Neymar produced the signature moment of the Rio Olympics. He won’t be at the Tokyo Games.
Brazil announced its 18-man Olympic soccer roster on Thursday, and it does not include its most well-known player.
Though Neymar indicated before the Olympic postponement that he was willing to play at the Tokyo Games, it was doubtful that he would be included on the team.
That’s because his club, Paris Saint-Germain, would have needed to sign off on it. And that Neymar is already playing for Brazil’s senior national team in Copa America, which runs through July 10.
In early 2020, before the Olympic postponement, it was reported that PSG did not want Neymar to play at the Tokyo Games.
Clubs are often opposed to letting stars play both a continental championship and the Olympics in the same offseason, potentially tiring them for the start of the club season. But they can’t stop players from the continental championships, whereas they have decision-making power on the Olympics.
In 2016, Neymar and his club at the time, Barcelona, made an agreement to let him play in the Rio Olympics if he sat out Copa America Centenario. That Neymar’s home nation was hosting the Olympics made that deal more enticing for the player and the Brazilian federation than for this summer.
Neymar went on to lead Brazil to its first Olympic soccer title, knocking home the clinching penalty kick in the final shootout with Germany at the Maracana.
The Brazil Olympic roster does include one well-known veteran — 38-year-old defender Dani Alves.
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