NEYMAR has been left out of Brazil’s squad for next month’s Olympics – but Dani Alves has been called up at the age of 38.
The world’s most-expensive player scored the decisive penalty kick to earn the Samba Boys their first Olympic gold medal in football five years ago after a magnificent free-kick earlier in the final.
Neymar has been left out of Brazil’s Olympic squadCredit: Getty
The 38-year-old Dani Alves will represent his country for the first time since 2019Credit: AFP
But the 29-year-old will not be able to replicate those heroics in Tokyo this summer – despite being included in Andre Jardine’s preliminary roster.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward is currently representing his country in the Copa America and scored their opener in the 3-0 win over Venezuela on Sunday.
Brazil’s team coordinator Branco said: “Neymar is a reference point for the senior national team but part of the reason why he is not in this squad is because he is playing at the Copa America.
“We would have liked to have had him.”
PSG were among a host of top European clubs who had vetoed their stars from playing in Tokyo.
There is no obligation for teams to free their players for the Olympics as the tournament is not part of the international match calendar.
And Real Madrid whizkid Rodrygo, who was left out of the Copa America squad, has also not been named as part of the party.
BRAZIL OLYMPIC SQUAD
THE 18-man squad named by the Samba Boys for Tokyo:
Goalkeepers: Santos (Athletico PR), Brenno (Gremio)
Defenders: Dani Alves (Sao Paulo), Gabriel Menino (Palmeiras) Guilherme Arana (Atletico), Nino (Fluminense), Gabriel Magalhaes (Arsenal), Diego Carlos (Sevilla)
Midfielders: Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), B. Guimaraes (Olympique Lyon), Matheus Henrique (Gremio), Gerson (Flamengo), Claudinho (Red Bull Braga)
Forwards: Malcom (FC Zenit), Antony (Ajax), Paulinho (Bayer Leverkusen), Matheus Cunha (Hertha Berlin), Pedro (Flamengo)
The 20-year-old will instead link up with the Spanish side for pre-season training under new boss Carlo Ancelotti while the tournament is being played.
Barcelona, Juventus and PSG legend Dani Alves, now at Sao Paulo, has capped a remarkable comeback at international level by being included for the first time since 2019.
Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes and Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz are also in alongside the veteran full-back.
Jardine said: “Dani is a reference to everyone. He is one of the most successful players there are.
“He is going to bring experience and leadership to the team. It was a dream for him to play at the Olympics. Let’s complete his resume.”
Brazil are in Group D with Germany, Saudi Arabia and the Ivory Coast.
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