Neymar and his international team-mates / INSTAGRAM NEYMAR JR

Neymar and his international team-mates / INSTAGRAM NEYMAR JR

“Staying only to train is killing me inside” says the FC Barcelona striker in a statement published on social networks regarding his decision to leave the Brazil squad at the Copa America in Chile. “It is giving me no joy. It’s hard to train when you have no objectives and that could lead to me getting injured, which would make things harder still.” The player has been given a four-match ban following incidents after the game with Colombia, and has publicly begged forgiveness from his colleagues and fans, promising that “I will learn from this situation for the good of my career.”

“I had been looking forward to captaining Brazil at the Copa America for a long time, but sadly that’s no longer possible” he continues. “I know my presence is very important for the team, like that of any one of the players, and more than ever they need to have their thoughts focused totally on the next games that they are going to play.”

That’s why he has decided it would be better to leave the squad camp. “I have never hidden from my obligations and responsibilities as one of the leaders of the group, and as Brazil captain I have always done everything I can in pursuit of victories” he says. “I make decisions, whether or not they are the right ones. Wherever I am from now on, I’ll be there for the team, cheering my team-mates on towards success.”

He ends by explaining how “I needed to express these feelings to the team and coaches, as they have always given me support. It would be distracting for them if I were to stay. It would take their minds off the things that they should be focusing on. Good luck, Brazil!”