Neymar Is Out of the World Cup

Brazil’s best player has a fractured vertebrae

It seemed bound to happen: a glittering superstar ruled out of the World Cup’s final, most dramatic stages. And it finally it did, to maybe tournament’s brightest star, Brazil’s Neymar. The offense took place in the 88th minute no less, with the Seleção up 2–1 in the quarterfinal against Colombia when Juan Zuniga awkwardly jumped into the unsuspecting wunderkind’s back with his knee. Neymar was stretched off the field and taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured vertebrae. Brazil, though into the semifinal, has looked underwhelming, except, that is, for Neymar. Now it’ll have to get past the impressive Germans without him. A Messi-Neymar final would have been one for the ages. Now, even if Brazil and Argentina do get to the Maracanã on July 13, that grandiose stage will be without one of the sport’s great protagonists. A shame really.