Published On: Tue, Aug 23rd, 2016

Barcelona grants Neymar permission to return after international break

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Neymar received permission from Barcelona on Monday to remain in Brazil until after the international break, when he will join the senior national team for the start of 2018 World Cup qualifying.

The delay means Neymar – who received a call-up from Brazil manager Tite after scoring the winning penalty at Rio 2016 – will miss Barcelona’s trip to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

He had been expected to return to Spain this week, but fans at the Camp Nou will now have to wait until the Sept. 10 fixture against newly promoted Alaves to fete their Olympic star.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique apparently decided Neymar would be better off avoiding unnecessary travel between South America and Europe. The 24-year-old will likely start for Brazil against Ecuador and Colombia on Sept. 1 and Sept. 6, respectively.

Midfielder Rafinha – who also claimed a historic gold with Neymar – wasn’t afforded the same luxury. The 23-year-old is slated to rejoin his Barcelona teammates Wednesday.

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