Germany sorry about Neymar injury
Santo Andre: The loss of Brazil forward Neymar to injury is a setback for the entire World Cup tournament, Germany assistant coach Hansi Flick said on Saturday.
Brazil will face Germany in the semi-finals on Tuesday and Flick believes the hosts have enough top players to compensate for the loss of their talisman.
"It`s always regrettable when a world-class player like that gets knocked out of the tournament," Flick said on the fringes of Germany`s training session in Santo Andre.
"He was a great enrichment," said Flick when asked by a small group of reporters about Neymar, whose tournament came to an abrupt end in Brazil`s 2-1 semi-final win over Colombia when he suffered a fractured vertebra in the closing stages.
"Brazil have so many excellent players in their ranks and they`ll be able to compensate for his loss," Flick said of the five-times World Cup winners, who play the three-times winners for only the second time at the World Cup. Brazil beat Germany 2-0 in the 2002 final.
Flick said Germany will have a tough enough assignment as it is against Brazil even with the loss of Neymar and suspended captain Thiago Silva.
Neymar`s exit from the World Cup left Brazilians shocked and angered, darkening the mood after their win over Colombia had sparked nationwide celebrations.
Neymar, 22, was Brazil`s most dynamic creator and scored four goals in his team`s five matches.
He received sympathy from former Germany midfielder Mehmet Scholl who now works as a television pundit.
"It makes me really angry," Scholl said. "If the referees aren`t capable of stopping brutal fouls like that, then a great player like Neymar ends up getting carried off the pitch. It`s like a battle of gladiators."
Several Germany players also expressed their support.
"Neymar, I am unhappy. Get well soon," midfielder Mesut Ozil said on Twitter.
"Sad for @NeymarJr hope you get better soon," wrote Lukas Podolski.