Luiz Felipe Scolari yesterday angrily claimed Neymar had been "hunted" out of the World Cup after it was confirmed Brazil's star player has suffered a fractured vertebra and will miss the rest of the competition.
A knee in the back by Colombia's Juan Zuniga ended Neymar's match in the 88th minute and, following checks at a hospital in Fortaleza, the prognosis was bleak. He had been integral to Brazil's campaign, scoring four goals en route to the last four.
"Neymar has a broken vertebra. He's expected to be out for four to six weeks," Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said. "He will not be in condition to play, he will need a few weeks to be fit again. He is very, very sad."
Zuniga didn't even receive a caution for the high challenge on Neymar but Brazil captain Thiago Silva is now also suspended for the Germany match after a booking for impeding Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina.
"Not even a yellow card, nothing," said Brazil manager Scolari. "Then Silva gets a yellow card for walking past the goalkeeper. It's hard to understand.
"Everyone knows Neymar would be hunted. Three matches that has been happening but no one thinks that's the case, they only think Germany is hunted, not Neymar. We are in a slightly difficult position for the match against Germany but we have great players. If anything has to change, we will do that and I think we will still have a great game."
Brazil team-mate Hulk echoed the coach's comments saying Neymar should have received more protection from the referees.
"Every time is like this, players always come after Neymar, the referees need to do more to keep this from happening," Hulk said.
Zuniga defended himself against charges that the tackle was reckless.
"It was a normal move," he said. "I never meant to hurt a player. I was on the field, playing for the shirt from my country, not with the intent to injure. I was just defending my shirt."
Neymar visibly cried out in pain as he left the pitch and was immediately assessed by the Brazilian team doctor before being taken for further examination at a local hospital.
There were 54 fouls in yesterday's quarter-final - the most at this World Cup - and Scolari admitted his players were not totally innocent.
Fernandinho delivered some heavy tackles on free-scoring Colombian playmaker James Rodrguez.
"There were also moments when our players were tougher than they should be, we know that," said Scolari. "We could have stopped ours and their violent game." UK Telegraph