Brazil national football team has confirmed their 18-man squad for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and their star player Neymar is missing.
Neymar was specifically left out of Brazil’s Olympic squad because of his current commitment at home.
Brazil is hosting the 2021 Copa América football tournament which kicked off on Sunday June 13th and will end on 10th July 2021.
Copa América clashes with the 2021 Tokyo Olympics which has been scheduled to take place from 23rd July to 8th August 2021.
The Tokyo Olympics was supposed to be held last year but was postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
“Neymar is a reference point for the senior national team but part of the reason why he is not in this squad is because he is playing at the Copa America,” Brazil’s team coordinator Branco explained why Neymar was left out of the Tokyo Olympics.
Brazil are the defending football Olympic gold medalists having won the medal in 2016 Olympics which they hosted at home.
Brazil beat Germany on penalties to win men’s football gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Neymar scored the winning penalty as hosts Brazil beat Germany 5-4 on penalties in Rio to win their first men’s Olympic football gold medal.
38-year-old Dani Alves, Neymer’s former Barcelona teammate, has been included in the 2021 Brazil Olympic squad to the surprise of many.
The 18-man squad named by the Samba Boys for Tokyo comprise of:
Goalkeepers: Santos (Athletico PR), Brenno (Gremio)
Defenders: Dani Alves (Sao Paulo), Gabriel Menino (Palmeiras) Guilherme Arana (Atletico), Nino (Fluminense), Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal), Diego Carlos (Sevilla)
Midfielders: Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), B. Guimaraes (Olympique Lyon), Matheus Henrique (Gremio), Gerson (Flamengo), Claudinho (Red Bull Braga)
Forwards: Malcom (FC Zenit), Antony (Ajax), Paulinho (Bayer Leverkusen), Matheus Cunha (Hertha Berlin), Pedro (Flamengo)
Meanwhile Neymar moved to within 9 goals of Pele’s all-time scoring record as Brazil defeated Peru to earn a second win at the Copa America.
After half-time, Neymar notched his 68th goal for his country. Pele later saying he was “rooting” for the Paris St-Germain striker to break his record.