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Neymar: Dream isn’t over

Sao Paulo: Injured Brazil forward Neymar thanked the fans for their support on Saturday and said his team-mates will do everything to keep his dream of winning the World Cup alive.

“My dream isn’t over. It was interrupted by a play, but it continues,” Neymar, who has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a fractured vertebra, said in a video released by the Brazilian Soccer Federation on Saturday.

“I’m certain that my team-mates will do everything possible so that my dream, which is to be a champion, comes true. My dream was also to play in a World Cup final, but this time it didn’t work out,” the 22-year-old said, his voice cracking.

Meanwhile Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella ignored his country’s bitter rivalry with Brazil and said football has “shed a tear” after Neymar was ruled out of the Cup.

“When I played football, I was a skilful number 10... So I like to see football played well, and I am delighted by great players… So when a team loses a player of such great qualities, it’s as if football has shed a tear,” Sabella told a news conference after his side beat Belgium 1-0 to join Brazil in the last four.

“One feels sad, not just as a coach, but as a spectator too,” he added.

“The worst thing that can happen to a player is to get injured, especially at a crucial moment of a World Cup which he has been dreaming about for so long, and working towards for so long.

“So I can well understand the sense of bitterness and of frustration that he must be feeling. I’d like to send a hug and say that I am with him in this difficult moment.”