Neymar is convinced that Brazil can win the World Cup without him.
Brazil's World Cup star and poster boy was ruled out of the tournament on Friday night when he fractured a verterbra after being kneed in the back by Colombia's Juan Zuniga.
Twenty-four hours after Brazil's quarter-final win, the Barcelona forward released a video in which he spoke about his heart-breaking injury for the first time. The 22-year-old, who scored four goals for the Selecao here in Brazil, was visibly upset when speaking into the camera about missing the rest of the World Cup. But the former Santos player is sure his team-mates will retain their composure and go on to lift the trophy on July 13 at the Maracana.
'My World Cup has not ended, it has been interrupted by a play but the tournament goes on and I told my team-mates to do everything in order to help me achieve my dream to be world champion,' Neymar said. 'My dream was to play at a World Cup final but I'm certain my team-mates will be champions. I will be there with them, and all Brazilians will soon be celebrating all of that.'
Brazil doctor Jose Luiz Runco guaranteed the injury will not have long-term effects on Neymar's career and said the player could even travel to Belo Horizonte to watch the semi-final against Germany on Tuesday if he is not feeling a lot of pain. Runco said he believes Neymar can return to action in about 45 days, and that Barcelona doctors were informed of the player's conditions from the beginning. 'He was extremely moved when I gave him the news that he was out of the World Cup,' Runco said. 'He cried a lot, which was a natural reaction at that moment. But I told him that although his dream was being cut short, he was still a 22-year-old with a lot in front of him. It was still a `good' type of injury.'
Meanwhile, the referee in charge of Brazil's 2-1 win against Colombia, refused to comment on the incident. Carlos Velasco Carballo said: 'Unfortunately I cannot talk about it. I would like to but the rules do not allow it. We did a FIFA open day for the referees at the start of the tournament and we were all very open that day. I can talk to you about Manchester United, or Chelsea, or Jose Mourinho, or anything you like, but not this, thank you.'
Hundreds of fans gathered outside the Fortaleza hospital where Neymar was taken straight after the match in the northern city on Friday. He was flown back to Rio on Saturday, where he had a tearful reunion with his team-mates, who returned to their Teresopolis base to begin preparations for their semi-final against Germany. Neymar was then flown from the training ground in Granja Comary by medical helicopter to his home in Guaruya, Sao Paulo to begin his recovery. He waved to the waiting media before taking off along with his father.
So strong is Neymar's status as a global icon that leading footballers, sports stars, celebrities and even politicians have wished Neymar a speedy recovery. His name was sung by locals who attended the quarter-final between Holland and Costa Rica in Salvador on Saturday night.
'To Brazil, my team-mates, the coaches and the fans, this is a difficult time for me and I don't have the words to describe what is going through my mind and my heart,' said Neymar, who is expected to be out for three to six weeks. 'I want to thank everyone for all the support and affection they have shown me and for all the messages that I have received.'