RIO DE JANEIRO, June 6- Brazil’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has revealed Neymar feared he was paralysed following the challenge by Colombia’s Juan Zúñiga that has ruled him out for the rest of the World Cup.
Neymar was taken off on a stretcher during Brazil’s 2-1 quarter-final victory before he was taken to a private clinic in Fortaleza where an X-ray revealed he had fractured one of his vertebrae.
Rodrigo Lasmar, the Brazil team doctor, confirmed the injury would rule the Barcelona forward out for four to six weeks, ending his participation at the World Cup, but Scolari has said Neymar initially feared it was far worse.
“He said: ‘I can’t feel my legs’,” Scolari told Marca, explaining the details of Neymar’s conversation with Marcelo on the pitch.
“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.”
Neymar has scored four goals to help the Seleção to the semi-final and his absence for Tuesday’s clash with Germany, as well as a potential first final appearance for Brazil since 2002 has been widely felt in his home country.
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.”