With tears streaming down his face after being kneed in the back, Neymar was carried off the field on a stretcher.
The 22-year-old Brazil striker, the one with the hopes of a nation on his shoulders, was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after fracturing his third vertebra during their 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia.
We will try to win this World Cup and for sure we will dedicate it to Neymar.
"It's a big loss for us," Brazil midfielder Fernandinho said. "We need to find a way to stay together and become stronger after losing our greatest player. We will try to win this World Cup and for sure we will dedicate it to Neymar."
Neymar is the biggest football star in Brazil, and the striker's millions of fans had expected his World Cup to end with him holding the trophy, not being carried off the field in tears.
Neymar was kneed by Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga late in the second half at the Arena Castelao. He was taken to a private clinic and was released a short time later.
He was not expected to need surgery, Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said, but he will also not be able to face Germany in the World Cup semi-finals.
"He will not be in condition to play, he will need a few weeks to be fit again," Lasmar said. "He is very, very sad."
Fans crowd clinic
About 50 Brazil fans, many still wearing the team's jerseys, crowded outside the clinic where Neymar was taken.
"Everybody knew that Neymar would be hunted," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "It's been happening in the last three matches and we had been talking about it. But nobody listens to us."
The match ended with 54 fouls in total including 31 by Brazil and 23 by Colombia.
Scolari said Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo should have done more to take control of the match.