Gerard Pique believes Barcelona teammate Neymar has earned his extended break after a summer at the Olympic Games.
Neymar captained Brazil to a gold medal and isn’t expected back in Catalonia until September according to reports this week, but Pique feels the forward deserves the time off.
“He’s proven to be one of the best, to score the decisive penalty. It wasn’t easy because there was a lot of pressure to win, although he’s used to that. He’s earned this holiday and this break because it’s been very hard and he’ll be back after more appearances for his country. It’s a very good decision,” the defender told Marca.
Pique also considered the first round of La Liga, with wins for Barca and Real Madrid, and evaluated Samuel Umtiti, before previewing the second round trip to Athletic Bilbao.
“Madrid winning was logical. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of goals [Barca] scored,” he said after the 6-2 win over Real Betis.
“Umtiti is very level, he’s young and he’s stepped forward. There are a lot of good players at centre-back and knowing the Coach the four will play throughout the season. We were unlucky to concede two goals.
“Athletic? It’s another game. The League has just begun and we’ll go to win as always. I saw Athletic against Sporting Gijon and they lacked a bit, but so do we. No one is 100% now.”