Neymar: Two centimetres lower and I could have been wheelchair-bound

The Brazil striker has revealed that he was fortunate to escape permanent disability after suffering a fractured vertebra in his side's 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Colombia

Brazil star Neymar has spoken about the potential seriousness of his spinal injury, declaring that Juan Zuniga's challenge could have confined him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The striker was kneed in the back by the Colombian during the World Cup hosts' 2-1 victory over Los Cafeteros in their quarter-final on July 4 and was immediately ruled out of the remainder of the tournament.

Though he is now expected to make a full and swift recovery, the forward has talked about the frightening consequences that could have come from the incident, describing how he might never have been able to walk again.

"Two centimetres lower and I could be in a wheelchair today," the Brazilian told a press conference as he struggled to hold back tears.

"I bear no grudge," he said, adding that Zuniga had rung him to apologise.

Neymar scored nine goals in 26 La Liga games for Barcelona last season as his debut campaign ended without a trophy.

The former Santos man had, however, been in contention for the World Cup golden boot after scoring four times before suffering his injury.

Brazil face Netherlands in Saturday's third-place play off in Brasilia, hoping to move on from their humbling 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany.