Neymar Reportedly Selected in Brazil Squad for 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2016

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 14:  Brazil head coach Dunga instructs to Neymar during the international friendly match between Japan and Brazil at the National Stadium on October 14, 2014 in Singapore.  (Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
Masterpress/Getty Images

Neymar has reportedly been chosen by Brazil manager Dunga as one of the three over-age players to represent the Selecao at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

In the Olympics, nations are only allowed three players over the age of 23 in their squad, and the Barcelona star—who will be 24 in February—is one of Dunga's selections, along with goalkeeper Alisson and defender Miranda, according to Brazilian outlet UOL (h/t Marca).

His inclusion is hardly surprising, as he is the national team's captain and is also by far their brightest star—one they will undoubtedly want to showcase at a home Olympics. Football represents one of their best chances for a gold medal.

Nelson Antoine/Associated Press

Indeed, should Neymar play, Brazil could well be favourites as the forward would naturally be one of, if not the best player in the tournament.

Per Bleacher Report UK, Neymar had a sublime 2015 and was selected as Brazil's best European-based player:

He might also have a Ballon d'Or to his name by the time the Olympics begin in August if he can defy the odds and beat Barca team-mate Lionel Messi to the award later this month.

As Marca's report noted, as an over-age player he will need the Blaugrana's permission to participate in the Olympics.

Though the Olympics take place in August and will therefore clash with Barca's pre-season preparations—and likely the start of the season itself—the Catalan giants may give him the special dispensation he requires.

Marca stated the prospect of competing for gold at the prestigious competition is a "personal ambition" of Neymar's, and with his nation hosting the event, that desire will undoubtedly increase. Therefore, the club aren't likely to jeopardise their relationship with him by denying him permission.

Expect Neymar to participate with the Selecao in Rio, where he will surely not only shine personally but could well fulfil his dream of winning gold.