Neymar steps down as Brazil captain

Neymar has stepped down as captain of Brazil's international football team, saying that his decision was not due to the stress the role was reported to be causing him.

The Barcelona forward, who won the Olympic gold medal for his country in the recent event held in his native Brazil, announced his decision to give up the captain's armband a mere day after the final against Germany.

Neymar scored the winning spot-kick in the penalty shootout, handing Brazil their first ever Olympic gold in football and going some way toward restoring national pride after their opponents had humiliated the senior team 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup.

Speculation was rife that the 24-year-old was struggling to cope with the pressure of the added responsibility of capatincy, although the player was quick to point out that this notion was manufactured by the media.

"I don't take it as a pressure, it is you (the press) who say it," Neymar told Globo.

"But today, as a champion, I am giving up the captain's armband. I was glad to receive it, I have honoured it, but today I am leaving it. [National team coach] Tite can choose another captain."

While the coach has named the squad to face Ecuador and Colombia in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, a captain has not yet been appointed.