Sports

Somber mood encompasses Brazil after injury that rules Neymar out of World Cup

  • Brazil soccer fans sit outside the Sao Carlos hospital where Brazil's soccer player Neymar was taken after being injured during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Brazil and Colombia, in Fortaleza, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. Brazil's team doctor says Neymar will miss the rest of the World Cup after breaking a vertebrae during the team's 2-1 win. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)

    Brazil soccer fans sit outside the Sao Carlos hospital where Brazil's soccer player Neymar was taken after being injured during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Brazil and Colombia, in Fortaleza, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. Brazil's team doctor says Neymar will miss the rest of the World Cup after breaking a vertebrae during the team's 2-1 win. (AP Photo/Renata Brito)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Brazil soccer fan prays as she watches a live telecast of the World Cup quarterfinal match between Brazil and Colombia inside the FIFA Fan Fest area in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. Not long after celebrating another all-important win at the World Cup, Brazil was jolted by the loss of Neymar who fractured a vertebra in his back during the game. The injury has ruled the striker out of the rest of the competition, dealing a massive blow to the team's chances of finally winning a World Cup at home.  (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)

    A Brazil soccer fan prays as she watches a live telecast of the World Cup quarterfinal match between Brazil and Colombia inside the FIFA Fan Fest area in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, July 4, 2014. Not long after celebrating another all-important win at the World Cup, Brazil was jolted by the loss of Neymar who fractured a vertebra in his back during the game. The injury has ruled the striker out of the rest of the competition, dealing a massive blow to the team's chances of finally winning a World Cup at home. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)  (The Associated Press)

A somber mood spread over Brazil as the reality dawned on the World Cup host nation that injured striker Neymar wouldn't play again at the tournament.

Newspapers on Saturday fronted photos of Neymar crying in pain, reaching for his injured back, upon which rested Brazil's hopes for a sixth World Cup title.

Yet slivers of optimism remain.

Sports commentator Juca Kfouri wrote in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that, yes, Brazil faces an immense challenge against Germany in Tuesday's semifinal.

With Neymar out and captain Thiago Silva suspended, he wrote "the Germans are not only the favorites — they're a sure thing. And therein lies the danger — for them."

Kfouri says the pressure is now off Brazil — and they may play looser in the underdog role.