Neymar thanks fans in video

Neymar thanks fans in video.
Neymar thanks fans in video message. He may be out of the World Cup, but he says the dream of Brazil celebrating the title win is still alive.

Neymar battled back tears as he urged his Brazil team-mates to win the World Cup without him after suffering a fractured vertebrae in the quarter-final win over Colombia.

“They took away my dream of playing in a World Cup final, but the dream of being a world champion is not over,” the emotional superstar said in comments released by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) as he left the team camp Saturday.

Neymar’s agonizing plight remained centre stage as FIFA announced it would consider action against Colombian defender Juan Zuniga who kneed the Brazilian in the back. Zuniga apologised to Neymar but insisted he had not deliberately hurt the star striker.

Dreams of being champions still alive

“Life moves on. I am sure my team-mates will do everything possible so that we can achieve our dream of being champions,” Neymar said in a video released by the federation.

“It was also my dream to play in a World Cup final. It will not be this time, but I am sure we will overcome this and we will all be able to celebrate being champions.”


 Neymar sends video message to fans. Note: Video is in Portugese.  


The Brazil squad applauded the 22-year-old Barcelona striker in an emotional farewell at their Teresopolis camp before he was taken to Rio de Janeiro by helicopter.

Meanwhile, Brazilian team doctor Jose Luiz Runco called for World Cup referees to do more to protect players as he confirmed details of Neymar’s fractured third lumbar vertebrae, a bone in his lower back.

The injury was suffered in a crunching challenge by Colombia defender Juan Zuniga in Friday’s game in Fortaleza, which Brazil won 2-1.

“In games involving Brazil we have seen some things happen that are not in keeping with what we should see on a football field,” he said, recalling the crunching challenges during last week’s game against Chile that already left Neymar battered and bruised.

“Referees have tried to avoid giving out cards but FIFA is likely to take some action now. They must have experts looking into what happened.”

Defender expresses regret

FIFA has said it is looking into the incident after Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo did not even book Zuniga for the challenge.

Zuniga has expressed regret for the injury but insisted there was no intention to cause harm.

“I deeply regret the sad injury suffered by Neymar during the game between Brazil and Colombia,” the defender said in a letter sent to Neymar that was quoted by the Colombian Football Federation.

“This situation resulted from normal game action and there was no ill-intent, malice or negligence on my part,” Zuniga added.

Neymar was collecting the ball in the 88th minute when Zuniga launched a jumping challenge from behind and kneed the Brazilian in the lower part of his back.

Six weeks on sidelines 

Runco said that the fracture will need around six weeks – 40 to 45 days – to heal, and that the player will rest at home with his family in Guaruja, near Sao Paulo.

In the meantime, Brazil must hope that the injury does not have a negative impact on squad morale.

“Everyone in the squad was shocked, upset by what happened,” Runco said of the mood in the dressing room. “One said to me: ‘It seems like we have lost the game’”.

Injured Brazil star Neymar departed his team's training base in Terespolis in a helicopter on Saturday and headed home to Sao Paulo, after his World Cup ended in agony on Friday night.

Neymar departed Brazil’s base in Terespolis on Saturday afternoon, waving to the cameras after he was loaded on a stretcher onto a helicopter on a pitch at the Granja Comary training ground.

With his father alongside him, Neymar then took off for Rio de Janeiro, from where he was expected to return to his family home.

Without their star player, and with captain Thiago Silva suspended, Brazil must take on Germany in Tuesday’s semi-final in Belo Horizonte, although Runco suggested that Neymar may yet attend the match at the Mineirao Stadium.

“It all depends on whether he feels any pain, but it shouldn’t get in the way of his recovery,” he said. 



Netherlands advances to the semi-finals after penalty shoot out

Goalkeeper Tim Krul of the Netherlands celebrates with teammates after the penalty shootout in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals between Costa Rica and the Netherlands.

The Dutch might have taken 20 shots on the Costa Rican goal but in the end it took a penalty shoot out for them to banish a stubborn and resolute Costa Rican side in Sunday's (Jul 6) quarter finals.

It was after 120 minutes that coach Louis van Gaal pulled an audacious move by using his last substitute to bring on Tim Krul to replace first choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen just for the penalty shoot out.

It paid off though, as Krul dived the right way to save penalties from Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana to send the Dutch into celebrations.

Krul saving Ruiz's spot kick. 

Krul saving Umana's spot kick. 

Van Gaal said after the match: “Every keeper has specific qualities and we felt that he had a better reach, and a better track record to stop penalties” 

The penalty drama came after a long duel where the Netherlands dominated but just couldn't put the ball into the net, including this remarkable set of play deep in the second half.

The in means that they will meet Argentina in the semi-finals of the World Cup on Thursday (July 10).

Source: AFP, YouTube


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DUTCH COURAGE: Holland coach Louis van Gaal's daring decision to send in reserve goalkeeper Tim Krul (above) just for the shootout pays dividends as the Newcastle United custodian makes two saves.
BRAVE TICOS: Costa Rica’s Michael Umana trying to hide his dejection after missing the crucial kick.

Louis van Gaal made the riskiest substitution in World Cup history, the switch of the century, and it paid off in spectacular fashion.
Only the irrepressible Dutch coach owns the ego to make a decision beyond most mortals.
With the world watching, no other coach would have the audacity, the arrogance or the sheer breathtaking gall to be so resolutely certain of their own judgment.
Van Gaal hauled off his first-choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen for penalty specialist Tim Krul in the 120th minute in a move that left no margin for error.
Krul saved two penalties to win the shootout 4-3, shatter Costa Rican hearts and send Holland through to a much tougher test against Argentina.
Read the full report in our World Cup Noon print edition on July 6.
Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at


Super-sub Krul saves two penalties on short debut

Krul baffled that he was called upon for shootout when he has saved just two of 20 penalties he 
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Every keeper has specific qualities and we felt he had a better reach and a better track record to stop penalties. We’d discussed it with Tim — how Costa Rica would shoot their penalties, their sequence. So he was prepared. - Holland coach Louis van Gaal, on Tim Krul (above left, with Dirk Kuyt)


Holland goalkeeper Tim Krul made the shortest and most spectacular of World Cup debuts this morning (Singapore time), coming on seconds before the end of the quarter-final against Costa Rica to save two penalties in a shootout and give the Dutch victory.  
With the clock ticking down at the end of extra time and the match goalless, Dutch coach Louis van Gaal sent Krul, 26, on as a replacement for first-choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.  
It proved a shrewd move, as the towering Krul saved spot-kicks from Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana to hand the Dutch a 4-3 victory and a place in the semi-finals against Argentina on Thursday morning.
Read the full report in our print edition on July 6.
Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at

Neymar confident Brazil can win World Cup without him

Injured Neymar believes his teammates can win without him

BYE FOR NOW: Neymar waving to the cameras before being flown home to Sao Paulo by helicopter to recover.
“If the German team believe they’re coming up against a weak, discouraged side because we lost Neymar, I think they will be making a big mistake.” - Ex-Brazil star Ronaldo on their semi-final opponents Germany

Injured Brazil star Neymar thanked fans for their support and said his teammates will do everything to keep their dreams of winning the World Cup alive.
The 22-year-old, who has been ruled out of the World Cup with a fractured vertebra, has left his team’s training base in Terespolis in a helicopter and headed home to Sao Paulo to recover last night.
In a video released by the Brazil football federation this morning (Singapore time), he said: “My dream isn’t over. It was interrupted but it continues.
“I’m certain that my teammates will do everything possible so that my dream, which is to be a champion, comes true.”
Read the full report in our World Cup Noon print edition on July 6.
Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at


Five areas Argentina must improve on

Messi and Co are in first semi-final since 1990, but there's much work to be done if they want to go all the way

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Read the full report in our print edition on July 6.
Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at


Argentina won't win World Cup

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