Barcelona coach Luis Enrique cannot guarantee Neymar will be representing Brazil at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro later this year.
Neymar, who was part of the squad that lost the final of the 2012 London Games to Mexico, has stated his intentions to be one of Brazil’s three permitted over-age players at the Olympics on home soil in August.
However, with a special centennial edition of the Copa America set to take place in the United States in June, Luis Enrique does not want one of his stars to be burned out for the 2016-17 season.
“The Olympic Games in your own country is something special for any sportsperson, no matter what the sport,” said Luis Enrique, who won a gold medal with Spain at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
“[Neymar] already has a prior commitment [with the Copa America].
“We’ll have to see how we manage the situation so the demands on him are not excessive, always putting [the wellbeing of] the player first.
“And not just Neymar, but Rafinha too could be in both squads.”