Brazilian superstar Neymar took a vicious foul from Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga in their quarterfinal match up. Zuniga barreled into the back of Neymar, jumping in the air and leading with his knee, a move WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan proud.
That knee went right into Neymar’s spine, fracturing one of his vertebrae and ending his World Cup tournament.
“Although I feel the situation was normal in a game, there was no bad intention, malice or negligence on my part,” Zuniga said in a statement released by the Colombian team, via the Associated Press. “I admire you, respect you and consider you one of the best players in the world. I hope you recover and return quickly. I send you (fans) a special message of thanks for all the support you showed to the Colombian team during every one of our games.”
Zuniga was heavily criticized for the incident by Brazilian legend Ronaldo and Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro.
“The injury was very violent,” said Ronaldo. “I believe there was an intention to hurt by the player. I believe it was very aggressive and very violent.”
Cannavaro said: “I didn’t like that very high knee. That leads me to believe it was a foul with a prior intention to cause harm. It didn’t give me a very good impression. It’s a very evident foul.”