Brazil can win without Neymar, insists Scolari

Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has insisted that his side can still win the World Cup despite the absence of talisman Neymar for the remainder of the tournament, BBC Sport has reported.

Neymar was injured in the quarter-final win over Colombia following a knee in the back from Juan Zuniga. It resulted in a fractured vertebra in his back, an ailment which will keep him out of action for around four to five weeks and so miss the semi-final against Germany, and the final should they get there.

Defensive lynchpin Thiago Silva is also out suspended, making Germany the slight favourites for many observers, but Scolari is adamant his side still have enough quality to win the World Cup. He said: “Neymar has done his share. Now it’s up to us to do our share.

“We have accepted what has happened and we are focusing on other things. In this match we will be playing not just for ourselves and everything we’ve ever dreamed of, but also for Neymar and everything he’s done for us.”

Opposition manager Joachim Low called on referee Marco Rodriguez to take a tougher line on Brazil than officials have in their previous games, saying: “I hope the referee, Mr Rodriguez from Mexico, will clamp down on things.

“That physical energy in the match against Colombia went beyond the limits in Europe. In Europe, 22 players wouldn’t have ended that match. Colombia against Brazil was a real fight with numerous fouls from both sides, not just the one foul against Neymar. You have to protect the players.”

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