Barcelona's Neymar: Olympic places are earned, not given to you
Brazil star Neymar has spoken about representing his country at this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as a potentially serious club vs. country row still looms given there is also a Copa America Centenario being played this summer.
As Brazil's national captain and undisputed best player, Neymar could well feature at both the Copa America Centenario in the United States from June 3-26 and then also in the Olympics in his home country which is being played between August 3-20.
This would make it difficult for the Blaugrana attacker to also fit in some rest this summer and also prepare properly with his teammates for the start of the 2016-17 La Liga campaign.
Barca figures, including president Josep Maria Bartomeu, have suggested playing both tournaments cannot happen, but Brazil's football confederation says it "will do everything possible" to have the player with the national team in both the United States and Rio.
Amid these doubts, the highly marketable superstar has been quoted by one of his many commercial partners in part of their build-up to the summer's Olympics.
"The chance to represent your country in the Olympic Games is earned, not given to you," Neymar said. "Every day us sportspeople take on various challenges, to get closer to each situation with more care and precision."
Neymar, 24, featured in the publicity material alongside other high profile athletes Ashton Eaton (U.S., decathlon), Ning Zetao (China, swimming) and Andy Tennant (Great Britain, team pursuit cycling).