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Juan Zuniga apologizes to Neymar for injuring Brazilian

Juan Zuniga is sorry for the knee that ended Neymar's World Cup.

Jamie McDonald

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

On Friday, Juan Zuniga kneed Neymar in the back, fracturing the Brazilian's vertebra and ruling him out for the remainder of the World Cup. On Saturday, the Colombian apologized for the tackle, saying he is "deeply sorry and sad."

"Although I feel the situation was normal in a game, there was no bad intention, malice or negligence on my part," Zuniga said Saturday in a statement released by the Colombian team.

Neymar was stretchered off the pitch and taken to the hospital in tears. Scans at the hospital confirmed the fractured vertebra, which has ended his World Cup.

"I admire you, respect you and consider you one of the best players in the world," Zuniga wrote. "I hope you recover and return quickly."

FIFA is reportedly looking into retroactive punishment for Zuniga's tackle and if they do decide to suspend him, it would keep him out of next summer's Copa America.

Early reports are that Neymar will only be out for a few weeks, which would allow him to join up with Barcelona in time for the beginning of the season.