This was a knee to backbone deliberate premeditated attack. This was an immediate red card. This was criminal behavior.
Neymar Airlifted From Brazil's Training Camp
When the plane arrived in Rio early Saturday, teammates came one by one to embrace him as he sat in a wheelchair waiting to be taken into the ambulance...... The 22-year-old Neymar broke his third vertebra after being kneed in the back by Colombian player Juan Camillo Zuniga in the 86th minute at the Arena Castelao....... Doctors said he will not need surgery but is expected to be sidelined for at least four weeks. The player is wearing a strap to help keep his back immobilized........ Seeking its sixth world title, Brazil will play Germany in Tuesday's semifinal in Belo Horizonte. The final is next Sunday, with the third-place game a day earlier......Neymar was carried off the field in tears on a stretcher and "screamed in pain in the dressing room" before being taken to a hospital for tests, the Brazilian confederation said in a statement......Neymar had been one of the standout players of the World Cup, scoring four goals in the team's first three games.....Fans watching the Argentina vs. Belgium quarterfinal in Brasilia on Wednesday at times chanted "Neymar, Neymar."
Zuniga apologizes to Neymar for tackle
Colombia defender Camilo Zuniga has sent a letter of apology to Neymar, saying he is “deeply sorry and sad” for causing the injury that knocked the Brazil striker out of the World Cup......In a statement distributed Saturday by the Colombia team, Zuniga says “although I feel the situation was normal in a game, there was no bad intention, malice or negligence on my part.”Neymar injury robs Brazil and the World Cup of its star attraction
Ronaldo spoke as he once played, speeding to his target. “It was a very violent, unlawful tackle,’’ Ronaldo said. “We all have to fight for football to have more fair play. We have to demand that sanctions to be given to violent players. I am in favour of very severe sanctions to those who don’t want to play football and just want to do such violent tackles. It was an evil tackle.’’ ........ The way that Zuniga leapt into Neymar, the speed, force and angle of the knee would suggest this was no normal sporting collision. As well as calling on Fifa to punish Zuniga, Ronaldo argued that the incident accelerated the arrival of video technology. “I’m in favour,’’ Ronaldo said. “We have goal-line technology brought in for this World Cup and it’s not been a hindrance.” ......Yet that was for issues of fact, of whether the ball has crossed the line. Establishing intent such as Zuniga’s was more difficult. “This debate about technology in football has to grow. We should use technology on behalf of football.” On protecting the stars. ...... Agreement came from Cannavaro, who gave a defender’s insight into the situation. The man who led Italy to 2006 World Cup glory was a defender of great stealth and timing, who used intelligence rather than belligerence in challenging for the ball. “I didn’t like that high knee,’’ Cannavaro said of Zuniga. “When Neymar had the ball, there was no possibility of his [Zuniga] getting the ball like this. Neymar is not transparent. It was a foul with intention to cause harm. It will be very hard for Fifa to accept such a challenge because it is very evident foul. Everybody who has ever played the game knows that.’’ ...... Ronaldo texted his stricken compatriot. “I sent Neymar a message, conveying my support and solidarity. I told him the whole country is proud of him and the team will win the World Cup and dedicate it to him. ...... “No German fan or player is happy with Neymar being injured. We want the spirit of fair play and that wasn’t there [by Zuniga]. But Brazil don’t just have 11 players. They have a very good squad. I think Dante will play instead of Thiago Silva and he’s used to pressure because he plays for Bayern Munich where there’s a constant obligation to perform. Thiago Silva is easily replaceable. To replace Neymar is just not possible. It could be Willian who is used to pressure, having played for Shakhtar and now for Chelsea.’’....... Ronaldo responded, issuing a rallying cry: “We are fearful and sad about out loss but if the German team believe they are going to come against weak, demoralised team because of the loss of Neymar, the Germans will be making an enormous mistake. Brazil are never made up of just one player. Pele got hurt in the 1962 World Cup [against Czechoslovakia] and Brazil still won. We’ve lost a very important figure, our main reference, but perhaps Fred may step up and become a more important player for Brazil......... “I believe we will win [against Germany] because I believe so much in our national team.”