Where is Neymar? Why Brazil star is not playing at Copa America 2024 in USA explained

Brazil will be looking to avenge their 2021 Copa America final defeat as they battle it out in the USA for the 2024 competition, with the Selecao tipped amongst the pre-tournament favorites.

Despite their managerial upheaval in the last 12 months, Brazil still boast a squad filled with incredible talent, with Real Madrid trio Eder Militao, Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior joining up after their UEFA Champions League title win with Real Madrid.

Vinicius Jr is the current favourite to win the 2024 Ballon d’Or, but the Brazil squad has a few notable absentees with all time leading scorer Neymar Jr the most notable omission from the roster.

The Sporting News takes a look at why Neymar is missing from the squad during such a crucial tournament for Brazil.

MORE: Full schedule of matches and latest results at Copa America 2024, updated live

Where is Neymar? Why Brazil star is not playing at Copa America 2024

The primary reason for Neymar’s absence from the Brazil squad is injury. The Al Hilal forward was taken off on a stretcher in agony during Brazil’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat in Uruguay in October, with club and country later agreeing to surgery on damaged anterior cruciate and meniscus ligaments.

Neymar’s knee was operated on in Brazil at the start of November, by a team led by Brazil national team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, with his domestic campaign in Saudi Arabia confirmed as over at that point.

Neymar Brazil Injury 101723

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Despite initial optimism that he could be fit in time for Copa America duty, Lasmar confirmed at the start of 2024 that his recovery period would stretch on until at least August, with his rehabilitation continuing in Riyadh.

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Neymar’s Copa America record

This year’s tournament is not the first time Neymar has missed out on a Copa America since his international debut in 2010. After featuring in the 2011 and 2015 tournaments, Barcelona requested Neymar be omitted from the 2016 Copa America Centenario, and he missed the 2019 tournament through injury.

He returned to secure a runners-up spot in 2021 with his overall tournament record standing at five goals across three Copa Americas.

Brazil’s Copa America 2024 squad, player roster

The below table has been updated with the names on the Brazil roster, with caps and ages correct as at the time of the squad announcement. 

Position Player Club Age Caps
GK Bento Athletico-PR (BRA) 24 2
GK Alisson Liverpool (ENG) 31 63
GK Rafael Sao Paulo (BRA) 34 0
DEF Bremer Juventus (ITA) 27 4
DEF Danilo Juventus (ITA) 32 56
DEF Yan Couto Girona (ESP) 21 3
DEF Guilherme Arana Atletico-MG (BRA) 27 6
DEF Wendell Porto (POR) 30 2
DEF Beraldo PSG (FRA) 20 2
DEF Eder Militao Real Madrid (ESP) 26 30
DEF Gabriel Magalhaes Arsenal (ENG) 26 6
DEF Marquinhos PSG (FRA) 29 84
MID Andreas Pereira Fulham (ENG) 28 3
MID Ederson Atalanta (ITA) 24 0
MID Joao Gomes Wolverhampton (ENG) 23 2
MID Bruno Guimaraes Newcastle (ENG) 26 20
MID Douglas Luiz Aston Villa (ENG) 26 13
MID Lucas Paqueta West Ham (ENG) 26 44
MID Pepe Porto (POR) 27 1
FOR Endrick Palmeiras (BRA) 17 4
FOR Evanilson Porto (POR) 24 0
FOR Rodrygo Real Madrid (ESP) 23 22
FOR Gabriel Martinelli Arsenal (ENG) 22 9
FOR Raphinha Barcelona (ESP) 27 22
FOR Savinho Girona (ESP) 20 1
FOR Vinicius Junior Real Madrid (ESP) 23 28
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Brazil’s Copa America 2024 group stage schedule

Brazil have been drawn in Group D at Copa America 2024 alongside a trio of CONMEBOL rivals in Costa Rica, Paraguay and Colombia.

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