It appears as if one of the biggest stars in the entire world won't be coming to the United States this summer for the Copa America Centenario. Barcelona's club president Josep Bartomeu told the media before today's El Clasico rivalry match that the Spanish giants won't allow Neymar to play in the special one-off tournament in the USA.
With Brazil hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, Neymar has stated his desire to represent his country as an overage player in the games. Bartomeu says that club simply cannot allow him to play in both competitions.
"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."
-Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu; Source: UOL Esporte
This is huge news for fans of Barcelona, Brazil, and Neymar who hoped to see the superstar play in America this summer. It also hurts one of the competition's favorites in terms of chances of winning. Brazil with Neymar would likely have been neck-and-neck with Argentina and Lionel Messi as the favorites, but now that may not be the case.
Brazil are slated to play their Group B matches in Pasadena, Orlando, and Foxborough.