Injured Brazil striker Neymar arrives at the team's training centre in Teresopolis on Thursday. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Brazilian superstar Neymar said Thursday he wants teammate Lionel Messi to lead Argentina to victory in the World Cup final against Germany.
At an emotional press conference, Neymar broke down in tears as he relived the challenge which broke a vertebrae in his back and left him fearing he would be paralysed.
Neymar said he wants Barcelona teammate Messi to claim the trophy on Sunday against the Germans.
"Messi's history in the sport is so important, he has won a lot of trophies and I will be cheering for him," Neymar told a press conference.
"He is a friend, he is my teammate and I wish him luck."
Neymar was ruled out of the World Cup in a rugged challenge by Colombia defender Juan Camilo Zuniga in Brazil's 2-1 quarterfinal win.
The 22-year-old wiped away tears as he described his fears immediately after the knee in the back that he would be paralysed.
"I was blessed in that situation because it wasn't more serious. Two more centimetres up and, well, I could be in a wheelchair. So it is really difficult. It happened at such an important point in my career," he said. It was something I cannot accept. That challenge and what happened was unacceptable," he added.
"I would not say there was malice because I can't speak for him, but everyone who understands football knows that challenge was not normal."