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Barcelona's Gerard Pique: Neymar has earned post-Olympic break

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What Brazil's gold medal means to the country (0:47)

Michael Eaves reports from Rio, where Brazil won their first Olympic gold medal for soccer, on how the country has reacted. (0:47)

Gerard Pique says Neymar's exploits at the Olympics have earned him the right to some extra time off before linking back up with the Barcelona squad next month.

Neymar, who scored a free kick in normal time and the winning penalty in the shootout as Brazil took the gold medal against Germany at the weekend, had been expected to re-join his Barca teammates in training this week ahead of Saturday's trip to Athletic Bilbao.

However, a statement released by the Catalan club on Monday said coach Luis Enrique felt it was best if the 24-year-old remained in his homeland with next week's international break in mind.

"It's not been easy [for Neymar] because to be there [Brazil] meant there was a lot of pressure to win, even though he's accustomed to that," Pique told Marca.

"So he's earned this break because it was a long, tough competition and [next week] he has more games with the national team. It's a good decision."

Neymar stepped down as his country's captain after the win over Germany but he still takes his place in Tite's first Brazil squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia.

Following the Colombia game on Sept. 6 he will return to Barcelona and could make his first appearance of the season in the league game against Alaves the following Saturday at Camp Nou.

Due to his commitments with his national team, Neymar missed the Blaugrana's Super Cup win over Sevilla and their opening day La Liga victory over Real Betis.

Rafinha, who was also part of Brazil's Olympic squad, will return to Barca training on Wednesday as he has not been named in Tite's squad.