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Neymar injury worry for Scolari

Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Neymar is a doubt for Brazil's World Cup 2014 quarterfinal against Colombia on Saturday after injuring his thigh during the round of 16 victory over Chile.

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The Barcelona forward suffered a bruised thigh following heavy challenges from Arturo Vidal, Gary Medel and Charles Aranguiz for which he received treatment during the first half and Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari described the player's condition as "a big problem".

Neymar went on to complete the 120 minutes and converted his penalty in the shootout as Brazil edged Chile 3-2.

"We have four or five days to get Neymar in shape. It is a big problem. His thigh is swollen," Scolari told reporters.

"I remember when I was coaching Portugal against Netherlands [at the 2006 World Cup] and, in the eighth minute of the game, Khalid Boulahrouz almost broke Cristiano Ronaldo in half. Ronaldo had to go off soon after. When I saw Neymar after the game today, I remembered that."

Scolari also criticised referee Howard Webb's decision not to caution any of the Chile players who he thought targeted Neymar for rough treatment and suggested Brazil are not being given the same level of protection as other sides in the tournament.

He said: "We couldn't understand how somebody hits with that strength and gets no card.

"Some people say Neymar falls too easily. He fell three times. There were 15 fouls on [Chile's Alexis] Sanchez and after 12 he went down.

"We always see how hesitant referees are when it comes to Brazil. If we are going to be champions it can't be like this, it has to be the same for everyone. We're starting to doubt that."

However, Neymar did not discuss the severity of the injury, instead focusing on the mental and physical demand of playing 120 minutes.

He said: "We really suffered. But our desire to win was huge."

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