Neymar out of World Cup 2014: Juan Camilo Zuniga - 'I did not deliberately try to injure your hero'
Colombia defender insists the broken vertebrae suffered by Neymar was not a result of a deliberate attempt to hurt him
Saturday 05 July 2014
The Colombia defender who ended Neymar’s World Cup insisted that he did not deliberately try to injure the Brazilian superstar.
As Fifa announced an investigation into the tackle, Juan Zuniga said: “We wanted to score, and it was a tough game. Brazil was marking strongly. I hope it’s nothing serious, let’s pray to God,”.
“On the pitch I’m defending my shirt, my country, but I didn’t expect him to fracture a vertebrae. He is a great talent for Brazil and for the world.”
Zuniga jumped into Neymar’s back and his knee struck the Brazilian’s third vertebra two minutes from the final whistle, dealing a major blow to the hosts who are seeking a sixth world title.
“It’s a normal action, I tried to shadow him,” Zuniga said. “I was not thinking of hurting him. I was defending my country’s colours. Sadly it happened this way. I hope he gets well, God willing.”
Neymar, who netted four times in the tournament, won’t need surgery but will be out for several weeks, team doctors said.
Latest in Sport
Tony Bellew vs Nathan Cleverly: Bellew takes his revenge with points win over Cleverly
Perth midfielder Ruben Zadkovich sent off 17 seconds after coming on against Wellington
England vs Samoa match report: England finally end losing streak as Jonny May stars in unspectacular win ahead of Wallabies showdown
Manchester United transfer news: Robin van Persie could leave this summer with Edinson Cavani and Thomas Muller on United wish-list
Arsenal vs Manchester United match report: Wayne Rooney and a Keiran Gibbs own goal make Gunners rue missed chances
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'