Hunza News

Ahead of D-Day, Brazil prays for Neymar miracle

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RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil talisman Neymar Jr would’ve been paralysed for the rest of his life if Colombia defender Zuniga had hit him just 2.3cm higher during Brazil vs Colombia’s quarter-final, doctors said after the World Cup host witnessed the exit of one of its star players.

HunzaNews, July 8th, 2014.

Neymar himself feared the worst after the tackle as he reportedly told Brazilian left back Marcelo he couldn’t feel his legs moments after a nasty challenge by Zuniga led to a broken vertebra and most definitely the end of Neymar’s World Cup stint. However, some in the country still believe in the impossible and improbable – a Neymar comeback in the final if Brazil make it past the Germans and a Brazil victory with or without Neymar.

Just minutes before the challenge, Brazilians were seen unrestrained on the streets of Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, as they were well on their way to victory with a 2-1 lead against Colombia. Heavily guarded by police and army personnel, a sense of volatility enveloped the streets of Rio as one walked down the streets in utter amazement. Anything was possible. Anything.

Tens of thousands chanted famous Brazilian songs. “We are Brazilian and we are proud to be Brazilian,” was one of the more popular ones being shouted out by men, women, children, of all ages at the top of their lungs.

And yet, it only took one moment to change all of that.

One replay of the Zuniga challenge, which seemed more like a Muay Thai move, was enough for the cariocas, residents of Rio de Janeiro, to realise something was terribly wrong; that despite being on their way into the semi-final, they had lost the man who is often seen as the rightful heir to Brazilian football legend Pele.

Moments after Neymar was hauled off the pitch, a doctor ruled that he would not be able to play any more World Cup matches.

Reactions to Neymar’s untimely departure from the world’s most watched sporting event have been intense. Many are at a loss to explain where this injury has left Brazil at a crucial stage in the tournament.

“We will never lose hope but it has upset the entire nation. The foul seemed premeditated and unnecessary,” said Edmar, a physiotherapist in Rio.

Teams are generally vague when it comes to revealing information about the injury status of their players but in the case of Neymar, the verdict was fairly straightforward: his World Cup was over.

There is still a sense of hope among Brazilians that the star dribbler will somehow make a miraculous return.

For now, a nation of close to 200 million will have to wait with bated breath to see whether they even need their shining star, Neymar, to make it to the World Cup final.

Express Tribune

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