Brazil wants Neymar for Tokyo Olympics despite tight schedule
Brazil’s U-20 national football team coach, Andre Jardine has expressed his desire to add star forward Neymar to the team that will participate in the Tokyo Games this year, but understands that this will be a difficult proposition to put forward to.
“Given we want to take the strongest possible squad, Neymar is our main player," Jardine said in an interview published on the Globo Esporte website.
Neymar was at the forefront of Brazil’s national football team which won its first Olympic gold medal in 2016. Apart from the forward, his Paris Saint-Germain teammates Marquinhos and Rafinha were a part of the team as well.
This time around though, the decision to release Neymar for the Olympics solely stays with PSG as they are under no obligation to let the player leave to play a competition not organized by football's main governing bodies, such as FIFA.
Furthermore, his chances to play in the Olympics are anyway slim, given that he will play in the Copa America in Argentina and Colombia from June 13 to July 11. Football in Tokyo Olympics will commence just 10 days later and will run until August 8, which is in fact two days after the start of the 2021-22 Ligue 1 season.
Back in January 2020, while speaking to the journalists, Neymar had expressed his desire to play in the Olympics but admitted that this decision lies with PSG. "I am in form," Neymar said on the topic to journalists in the mixed zone. "I am willing to play at both the Copa America and the Olympics. However, I think it is a bit complicated -- ask PSG."
Meanwhile, Brazil have been drawn in Group D for the Olympic football tournament alongside Germany, whom they defeated in the gold medal match in 2016, Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia. Each football team is allowed to have an 18-player contingent and only three of them can be over 23 years of age.
Featured photo: AFP / Daniel Apuy