Organisers of Brazil’s tour of Australia, encompassing matches against Argentina and the Socceroos in June, have been left despondent by the omission of Neymar from the Selecao squad.
“Assurances and undertakings” that Brazil would take their strongest squad to Australia, including the FC Barcelona superstar, were in place between the Brazilian Football Federation and organisers.
But Neymar has not been picked. Argentina, meanwhile, have selected a plethora of their stars, including Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala.
“We are disappointed that Neymar Jr will not be playing, as we have had assurances and undertakings that both teams would be bringing their best available squads,” a joint statement between event organisers Geoff Jones of TEG and Bart Campbell of TLA Worldwide read.
“Despite this omission there is still a plethora of international stars proudly representing their national teams in one of the oldest and most prestigious football derbies in the world and we hope that the fans will enjoy the once in a generation encounter at the MCG.”
Brazil will first face Argentina at the MCG on 9 June in a sold out clash before facing Australia four days later on 13 June.
Brazil squad to tour Australia
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves (Valencia), Weverton (Atletico-PR), Ederson (Benfica)
Defenders: David Luiz (Chelsea), Gil (Shandong Luneng), Jemerson (AS Monaco), Rodrigo Caio (Sao Paulo), Thiago Silva (PSG), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Fagner (Corinthians), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Rafinha (Bayern Munich)
Midfielders: Fernandinho (Manchester City), Giuliano (Zenit), Lucas Lima (Santos), Paulinho (Guangzhou Evergrande), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Rodriguinho (Corinthians), Willian (Chelsea)
Forwards: Diego Souza (Atletico-PR), Douglas Costa (Bayern Munich), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Argentina squad to tour Australia
Goalkeepers: Sergio Romero (Manchester United), Nahuel Guzman (UANL Tigres), Geronimo Rulli (Real Sociedad)
Defenders: Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Emanuel Mammana (Olympique Lyonnais), Javier Mascherano (FC Barcelona), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla)
Midfielders: Eduardo Salvio (Benfica), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Guido Rodriguez (Tijuana), Leandro Paredes (AS Roma), Ever Banega (Inter Milan), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain)
Forwards: Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain (both Juventus), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan), Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta), Joaquin Correa (Sevilla)