The Copa America Centenario tournament is being played in the United States this summer. The tournament’s biggest star, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, will be there, barring injury. But, it looks like the second biggest one, his Barcelona teammate Neymar, won’t be appearing for Brazil.
Brazil wants Neymar to play during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio in August. Since that tournament is outside the FIFA calendar in August, Barcelona is not obligated to release him. The quid pro quo for doing so is Neymar would not be called up for the June Copa America.
Grant Wahl is reporting Neymar’s camp has abandoned a late effort to get Barcelona to let him play in both tournaments. Neymar was replaced by the inimitable David Luiz on the tournament’s official website.
Copa America is a much bigger competitive deal. Though Neymar getting some redemption for the 2014 World Cup on home soil may be a more lucrative one.