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Chicharito will play in Copa America Centenario, not Rio 2016

Henry Romero / Reuters

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez will be spending his summer in North America rather than South America.

In a conversation with the Los Angeles Times, Hernandez announced that he plans on playing for Mexico's national team at the Copa America Centenario rather than the Rio 2016 Olympics, a decision that was reached by both him and the Federacion Mexicana de Futbol Asociacion.

"The Mexican federation wants me to go to the Copa America," Hernandez said. "It's not only my decision. It's like 50-50, the decision. The federation wants me to go to Copa America and I decided to go to Copa America. Not because I don't want to go to the Olympics. It's because it's the best for ... my club, for me and for the federation."

Hernandez also acknowledged that Bayer Leverkusen, for whom he has tallied 16 goals and one assist in the Bundesliga this season, was consulted on the decision and preferred for him to feature in the Copa America Centenario as well. If the club was to finish fourth, Roger Schmidt's side would qualify for the 2016-17 Champions League's playoffs, which are scheduled to overlap with Rio 2016.

"If we finish fourth, I cannot go to the Olympics," Hernandez said. "So it's not my decision. And if we finish third, the thing is I need to do preseason. So it's not only my decision. Not only 100 percent mine."

On Wednesday, Barcelona revealed that Neymar, also faced with the dilemma of playing in either the Copa America Centenario or Rio 2016, will take part in the latter.

Related: Barcelona confirms Neymar will play in Olympics, miss Copa America

The Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol accepted Barcelona's proposal for Neymar to only play at Rio 2016, suggesting that Brazil is putting emphasis on the competition over the Copa America Centenario.

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