Barcelona say Neymar can play in Olympics, not Copa America Centenario

Barcelona will not allow Neymar to play in both the Olympics and Copa America Centenario. With Brazil set to prioritize the Olympics, that means Neymar will miss out on this summer's Copa America.

Copa America Centenario is scheduled for June, with the Olympics set for August. Because the Olympics are not on the FIFA calendar, clubs are not required to release players to play in it. Barcelona will only agree to release Neymar for the Olympics if they do not put him on the Copa America team.

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu made his club's stance clear to reporters on Saturday.

"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 are putting emphasis on the Olympics because they are hosting the event in Rio de Janeiro. They also have never won Olympic gold, having fallen in the final in 2012, and it remains the lone international tournament they have failed to win. That is why Neymar has been tabbed to go to the Olympics as one of Brazil's three players over age 23 for the U-23 tournament.

Bartomeu understands that and encouraged Neymar to go for gold.

"We see no problem in Neymar playing at the Olympics," he said. "The club would be enchanted and I would take him if I were the Brazilian manager."

Bartomeu said that he told Brazil that they will not allow Neymar to play in both tournaments two weeks ago.

With Neymar out of Copa America, Brazil will lean upon the likes of Douglas Costa, Coutinho and Roberto Firmino to take a leap forward and lead the attack.