Who is Brazil captain? Why Neymar was removed from wearing armband and who will lead team at Copa America 2024

Brazil head into the 2024 Copa America as one of the pre-tournament favourites, despite some difficult form over the past year.

A poor start to the 2026 World Cup qualifying cycle, which included a bruising home defeat to Argentina, led to concerns about the Selecao’s chances of challenging the elite of North, South and Central America at this year’s tournament in the United States.

However, confidence was boosted by a win over England and draw with Spain in the March international matches, and there is a greater sense of belief that head coach Dorival Junior may be able to mastermind what would be a 10th Copa America title.

He will likely need the help of a strong team captain if those dreams are to become reality, but which player is going to wear the armband at the finals? And why did Neymar previously lose the honour? The Sporting News looks at their recent captains in something of a turbulent time since the 2022 World Cup.

MORE: When is the Brazil squad for the Copa America announced?

Who is Brazil captain at the 2024 Copa America?

We don’t yet know which player will be confirmed as captain for Brazil at the 2024 Copa America. Dorival Jr will likely give an indication when his squad for the tournament is announced.

Brazil have used different players as captain in recent matches since Thiago Silva wore the armband for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar
. In March 2023, Manchester United midfielder Casemiro was made skipper ahead of a friendly match with Morocco by interim manager Ramon Menezes.

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Casemiro was injured for World Cup qualifying matches in November that year, so Paris Saint-Germain star Marquinhos wore the armband for the 1-0 home defeat to Argentina.

In March this year, new boss Dorival Junior made experienced Juventus defender Danilo the captain for the 1-0 friendly win over England at Wembley
. Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior took over the responsibility for the 3-3 draw with Spain three days later. That was after Casemiro again had to withdraw from the squad due to injury.

MORE: How Endrick helped Brazil to thrilling draw with Spain at the home of Real Madrid

Why is Neymar not the Brazil captain?

Neymar was previously captain of Brazil, but he was stripped of the role back in 2019 by former head coach Tite after some incidents of ill discipline at former club team Paris Saint-Germain.

He only captained the Selecao four times before losing the armband after being given a three-game domestic ban for hitting out at a fan after PSG lost to Rennes in the Coupe de France final. The Brazil captaincy for the Copa America in 2019 was instead given to Dani Alves, the former full-back who was sentenced to four and a half years in prison after being found guilty of rape in February 2024.

Now 32 and his country’s all-time leading goalscorer — he broke Pele’s record last September — Neymar would actually fit the bill as captain for this year’s tournament. However, a serious knee injury suffered in 2023 means the forward will not be available.

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