For many Brazilians, Tuesday's semi-final defeat against the Germans was the ultimate humiliation.
Forget Brazil’s defeat to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup Final at the Maracana. Tuesday was far worse.
Amazingly however, things could actually turn even more sour this weekend. With their players deflated and embarrassed after their 7-1 defeat on Tuesday, Brazil could well lose their third place play-off against the Netherlands in Brasilia, and Sunday could see fierce rivals Argentina claim their third World Cup title right in the heart of Rio de Janeiro.
While players such as David Luiz have dramatically sunk from hero to zero after the German semi-final, the injured star Neymar was spared any responsibility in Brazil's abject performance due to injury.
However, at a press conference yesterday he seemed to risk the wrath of his countrymen by saying he would like to see the Argentinians defeat the Germans at the Maracana.
Neymar said, "I wish both teams luck and I hope my team mates will win. I have two who play for Argentina, (Lionel) Messi and (Javier) Mascherano. I really hope Messi will win because with all his history. He’s had so much success. He’s won nearly everything in his career and I think he deserves to be a World champion. That’s why I’m supporting him. He’s a friend and a team mate."
Messi suffered from growth hormone deficiency as a child and Barcelona helped to pay for his treatment in his early teens.
Speaking about Brazil's unsuccessful tournament, Neymar added, "We failed. We made mistakes. There was a lot left to be desired. We know we have not had a good World Cup campaign. We have not shown our best as a national side. We have been average and that’s why we only got to the semi-finals."
Neymar became tearful when speaking about the challenge by Colombia's Juan Zuniga that put him out of the World Cup. Zuniga's knee went into Neymar's back, breaking his third vertebra.
"I don’t agree with what he did. It was unacceptable," Neymar said. "I’m not going to say it was malicious because I don’t know what he was thinking. But anyone who understands football knows that was not a normal challenge.
"God blessed me in this attack. If it had been two centimetres more...I could have ended up in a wheelchair."Reuse content