Barcelona’s bargain with Brazil: Neymar can play Olympics, no Copa America

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Nevermind, then.

Reports that Neymar would play in the Copa America Centenario against Barcelona’s wishes have been defied by the club itself.

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Barcelona announced Wednesday that it would grant Brazil’s request to release Neymar for the Olympics — something the club is not required to do — with the understanding that the superstar would not be on the roster for this summer’s Copa America tournament in America.

From FCBarcelona.com:

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.

Brazil is in Copa America’s Group B with Haiti, Ecuador and Peru, and will play group stage matches in Pasadena, Orlando and Foxborough. The loss of Neymar harms their chances to win the title, but shouldn’t give them a problem in group play.