Brazilian Super Star, Neymar Jnr, in an exclusive interview with The Players’ Tribune has revealed how the injury he sustained in 2014 World Cup quarterfinal game against Colombia could have permanently crippled him. Neymar had been the standout performer for Brazil,tipped by 10bet as favourites for the 2014 World Cup title title. The then Barcelona forward’s magical feet had helped the Selecao progress to the quarter final stage of the competition where they beat South American rivals Colombia by a 2:1 scoreline. Goals from Thiago Silva and David Luiz, the latter a superb free kick, had helped eased Brazil to a win that was only marred by Neymar’s tournament ending injury which he sustained a few minutes before the close of the game.
Speaking to former Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique, who was the guest interviewer on behalf of the website,the talented playmaker painstakingly recalled the aftermath of the challenge which made him unable to play a part in Brazil’s infamous 7:1 thrashing by Germany at the Belo Horizonte and the eventual 3rd place playoff defeat by Holland.
Neymar’s injury had occurred, with just two minutes left to play in the win over Colombia. Napoli full-back Juan Zuniga had kneed the Brazil number 10 in the back, infamously escaping without a card but leaving the playmaker with a fractured vertebra that could have confined him to a wheelchair.
“I remember that I had my head on the ground, and Marcelo was saying: ‘No, no…Get the doctors in.’ And I said: ‘No, no, no. I want to play.’ Because I wanted to score,” Neymar said.
“But I couldn’t manage to lift my legs. I couldn’t move my legs. And the doctor took me out and I started to … to cry, because it was very painful and I didn’t feel anything.
“I didn’t feel my legs, so I went to the hospital that’s in the stadium. And there they left me and I remember that I was with my leg bent like this, and when I stretched it out …
“Then I went to the hospital, did the tests and all, and they told me: ‘I have two pieces of news. One good and one bad.’
“And I was like: ‘The bad one first.’ ‘The bad one: You can’t play the World Cup. It’s over for you.’
“And I’m like: ‘What’s the good one?’ ‘The good one is that afterwards you will be able to walk, because two centimetres to the side …'”
Fortunately for Neymar(and perhaps the football world), he made a full recovery and, with Pique, helped Barcelona win the Liga title and the Champions League the following season.
They added another league title before Neymar left for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record summer move after Pique had said on social media he believed he would stay.
The 25-year-old has teamed up with teenager Kylian Mbappe at PSG, forging a formidable goal scoring trio with Edinson Cavani.
He praised Mbappe, adding: “I see him doing very well. He’s a great player. He’s got a lot of quality. He’s someone who’ll end up in the football history books.
“Yes, he has a lot of quality, if he continues like this. He’s a good guy, he works hard. I think he has a bright future.”