This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 18 October, 2018
Advertisement

Neymar says he almost lost his ability to walk from 2014 World Cup back injury

The Brazil international suffered fractured vertebrae against Colombia.

NEYMAR HAS RECALLED the brutal memory of his injury at the 2014 World Cup, revealing that he could not move his legs after his clash with Juan Zuniga.

During Brazil’s 2-1 win quarter-final win over Colombia, Neymar was tackled from behind by Zuniga, with a knee to his back leaving the PSG superstar with fractured vertebrae.

Then at Barcelona, Neymar was subsequently ruled out of the remainder of the tournament, and missed Brazil’s 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals as a result.

Neymar had no idea of the severity of his injury initially, insisting that he wished to continue, and says that it was Real Madrid left-back Marcelo who initially noticed how serious the winger’s injury was.

“When he tackles me, I feel a reaction, but I try to get up. I was in a lot of pain and I remember that I had my head on the ground and Marcelo was saying “no, no, get the doctors in.” I said: “No, no, no, I want to play” because I wanted to score,” he said in an interview with former team-mate Gerard Pique.

“I couldn’t turn and the doctors came in… I couldn’t manage to lift my legs. I couldn’t move my legs and the doctor took me out and I started to cry because it was 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 and when I stretched it out… incredible pain. Incredible. Then I understood that there was no way I could continue.”

Neymar has even revealed that the injury was so bad he could have lost the ability to walk completely.

He added: “Then I went to the hospital, did the tests, and they told me: ‘I have two pieces of news. One good and one bad. The bad one: you can’t play at the World Cup, it’s over for you.” And I’m like: ‘what’s the good one?’

“‘The good news is that afterwards, you will be able to walk, because two centimetres to the side… football is over for you.’ And, well, there I just wanted them to tell my family. And they were all there, my girlfriend, dad, mom and sister, they tell them that they can see me and, well, then a whole bad week started.

“[I watched the semi-final] at home because when I got injured I went to the team camp where my team-mates were and took my stuff, saw the doctor and so on and then went home by helicopter because I couldn’t move my legs. I was in a wheelchair and I went home, and there I watched it all.”

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next:

COMMENTS (7)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel