Fortaleza: Neymar has been “hunted” throughout the World Cup, Brazil’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said on Friday as his star striker was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a fractured vertebrae. Neymar was carried off in agony after a heavy challenge from Juan Zuniga towards the end of Brazil’s 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia in Fortaleza.

Also read: Injured Neymar ruled out of the FIFA World Cup

Neymar
Brazil's Neymar in the throes of pain during the World Cup quarter-final against Colombia in Fortaleza on Friday. Pic: AP/PTI.

Hospital tests showed that the 22-year-old had a fractured third vertebrae and would not play again in Brazil’s campaign. Brazil play Germany in the semi-final on Tuesday and will also be without captain Thiago Silva who is suspended.

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“I have been saying for three matches that Neymar has been hunted, but all the other countries say it is not true and it is only their players that are hunted,” said Scolari.

Neymar waves from inside the helicopter
Neymar waves from inside the helicopter transporting him home

Scolari fumed that Silva had been booked for impeding a clearance from Colombian ‘keeper David Ospina.

Brazil appeared to have had the game won when David Luiz’s free-kick doubled his side’s advantage midway through the second-half after Silva’s early opener. However, James Rodriguez’s penalty 10 minutes from time cut the deficit.