Juan Zuniga has claimed that he ‘didn’t mean to hurt Neymar’ despite the Brazil international being ruled out for the World Cup.
The Napoli defender put his knee into the Brazil star’s back during their 2-1 defeat on Friday evening.
And overnight it was confirmed that the 22-year-old would have to sit out the rest of the tournament with a fractured vertebrae.
“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,” he told reporters.
“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.”