5 July 2014 17:15
Legendary Brazil striker Pele has compared Neymar’s injury woe to his own at the 1962 FIFA World Cup.
Barcelona forward Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra in the 2-1 quarter-final victory over Colombia on Friday, ending his participation in this year’s tournament.
And Pele, who was injured during the group stage of the 1962 tournament that Brazil eventually won, empathised with his country’s current star man.
“Neymar was raised in my Santos FC and it hurts our hearts to know that he can no longer defend Brazil in the World Cup,” he posted on Twitter.
“I was also injured during the 1962 World Cup in Chile, and I was out for the rest of the tournament, but God helped Brazil continue on to win the Championship.
“I hope the same will happen with our Selecao in this World Cup.”
Brazil president Dilma Rousseff also paid tribute to Neymar following his Fortaleza disappointment.
“His face in pain, on the pitch of Castelao, broke my heart and that of all Brazilians,” she wrote. “But what we saw too, was a mighty warrior who doesn’t let down his team, even if it hurt.
“I know that as every Brazilian he will never give up and, quicker than you think, he will be back, filling your soul with joy.”