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Brazil to leave Neymar behind for June friendlies in Australia

April 5, 2017 - Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain - Neymar Jr during the Spanish League match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC in Barcelona, on April 5, 2017 (Photo by Miquel Llop/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
Miquel Llop/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

Neymar, Brazil’s top player, has been left off of the country’s roster for their upcoming two-game stretch of friendlies in Australia. With the pair of matches slated to take place next month, Neymar will be left behind in order to take a vacation, which will allow the heralded Barcelona striker to be more prepared for the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Upon traveling to Melbourne,  Brazil will take on Argentina on June 9 and the host country of Australia just four days after the initial matchup.

“I heard that whatever was best for Brazil we should do, regardless of names,” said Brazil head coach Tite at the Brazilian soccer confederation headquarters, via the Associated Press. “[Neymar] needs an interruption so he can be in top physical form in 2018.”

The last time around, Brazil finished in fourth place as a result of the 2014 World Cup. After advancing to the semifinal round, Brazil came up short against the Netherlands, 3-0, in the third-place game.

“I ask you not to play with it anymore,” Tite added. “I feel uncomfortable. It is a joke, but it is a joke with something very serious.”

According to the Associated Press, the current Brazilian roster is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Weverton Pereira da Silva, Ederson Santana de Moraes

Defenders: Alex Sandro, Fagner, Filipe Luis, Rafinha, David Luiz, Gil, Jemerson, Rodrigo Caio, Thiago Silva

Midfielders: Fernandinho, Giuliano, Lucas Lima, Paulinho, Philippe Coutinho, Renato Augusto, Rodriguinho Marinho, Willian

Forwards: Diego Souza, Douglas Costa, Gabriel Jesus, Taison

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