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Neymar to play Rio Olympics for Brazil, but miss Copa America

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Neymar

Neymar to play Rio Olympics for Brazil, but miss Copa America

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Arun S Kaimal


Brazil striker Neymar will not be seen in action in the yellows of the national team during the Copa America Centenario in the United States in June, FC Barcelona confirmed on Wednesday. However, the forward will represent Brazil U-23 team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August, this year.

FC Barcelona announced the news through their website Wednesday night after the club registered an impressive 8-0 victory over Deportivo de La Coruña. A media release on the club’s website said:

“FC Barcelona thanks the Brazilian football federation and their president Marco Polo del Nero, who have accepted the proposal made by the club that Neymar only play in the Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016, which take place between 3-21 of August,” the club said in a statement.

“In this way, Neymar is freed from playing in the Copa America, which will be played in the United States between 3-26 of June.”

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Brazil coach Dunga had been hoping to have the skipper available for both tournaments, but Barcelona’s insistence on giving adequate rest to the forward before the new season, has seen Neymar missing out on the Copa America.

FIFA guidelines force clubs to release players for International Calendar A-list matches, which include the Copa America. However, the Olympics did not figure in the global body’s international schedule. With the striker likely to be one of the most senior players in Dunga’s squad for the Olympics, the Brazil Football Association and Barcelona have struck a deal to allow the player participate in the Olympics.  

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