Messi and Neymar among South American players doubtful for Champions League and Copa del Rey finals
This summer's Copa America can present challenges to Lionel Messi and Neymar’s participation in the Champions League final, assuming their side makes it to Berlin. The Barcelona duo’s involvement in the Copa del Rey finals will also be called into question owing to the same reason.
All South American sides, including Argentina and Brazil, will participate in this year’s Copa America being held in Chile from June 11. The tournament kicks off just five days after the Champions League final concludes in Berlin.
European clubs with a considerable South American presence are set to face some serious problems during end of the season fixtures, considering FIFA want clubs to free up players named by their national sides by May 29.
Upto six Barcelona players could miss Champions League final
Barça can be the one worst hit team, with Messi, Javier Mascherano, Neymar, Dani Alves and Claudio Bravo all regular fixtures for their countries.
If Luis Suarez’s ban is lifted, he too could be called up to represent Uruguay.
National teams enjoy priority over clubs and will be counting on getting back their best players at the earliest to ensure the best possible preparation.
While the La Liga ends on May 26, the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao is scheduled on May 30, meaning Barça may also lose their stars for the match.
According to some sources, FIFA have already recommended that Europe’s biggest clubs begin negotiations with the national teams to ensure they don't lose their South American players if they make it to the Champions League final.