BRASILIA: Brazil’s state President Dilma Rousseff has sent messages of regret and encouragement to both Neymar and the national team squad after his back injury in their World Cup quarter-final victory over Colombia in Fortaleza.

Neymar cracked a vertebra in his lower back after being knocked over by Camilo Zuniga. He was carried off on a stretcher and today has flown back to Rio de Janeiro in a helicopter ambulance. Neymar, though lying down, waved to cameramen just before loaded into the air ambulance.

Rousseff, in her message,

Message to Neymar:

Dear Neymar – It broke my heart and the heart of every Brazilian watching the pain on your face at Castelão yesterday.

But we also saw the immense strength of a great warrior, who will never let himself be held back even when wounded.

A great warrior who briefly interrupts his march, having already left his insurmountable mark on the victorious battle our Seleção is fighting.

I know that, like every Brazilian, you will never give up, and sooner than one can imagine, you will be back to fill our souls with joy and our history with triumph.

May God give you strength and always protect you.

DILMA ROUSSEFF: President of the Federative Republic of Brazil

Message to the squad:

Dear Players and dear Technical Commission,

Our entire country is enthusiastically following your great World Cup campaign.

Once again, you have shown talent, determination, fighting spirit and the ability to rise above challenges, which will help make up for the major loss caused by the injury of our dear Neymar.

All of Brazil already feels victorious, both because we are hosting the Cup of Cups and because we have the most beautiful, unwavering team of all.

Like never before, you are making our hearts beat in one rhythm, and giving us one voice of joy and hope.

Onwards, for the main challenge is now behind us!

Your Number One fan,

DILMA ROUSSEFF: President of the Federative Republic of Brazil