Neymar to play for Brazil at Rio Olympics, not Copa America

Neymar to play for Brazil at Rio Olympics, not Copa America

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Dhaka- Neymar will play for Brazil at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics but will skip the Copa America, Barcelona said Wednesday.The news was announced by the Catalan club after it trounced  Deportivo La Coruna 8-0 in the Spanish league, with Neymar netting  one of the goals to end the forward’s five-game scoreless run.Neymar had said he wanted to play in both tournaments and the  Brazilian soccer confederation had asked for his release. But Barcelona didn’t want to lose the striker for so long and feared that  his participation in both events could affect his preparations for  next season.The confederation and the club had been in talks for several months  before finally reaching a deal.”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, and not at the Copa America in the United  States,” Barcelona said in a statement.Clubs are not obliged by FIFA to release players for the Olympics, but had to do so for the Copa America Centenario in the United States.The Olympics will be played from Aug. 3-21, while the Copa America  runs from June 3-26.The Olympic tournament is played with under-23 squads and only three  overage players are allowed in each team. The 24-year-old Neymar will be one of the three overage players in the squad coached by Dunga.The Olympic gold medal is the only significant trophy Brazil has never won. Neymar was the main star in Brazil’s squad that lost the final to Mexico in the 2012 Olympics in London.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. (AP/UNB)

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