Brazil stars rally round stricken Neymar

Brazil stars have rallied round injured star Neymar after the forward was ruled out of the FIFA World Cup with a fractured vertebra.

The 22-year-old suffered the injury in the 2-1 quarter-final victory over Colombia on Friday and had to leave the pitch on a stretcher following a heavy challenge from Juan Camilo Zuniga.

Neymar has been the talisman for the hosts with four goals and his absence is a huge blow ahead of Brazil's semi-final showdown with Germany.

Striker Fred led the get well messages and believes the Barcelona man's injury is further inspiration to win the tournament.

"We have one more reason to play with heart in this cup," he wrote on social media site Facebook. "Neymar, rest assured that our group loves you.

"You were and continue to be the ace of and the soul of our team. The whole of Brazil is praying for you."

Fellow striker Jo and midfielder Paulinho also sent their support: "We had a great victory but also a great loss. Neymar, we are with you always mate," Jo posted on Twitter, while Paulinho added: "Strength, brother."

It was not just Neymar's Brazil team-mates who reached out to Neymar as fellow Barcelona star Lionel Messi also offered his best wishes.

"Neymar, hope you recover soon, friend! Get well soon my friend," he said.

Brazil may face Germany for a spot in the final, but that did not prevent players from the European nation lending support to Neymar.

"Neymar, I am unhappy. Get well soon," Mesut Ozil commented, while Lukas Podolski stated: "Happy with our victory (a 1-0 win over France), can't wait to face Brazil, sad for Neymar. Hope you get better soon."


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