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Neymar feared he was paralyzed by challenge that ended his World Cup

Jul 6, 2014, 10:11 AM EDT

Neymar AP

On Friday, Neymar’s World Cup came to a sickening end. An 88th minute challenge from Colombia’s Juan Camilo Zúñiga left the Brazilian stretched flat on the pitch, unable to move. The stretcher came and Neymar was carried away, leaving Brazil to ultimately secure their 2-1 victory.

Later that night came the news: Brazil might be headed for the semi-final, but Neymar wouldn’t be with them. The foul had fractured one of his vertebrae, ruling him out for four to six weeks.

But initially, Neymar and his teammates feared it to be much, much worse.

Luiz Felipe Scolari explained to Spanish newspaper Marca that Neymar initially feared he was paralyzed. “I can’t feel my legs”, the forward told teammate Marcelo, according to Scolari.

The coach continued, “Marcelo was scared and called the doctor on but the doctor couldn’t get on in the confusion. It was a big shock, the image of Neymar being stretchered off to the helicopter, in difficulty, crying.”

Brazil – the players, the coaching staff, the vast majority of the population – have been devestated by Neymar’s injury. Scolari added: “Neymar was our benchmark, one of our references because he is a player who makes a difference in any team. We’re in a situation where we’ve lost something we don’t want to miss, especially for the semi-final and final.”

It may be little consolation right now, but at least Brazil have not permanently lost Neymar. The possibility that the 22-year-old, who is so able to dazzle crowds with his impressive feats, might have been paralyzed…well, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

  1. 4thquartermagic - Jul 6, 2014 at 10:23 AM

    Damn. Gotta take the sting out of not playing in the cup when you realized you thought you were paralyzed.

    Hope he can regain his health and get his career back on track

    See you in 2018 Neymar.

  2. matt14gg - Jul 6, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    That’s ridiculous…you cannot be paralyzed by a fracture that low down in your back. And he was moving his legs the whole time. These guys love the drama…I guess part of being great is that you have to have a hero complex.

    • thesixersbench - Jul 7, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      Hot take, bro.

  3. ningenito78 - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    He was moving his legs around when he was on the ground. Keep milking Neymar.

  4. martin492013 - Jul 6, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Yo Losers! Did you ever think that along with the fracture he might have had several crushed nerves etc….That would have lead to the loss of feeling in his legs……Back injuries can cause problems elsewhere……Such as the loss of feeling to parts of your legs and your feet.

    • matt14gg - Jul 6, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Actually you have no idea what you’re talking about. You can “crush” all the nerves you want (which isn’t really possible anyway) in that part of your back and you’re still not going to feel like you’re paralyzed. And again, HE WAS MOVING HIS LEGS, WHICH WOULDN’T BE POSSIBLE IF HE WAS PARALYZED.

      Look I get it, Neymar’s your hero, so you’ll believe anything, but in reality you’re just hearing what you want to hear, regardless of whether it has any basis in reality.

      • braxtonrob - Jul 6, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        @matt14gg, Soooo, if an injury makes you feel numbness to the point that in combination with a rush of adrenaline you don’t NOTICE that you still have feeling in your legs … (you see where I’m going with this Doctor Matt).

        He said he FEARED he was paralyzed. It happens (whether your bias against Neymar himself will allow you to believe or not).

      • martin492013 - Jul 6, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        I don’t like Neymar at all actually, lol

  5. txbearmeat - Jul 6, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Look: Neymar was afraid. Very understandable. But he’s also a drama queen. Unfortunately his acting and sobbing on the field in the past in order to draw fouls and cards has tainted his believability to fans and fellow players alike. When I was little my dad told me not to cry WOLF unless it really was a wolf. Cause then when the wolf really comes…no one believes you.

    I’m sorry for Neymar’s injury. But he brought the skepticism on himself. Maybe if he learned to act more honorably in competition he’d get more sympathy when he’s really hurt.

  6. simonkulberg - Jul 6, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Now that they mention it I think I am about to become paralyzed by all the girlish crying at this World Cup. If a guy cries when he sings a song entirely off key of course he`s gonna cry when you hit his back. I`m pretty sure you`have had to lop Vinnie Jones` head off to make him cry back when football was for real people.

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