Report: Barcelona president says only Olympics, no Copa for Neymar
FC Barcelona star Neymar will be allowed to compete with Brazil at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, but won’t be released to play in the Copa America tournament, club president Josep Bartomeu said to UOL Esporte on Saturday.
Barcelona has maintained the stance that it does not want the 24-year-old to play in both tournaments so he can have time to rest in the offseason.
FIFA clubs are not obligated to allow players to compete in the Olympics because it is not a FIFA sanctioned event. So, Neymar had to make the decision to skip the Copa America as a condition for playing in the Olympics.
"It will be impossible to convince us [to release the player twice]," Bartomeu said. "We are aware of the importance [of the Copa America], but our view is that players need to have some rest after two strong seasons."
Brazil is looking to win its first gold medal in soccer after previously finishing as high as second place in Olympic play.
"We see no problem in Neymar playing at the Olympics," Bartomeu said. "The club would be enchanted, and I would take him if I were the Brazilian manager."