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Neymar tears up in first interview since injury; will root for Messi

Jul 11, 2014, 7:42 AM EDT

Brazil Soccer WCup AP

Neymar had to wipe tears away as he spoke with reporters for the first time since being removed from the field on a stretcher during last week’s World Cup quarterfinal against Colombia.

It was a tournament that saw his already-bright public star met by strong on-field play, but instead ended with near paralysis after Colombia’s Juan Zuniga intentionally-fouled the 22-year-old Brazilian with a knee to the lower back.

Just like that, Neymar’s dreams of lifting the World Cup Trophy in his home nation turned to dust.

And the superstar seems to still be reeling from the event.

From the AP’s Tales Azzoni:

“If it had been 2 centimeters to the center…,” he said, struggling to stay composed. “I could be in a wheelchair.”

The 22-year-old striker complained about Zuniga’s challenge, although he said the Colombian called to apologize.

“I don’t know if he was trying to hurt me, but if you understand football you know that it was not a normal challenge,” Neymar said. “I can’t protect myself when I’m not facing the play. The only thing that can protect me from someone coming from behind are the rules. I couldn’t protect myself and I ended getting hurt.”

Calling it the “worst week of my life”, Neymar talked about not being able to play in Brazil’s 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals. He said losing would’ve been understandable, but the blowout was unacceptable.

The Barcelona attacked also said he will be rooting for his club teammates Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano to win despite Brazil’s rivalry with Argentina.

“I’m not cheering for Argentina, I’m cheering for my teammates,” he said.

Neymar said that it would be good for football to have Messi winning a world title.

“He deserves to be a world champion,” he said. “I’m Messi Football Club.”

  1. jhnyr45 - Jul 11, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    proof read! You Just called Neymar Messi, what are you doing

    • Nicholas Mendola - Jul 11, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      Your eyes must be deceiving you…

      • jhnyr45 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM

        Thats because you fixed it, good job proofreading before hand …”Calling it the “worst week of my life”, Neymar talked about not being able to play in Brazil’s 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals.” originally it said Messi

      • Nicholas Mendola - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        I haven’t the faintest idea what you are talking about…

    • mox19380 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      yeah not sure where you saw that.

  2. chunkala - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    The referees will surely be rooting for Messi as well.

  3. herogoesallin - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    little pu***.
    hup holland hup.

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