Before this summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil, Neymar was already regarded as a national hero.
But after securing a gold medal for his nation, he will go down in history.
Not only did he score an incredible free-kick in the final against Germany, but the captain also stuck away the winning penalty in the shootout after the match had finished 1-1.
After his success, Barcelona have given the forward an extended leave until after the international break before he teams up with his teammates at the Camp Nou.
And there’s one man that definitely thinks he deserves extra holiday time. That man is Barcelona defender Gerard Pique who believes that Neymar’s achievements this summer proves that he is one of the world’s best players.
Pique on Neymar
"At the Olympic Games, Neymar showed that he is one of the world's best players because, to be champions, he had to score the decisive penalty. He has won more holiday time," Pique said.
"It has not been easy for him because to play with the Brazil shirt implies a lot of pressure to win.
"For him and his team-mates it has been a very tough tournament and the fact that he can now enjoy some more days of rest was a very good decision."
As Pique mentioned, there certainly was a lot of pressure on Neymar as Brazil captain. While Thiago Silva had the captain’s armband during the 2014 in Brazil, the whole nation expected Neymar to guide their side to glory two years ago.
The tournament ended awfully for the Brazilians as they were thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final.
So, not only did the entire country expect Brazil to make amends for their embarrassing defeat against the same opposition, they expected their captain - Neymar - to lead the side to comfortable victory.
Neymar steps down from captaincy
It was, for that reason, that Neymar decided to step down from Brazil captaincy following the Games.
"Today I have become a champion, and I give up the captain's armband.
"It was an honour to be captain, but from today I stop being captain. I will send a message to [senior coach] Tite that, from now, he can look for another captain."
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