Neymar explains why he left Brazil squad

The Selecao star's Copa America ban for assaulting a Colombia player and verbally abusing the referee afterwards has seen him depart Chile.

Neymar has explained why he decided to leave the Brazil camp after the decision was made not to appeal his four-match Copa America ban.

The 23-year-old was red carded after the full-time whistle in Brazil's second group game against Colombia – which they lost 1-0 – for attempting to headbutt an opposition player.

Neymar subsequently made the situation worse for himself by launching a barrage of abuse at referee Enrique Osses, including an accusation that the official was “trying to become famous at my expense, son of a b****.”

The Barcelona star has set the record straight by revealing why he chose to depart Dunga's squad as he believes he would only be a distraction as the Selecao are three wins away from Copa glory.

"I waited with great faith and hope that there would be a possibility of me playing for Brazil again in this Copa America, but unfortunately it will not be possible," Neymar wrote on his official Instagram account.

"I know my presence in the group is important, but other players now more than ever have to be focused on the upcoming games.

"I will be cheering for the team's success but to stay in training would kill me inside. It would be joyless. It's very hard to train without having anything to aim for and I could easily pick up an injury.

"Staying with the squad could lead to concentration issues and would distract from the main objective of winning the competition."

Neymar insisted he is sorry from being forced to withdraw from an international tournament early for the second time in the last 12 months, with the forward injured at the quarter-final stage of World Cup 2014.

"I never dodged the responsibility of being a leader of the group," he added. "As a captain I always go in search of victories and make decisions – whether erroneous or right – and this is a moment of decision-making.

"I apologize to my colleagues for putting people in this situation, but I'm sure it will be a learning curve in my career."

Next up for Brazil is a quarterfinal clash with Paraguay on Saturday. Victory in that game will set up a semifinal with Argentina or Colombia.