Croatia beat Russian Federation, reach World Cup semifinal

Brazil coach defends Neymar

Brazil coach defends Neymar

Brazil head coach Tite admitted Neymar has not been at his best during the World Cup but defended the star's performances, saying he has been "participating collectively".

Belgium stretched their unbeaten run to 24 beating Brazil 2-1 and coach Roberto Martinez believes his team can do even better in the semifinal against France.

"The pain is very great because we knew we could get there, we knew we had the conditions to go further, to make history, but it was not this time". It promised to be a World Cup where he cemented himself as a legend, instead he's merely become a meme. I know that as long as I continue working hard, things will get rolling.

Football fans united in a bit of schadenfreude yesterday after Neymar's side were booted out of the World Cup. "I'm proud of everyone", said Neymar, who hadn't spoken publicly since the team's elimination in Kazan. With only one loss under him, the five-time world champions arrived in Russian Federation among the main title favorites. (EPA) Fred suffered the injury before Brazil's World Cup opener.

"It's not the right time to talk about the future", Tite said.

The 26-year-old suffered ligament damage in his left ankle, but has been asked to remain with the squad for the rest of the tournament.

There is a worry for Brazil heading into the Belgium match: The team will be without midfielder Casemiro, who is suspended after picking up a second yellow card in the 2-0 win over Mexico in the round of 16.

Fernandinho, Marcelo, Paulinho and Willian played in the 2014 loss to Germany.

The Selecao's quarter-final exit at the hands of Belgium in the last of the six matches in the city on Friday night ensured this would be the first World Cup without at least one of Brazil, Argentina or Germany in the semi-finals. Or maybe this is year that England finally, finally, wins another major worldwide tournament.

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