By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Neymar, scorer of four goals at the FIFA World Cup, will miss the rest of the tournament after suffering a broken bone in his back following a challenge from Juan Zuniga, the Colombia right-back. The initial prognosis is that the Seleção No. 10 will be out of action for anything between six and twelve weeks.
While his injury does not require surgery, and is not as serious as first feared, his dreams of playing in a World Cup final at the Maracanã are over, not just this year but, one would imagine, for good.
It is undoubtedly a serious blow for the Seleção (Brazil national team). They have managed to reach their first semi-final since 2002, the last time they lifted the World Cup.
That means the goalscoring burden falls primarily on Fred’s shoulders. One of the stars of the Confederations Cup triumph last June, when the Fluminense striker scored five goals, his tale this year is a very different one. With just one goal to his name in the competition, he has become the target of ire for many home fans.
Statistics published this week have shown Fred to be the worst Brazil center forward in the history of the World Cup, dating all the way back to the tournament’s inauguration in 1930. As well as that solitary goal, scored against an already eliminated Cameroon side, Fred has managed only ten shots on goal in five outings.
Brazil play Germany in the semi-finals today at 5PM local time (4PM EST) at the Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte. The Seleção will also be missing captain and central defender Thiago Silva, who will serve a one game suspension after collecting a second yellow card in the quarter-final against Colombia
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