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Brazil 2014

Neymar was injured on purpose: Ronaldo

Former Brazilian footballer blames Colombian defender for intentionally injuring Neymar in the quarter-final.

Last updated: 05 Jul 2014 15:14
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Neymar will miss the rest of the World Cup, according to his medical team [AP]

Brazil great Ronaldo believes there was intention and violence in the challenge on Neymar that left the star forward with a fractured vertebra and ruled him out of the World Cup.

Neymar was carried off the field in severe pain late in Brazil's 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia on Friday night after being kneed in the back in a collision with Juan Camilo Zuniga. Medical tests later confirmed Neymar had fractured a bone at the base of his back and would be on the sidelines for four weeks, news that sent the World Cup host nation into a somber mood.

Ronaldo, who shares the World Cup scoring record, told a news conference that "the injury was a very violent one".

"We could see on television there was an intention by the Colombia player to actually cause some harm,'' Ronaldo said. "I don't think it was a normal football play. I do believe it was aggressive.''

The referee took no action on the field against Zuniga, who leaped high behind Neymar and at speed. The FIFA disciplinary committee planned to review video footage of the challenge.

In a post-match broadcast interview, Zuniga said he had no intention of injuring Neymar.

"I didn't mean to hurt him, I was trying to defend my shirt, my country, as I've always done,'' the Colombian defender said. "Sadly this happened. Hopefully, with God's help, he'll recover.''

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AP
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