Was it innocuous? Was it violent play? You can make your own mind up, but it is perhaps for the best that Napoli's battle-hardened Colombian defender Juan Zuniga gets the chance to make his way home from Brazil as soon as possible. A 2-1 win in the quarter-finals was quickly forgotten when the extent of Neymar's injury emerged.
A clumsy tackle by Zuniga on Neymar, some will say vicious challenge in the 87th minute, has not gone down well with Brazil's fans. Not when his late knee in the back of the host nation's leading player Neymer has left Luiz Felipe Scolari's side without their most exciting player before Tuesday's dust-up with Germany in the semi-finals. No Neymar, no chance perhaps?
You wouldn't have wanted to be wandering the streets of Fortaleza last night if you were Zuniga. That is for sure. When Brazil are only two wins from winning the World Cup, they do not take kindly to unsporting attempts to sabotage their bid for glory.
Did the scene outside the Colombian Hotel resemble this one from The Simpsons?
Live scenes outside the hotel where Zuniga is at....that's my primo in the middle pic.twitter.com/4FFMrEzzEk
— Bruno Ladislau (@Bruno_Ladislau) July 5, 2014
Zuniga was quick to defend his own position.
Zuñiga on his contact with Neymar: "I wasn't planning to do something evil. I was simply trying to do my best to serve my country."
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) July 5, 2014
Was he really?
— Raju Narisetti (@raju) July 5, 2014
Others were busy passing some timely advice to Zuniga on what to do now.
And some continued lamenting the performance of the referee. Nothing new in that old chestnut.
"Neymar is out of the world cup because of Juan Zuniga and he did not even get a yellow card for that". Dear referee: pic.twitter.com/7pQRD2LE3s
But how did he miss this effort on Hulk...
Some were getting a bit carried away. As you would expect. Surely not death threats?
Wanna see brazilians being disgustingly racist and wanting someone dead? Just search for "Zuniga preto". Gross.
— Lucas Resende (@lucasammr) July 5, 2014
A nation was well and truly in mourning when the news came through.
A few people were even sparing a thought for poor old Diego Costa among the wailing.
The injury to Neymar just reconfirms what a fool Costa is. Could've been the saviour of his nation.
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) July 5, 2014
Is this a chance for others to shine. Maybe not.
The suffering is felt by more than Brazil's golden boy. As we realise in some of these images.
Fans & media gather outside the hospital where Neymar's being treated for what's reported to be a broken rib pic.twitter.com/OKV8xrxzh8
— Dan Roan (@danroan) July 4, 2014
- Sports & Recreation