Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zúñiga insists he did not mean to injury Neymar
Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zúñiga is public enemy number one in Brazil after his challenge on Neymar ruled the star forward out of the World Cup but he has insisted he didn’t mean to harm the attacker.
The Napoli full-back went through the back of the Barcelona man late in the quarter-final match and consequently the 22-year-old was forced off the pitch on a stretcher.
It was later revealed that Neymar would miss the rest of the World Cup with a fractured vertebra but Zúñiga told Football Italia he didn’t injury the Brazilian on purpose.
He said: “I do everything to defend my team and the jersey I wear, but never with the intent of harming anyone. I didn’t mean to hurt Neymar.
“It was a normal challenge as part of the game. We both wanted to win the ball and we both went in a little strong. This is normal.
“I certainly didn’t go into the challenge hoping to fracture his back. It is very sad for Neymar, but I hope with God’s help he gets well soon, because everyone knows he is a great talent for Brazil.”
Though Zúñiga wishes Neymar well, that will mean little to Brazil fans who were hoping he would fire them to World Cup glory.