Neymar gives up Brazilian captaincy after Olympic win

The Barcelona star scored the winning penalty in the Maracana final

Neymar gives up Brazilian captaincy after Olympic win

Picture by: Andre Penner / AP/Press Association Images

Neymar has announced he is to step down as Brazil's captain.

The Barcelona striker led his country's under-23 side to Olympic gold on Saturday night scoring the winning penalty against Germany in a dramatic penalty shootout in the Maracana Stadium.

The 24-year-old was one of three overage players named in the squad, as he led the team to their first ever Olympic gold medal in football. Four years ago, the striker was part of the team that suffered a shock loss to Mexico in the Final at Wembley.

Neymar became captain of the senior side after Brazil's humiliating 7-1 to Germany in the World Cup in 2014, but has decided that winning the Olympic gold medal is the right time to hand the captain's armband to someone else.

"Today I have become a champion and I give up the captain's armband. It was something I received and honoured with affection", he told Brazil's SporTV after the game. 

"It was an honour to be captain, but from today I stop being captain. I will send a message to [the senior manager] Tite that from now he can look for another captain."

The striker is expected to return to Barcelona in the coming days, but may not feature for the La Liga champions until next month.