian players”

        Well well well, you’re looking all over for bias, but don’t need to look far.

        The falsely called foul in the 36th minute was indeed by Fernandinho on Ibarbo. You’re right that it was a bad call. You’re absolutely wrong that Ibarbo faked injury. He was off balance because of how he had shot his foot in the air (as was Fernandinho), fell over, then sat up and adjusted his sock. No rolling, no grabbing his ankle, no pouting sad face for the camera or the ref.

        The “short pass” amounted to merely tapping the ball, which hardly even moved. Before the tap, Fernandinho was already encroaching—I rewatched it from the main feed and the tactical cam. The timing is very close though, so I agree that Neymar perhaps did not encroach. But no question that Fernandinho did.

  22. NASL TO EL PASO TX 915, even MLS now :) says:

    Refs this World Cup have been really bad, and players hit harder than before. The game is too fast and tougher for today’s refs, they are old and slow.
    FIFA needs to add technology, an extra card like orange and take the player out for 5 minutes.
    Something has to happen, review plays during half time and give them the yellow or red during halftime.
    Something has to happen, iprefs are slow and FIFA needs to punish the dirty players and floppers.

  23. keith says:

    Flopping ruins the game and drives off new viewers and is disgusting for the players….but BIASED refereeing is deadly and cannot be tolerated at any level or it will kill the sport. I think it is clear to all that the ref did not do his job and allowed Brazil to play hack the star first and naturally Colombia is not going to be intimidated at this level on the world stage and we have war on the soccer field and everyone loses. The FIFA bosses better get on this and quit playing games and politics with playing mouth service to integrity and gentlemen’s play with honour, and put the fun back into a great game.

  24. Ando says:

    I am very sorry that Neymar was injured. It is not what any football fan should want.

    When I saw Neymar go down with his injury, I thought it was fake. As others have stated, his reaction looked the same as many other times in this game and the other games in the cup where he wasn’t even touched at all. Neymar is not alone in this. We have seen the same from every team in this Cup. It has really gotten to the point where, if you are not embellishing the slightest contact or near contact, you are not playing smart football.

    Something needs to be done about that. The only discipline that a Referee can give is a yellow or red card. A Red card ruins a game, unless you find something interesting about a team playing a man down. Yellow cards in a tournament can also ruin future games thanks to the accumulation rules. For me it is understandable that a Referee wants to be very careful about going to his pocket. The Referee does not want to be fooled into handing out a decision that can be so consequential.

    How is a referee supposed to do a good job when a player’s reaction looks the same when an opponent does not actually touch him as when an opponent does something that truly merits a yellow or red card?

    • The Fix? says:

      I think you are onto something with the increasing difficulty of refereeing matches in a backdrop of constant embellishment of fouls/pain/injury, combined with a tournament setting where so much is at stake and cards/card accumulation can dramatically alter the fortunes and abilities of teams. There is no perfect solution. Pull out the card quickly and you are often rewarding the embellishment, which will only grow that facet of the game. Keep the cards in your pocket and you can turn a game into an uncontrollable, dangerous mess.

      I know it might be slightly “Americanizing” a beautiful and historically non-American sport, but I think the answer might lie in a combination of post-match replay review and discipline, as well as a rule change.

      For post-match replay review and discipline, all fouls and cards would be re-watched by a committee from every available replay angle. If video can show there was no contact, or blatant embellishment (still a judgement call, but one that a three person committee could reasonably be trusted to ascertain from thorough study of the video, as well as the aftermath of the event), then the guilty player receives an automatic 1 game suspension no matter what, and automatic 2 game suspension if replay shows them subsequently campaigning for a card after the fact.

      The rule change would be that if any player is down on the ground after a foul (or really for any reason (cramp, late-reaction to an injury, etc.), they have a fixed amount of time on the ground (let’s say 30 seconds) during which they have to either arise and rejoin the action, arise and get themselves off the field allowing play to continue, or confirm that they need on-field attention from the team physios. If the physios are waved onto the field, that player would then not be allowed to re-enter the match for another set amount of time (2 minutes? 3 minutes? 5? The exact correct amount is certainly open to debate) no matter what the state of their injury or lack of injury.

      If they went down (legitimately or illegitimately) but know they are fine, then they can get right back up and play on. If they are hurting, and genuinely want a little time to recover/”walk it off”/or receive some medical attention but know they aren’t drastically injured, they have the option of getting themselves off the field within those 30 seconds to take whatever time they want/need on the sideline (where they can also receive medical attention if they desire) without then having the mandatory time off the field added on. If they are genuinely concerned over their medical state, then they can stay down, can receive on-field assistance or treatment from the medical staff, but have to subsequently serve the mandatory time off the field.

      These two measures (post-game replay review, and the rule change) would drastically eliminate diving/embellishment, and by doing so, allow referees to be more certain that a card is warranted in situations where they see fit, without the worry that they are being played.

      • Scott1 says:

        I like the idea of something like hockey, where a guy goes into a penalty box. Depending on the severity of the foul he can be sent off and the team plays 1 man down for the rest of the game. Or maybe he stays off until the other team scores a goal. Or if it is a yellow card infraction, maybe he goes off for 5 or 10 minutes. And so on, but let the ref have better options.

  25. JPS says:

    In fútbol, is it similar to American football where you’re supposed to “play the ball, not the player” ? Because when you watch the replay of Zuniga’s challenge on Neymar, it sure looks like he was focused entirely on Neymar, not the ball. He was up very high, put his knee in his back and then pushed his head–all the time looking straight at Neymar–don’t think he had any idea where the ball was. And it was clear immediately that Neymar was NOT faking–watch the video–he was in horrendous pain.
    By the way fellow USA fans–why not let the World Cup tweak your geography beyond 3rd or 4th grade–like where Colombia is and how to spell it!

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      So much wrong with this comment, but I’ll just sick with pointing out that Zuniga was clearly looking up at the ball. He knew exactly where it – and Zuniga – were.

  26. Kay says:

    suarez’s foul was not anticipated in football , although benign. Nobody thought biting is an adults’s form of response to anything in the field. The other fouls in the books are well documented ; for which could end a players’s careers.
    Just because biting is seen to be as strange, weird; Suarez gets 4 months and the guy being bitten didn’t even feel the pain after 3 minutes. It is just an irony..