FC Barcelona announced officially today that they and the Brazilian Football Federation have come to an agreement that Neymar will only play in this summer’s Olympics and not in the Copa America Centenario. Here’s the official statement in full:
FC Barcelona expresses its gratitude to the Brazilian Football Confederation and its president Marco Polo del Nero for accepting the Club’s proposal for Neymar Jr to
only play at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer, to be held from August 3 to 21, and not at the Copa America in the United States from June 3 to 26.
Barcelona made it known that they wanted their star to only play in one international competition this summer. Seeing as the Copa America Centenario is on the official FIFA calendar and the Olympics aren’t, it’s easy to ssume that Neymar’s preference was playing in the Olympics. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the games will be held in his home country.
Unfortunately, this means that Brazil agreed to not call him up for the special one-off Copa America tournament being held in the United States. Neymar is a huge star in world soccer and will be missed by organizers and advertisers. His absence will also hurt Brazil’s chances to win this tournament. There’s no doubt Brazil have plenty of talent, but they are a different side with their best player available.Brazil is in Group A at the Olympic tournament in Rio, along with South Africa, Iraq and Denmark. It opens against South Africa on Aug. 4 in Brazil’s capital of Brasilia. Neymar on Wednesday scored the last of Barcelona’s eight goals against Deportivo in La Coruna. The victory ended a four-game winless streak and kept the team ahead of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in the Spanish league with four rounds to go.
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