The role of the captain has been handed to the veteran, Dani Alves.
A piece of news that may unsettle the fans of the Brazil national football team, it was announced by the football federation of the country, CBF, that Neymar has been relieved of the captaincy ahead of the next month’s Copa America. His Paris Saint-Germain teammate and compatriot, Dani Alves will now captain the national side.
The official statement by the CBF read, “Daniel Alves will be the captain of the Brazilian national team in the friendly matches against Qatar and Honduras and in Copa America Brazil 2019.”
Dani Alves has had 136 caps for the national side and will be leading Brazil’s challenge in the upcoming Copa America, which will commence on June 14. Brazil as the hosts will be under more pressure than ever to finally win the coveted continental showpiece which they have not won since 2007. The 36-year-old is believed to have a bigger influence in the dressing room and is the perfect candidate to lead a relatively young Brazil squad.
36 year old Dani Alves will captain Brazil at this summer’s Copa América, instead of Neymar Jr. pic.twitter.com/E5Cf77v3fa
— Brazil Football ???????? (@BrazilEdition3) May 27, 2019
The replacement comes in a time where Neymar has been under a lot of scrutinies for his off-field antics. Having being announced as the captain of the Selecao after the culmination of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Neymar has since been involved in a series of controversies which are believed to be behind the stripping of the captaincy by the board.
Neymar received a three-match ban by UEFA for his social media outburst after their elimination from the Champions League against Manchester United due to a controversial last-minute penalty awarded by the interruption of the VAR.
The 27-year-old was again reprimanded for his altercation with a fan after the PSG star was seen hitting a supporter after the French Cup final defeat at the hands of Stade Rennes, and was handed a three-match ban by the French football authorities. Whispers of his further heated exchanges with the fellow PSG teammates after the fixture did not help his cause either.
It is believed that the gaffer, Tite, informed him on Saturday about the decision. It was reported that the manager was under pressure to replace Neymar as the captain due to his involvement in controversies and disciplinary misdemeanours.
It will be interesting to see how Neymar reacts to these series of events, whether he has a fallout with fellow teammates or does he take it in his stride and focus on bringing Copa America glory to the nation? Time will tell.