By Brian Homewood
BRASILIA, July 5 (Reuters) - Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella ignored his country's bitter rivalry with Brazil and said "football had shed a tear" after Neymar was ruled out of the World Cup through injury.
Neymar, who has carried Brazil to the semi-finals, suffered a back injury in the 2-1 quarter-final win over Colombia on Friday and will miss the rest of the tournament.
"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 and but as a spectator," 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."
Sabella's comments came after Brazilian fans in the crowd had jeered Argentina and their supporters during the game against Belgium.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
- Sports & Recreation