5 Jul 2014

How much of a loss is Neymar to Brazil’s World Cup campaign?

Brazil’s talisman and World Cup poster-boy Neymar is out of the tournament but how damaging is it for the home team?

Brazil's Neymar suffers fractured vertabra in World Cup semi-final (Getty)

Neymar was stretchered off the pitch in Friday night’s quarter final match with Colombia after taking a knee in the back from Juan Zuniga. The clash has left the 22-year-old with a fractured vertebra – leaving him out of action for a month.

See the interactive graph below for how Neymar’s World Cup contribution has compared with the top strikers from other remaining teams.

Brazil doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said: “It’s not serious in the sense that it doesn’t need surgery, but he’ll need to immobilise it to recover. Unfortunately, he’s not going to be able to play.”

And Brazil’s football confederation also confirmed Neymar’s World Cup was over.

“Neymar is out of the World Cup,” a statement said. “The player suffered a fracture of the third vertebra and will not be able to recover in time to compete in the remaining two games of the World Cup – the recovery time predicted by the Brazilian team’s medical department is four weeks.”

They will have a home advantage, you can’t deny that. The South Americans are fighting for their lives here. Joachim Low, Germany

The loss of the striker, Brazil’s top goal-scorer, is no doubt a huge loss to the team (see graphic, above).

He has played a key role in half of Brazil’s 10 goals – scoring four and assisting on one. On top of this he has been a consistent threat around opposition goals – with 16 deliveries and 21 solo runs into the penalty area.

Without Neymar, Brazil’s forward options including Fred, Jo, Hulk and Bernard. The four forwards, who have appeared in a combined 13 matches, have scored one goal.

A further loss is captain Thiago Silva who misses Brazil’s next match after picking up a second yellow card against Colombia.

Brazil will now face Germany in the semi-finals on Tuesday in Belo Horizante. Despite the absence of Neymar, Germany coach Joachim Low has said he still think the World Cup hosts have an advantage.

He said: “They will have a home advantage, you can’t deny that. The South Americans are fighting for their lives here.

“But we have quite a record – our president told me we have won 28 out of 31 official matches so that’s quite a performance.”