Lionel Messi 'sorry' banned Neymar misses Copa America

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Neymar sent off in Brazil defeat

Argentina captain Lionel Messi says Neymar will be a missed at the Copa America after the Brazil forward was banned for the rest of the tournament.

Neymar, 23, was sent off and given a four-match suspension after clashing with Colombia players following Brazil's 1-0 defeat in the group stage.

The Brazilian Football Confederation is considering an appeal against the ban.

"I'm sorry he's no longer in this Copa America," Messi, 27, said of his Barcelona team-mate.

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Messi wins his 100th cap as Argentina top Group B

"Neymar is a friend and I care about him. I'm sorry about the suspension he was given because I believe he is a very important player for Brazil."

Colombia play Peru in their final Group C game, with Brazil taking on Venezuela. Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela are level at the top of the table with three points each.

On a potential appeal, Brazil coach Dunga said: "Legal experts will respond to all the action taken against Neymar.

"We don't want anything in our favour, we don't want anything against us, we just want it to be balanced."

Neymar and Lionel Messi
Neymar and Lionel Messi were part of last season's treble-winning Barcelona side

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Thursday 18th June 2015

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