The lowest point of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil was an injury to the host nation’s poster boy, Neymar in the match against Columbia.
Napoli full-back Juan Zuniga kneed Neymar in the back with just two minutes to go, leaving him with a fractured vertebra.
In an interview with former Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique for The Player’s Tribune, the PSG star revealed it could all have been over for him.
“I remember that I had my head on the ground, and Marcelo was saying: ‘No, no…Get the doctors in.’ And I said: ‘No, no, no. I want to play.’ Because I wanted to score,” Neymar said.
“But I couldn’t manage to lift my legs. I couldn’t move my legs. And the doctor took me out and I started to … to cry, because it was very painful and I didn’t feel anything.
“I didn’t feel my legs, so I went to the hospital that’s in the stadium. And there they left me and I remember that I was with my leg bent like this, and when I stretched it out …
“Then I went to the hospital, did the tests and all, and they told me: ‘I have two pieces of news. One good and one bad.’
“And I was like: ‘The bad one first.’ ‘The bad one: You can’t play the World Cup. It’s over for you.’
“And I’m like: ‘What’s the good one?’ ‘The good one is that afterwards you will be able to walk, because two centimetres to the side … football is over for you.”
The 25-year-old has teamed up with teenager Kylian Mbappe at PSG, forging a formidable goal scoring trio with Edinson Cavani.
He praised Mbappe, adding: “I see him doing very well. He’s a great player. He’s got a lot of quality. He’s someone who’ll end up in the football history books.
“Yes, he has a lot of quality, if he continues like this. He’s a good guy, he works hard. I think he has a bright future.”