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21st Apr 2016

Neymar sits out Copa America Centenario in favour of chasing gold

Mikey Stafford

It can be a bit of a grind this top level football.

The likes of Neymar can spend upwards of 11 months a year nutmegging and embarrassing opponents, with very little time to lie on the beach and reminisce about all the nutmegging and embarrassing.

Since signing his very suspicious convoluted deal with Barcelona in 2013, the Brazilian attacker has spent his summers at the Confederations Cup (2013), World Cup (2014) and Copa America (2015).

Something had to give, before the 24 year old’s legs gave in, and Brazil and Barcelona have come to the agreement that Neymar will give this year’s Centenario Copa America a miss.

Run every four years, and last held in Chile the summer just gone, a special 100th anniversary renewal of the traditionally South and Central American competition is being staged in the United States this year.

But Neymar won’t be there. Instead Brazil’s captain will rest up after a club season (which was showing signs of wearing out the famous MSN frontline before they riddled Deportivo La Coruna for EIGHT goals on Wednesday night) and prepare for the Olympics.

Barca and the Selecao have reached an agreement that Neymar could play only one of the international tournaments this summer and, with the Games being held in Rio de Janeiro, the focus is firmly on winning the gold medal at the Maracana – the only international honour the Selecao have never claimed.

We can only hope it goes better than the World Cup in 2014, which ended with Neymar crying on television as he missed the 7-1 semi-final drubbing by eventual champions Germany due to a back injury.