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Neymar confident in physical ability to play at Copa America and Olympics

Neymar insists he could handle the rigours of representing Brazil at the Copa America Centenario and Rio Olympics this year, despite Barcelona coach Luis Enrique’s concerns over the physical impact.

Brazil coach Dunga met the Barca boss to discuss the forward’s availability for the two international competitions, with the Copa taking place in the United States in June before the Games get underway in August.

Luis Enrique has expressed worries over the possibility of Neymar – as well as Barca team-mates Rafinha and Dani Alves – being called up for both squads and potentially hampering preparations for the next club season.

However, the former Santos forward says he is young enough to cope with the demands of featuring in the Copa and in Rio, where he hopes to help Brazil win Olympic gold for the first time in their history.

“I am 24-years-old, I have to take advantage of it. Within a few years I will no longer be able to do it all. I believe that today I am capable [of playing in both], yes,” Neymar told Globo.

“I do not know anything about the conversation Dunga had with the coach [Luis Enrique]. I will talk to him [Dunga] during international duty.

“We will see what happens. I am going to talk with the coach here [in Barcelona] too, and also whoever is responsible for this. I hope I can play in the two.

“It is difficult to choose between the Copa America and the Olympics. The Olympics are the only thing Brazil haven’t won.

“If it were a choice, I would pick the two, but to choose one I would have to talk and think hard. I hope I can play the two, it is a desire I have. But I will decide this with Barcelona, the coach, the directors, to see what the best thing to do is.

“Expectations are high. For a country like Brazil, considered the home of football, not having a gold is a rare thing. It’s the only thing missing. If I play in the Olympics, I will do everything to win the gold.”

Neymar was part of the Brazil side that won the silver medal at London 2012.

Wed 16 Mar, 2016
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