PARIS (AFP) – Neymar shrugged off a hostile reception as he marked his return to action for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) with a stunning injury-time winner last Saturday night, and then insisted it was time to move on from the saga of his aborted return to Barcelona.
The world’s most expensive player was booed and insulted by sections of the PSG support in the Ligue 1 match against Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes.
That seemed set to be the only story of the afternoon until the second minute of added time when, with the game still goalless, the Brazilian met Abdou Diallo’s cross with an acrobatic effort that sent the ball arcing back over his own head and in off the post, sealing a 1-0 win.
It was a remarkable goal and a reminder of why PSG paid a world record EUR222 million to sign Neymar in 2017.
“I made it clear that I have nothing against the fans, nothing against PSG. Everyone knows I wanted to leave. I am not going to get into the details,” he said.
“It is time to turn the page. Today I am a Paris Saint-Germain player and I am going to give everything on the field.”
He had not played for his club since May.
Loud jeers greeted his name as the teams were read out. He was also regularly whistled by fans when he touched the ball.
“It is not the first time I have been booed by everyone,” Neymar admitted.
“I played in Brazil away from home, I was booed. I have played in finals and been booed, I have played here in France, and also been booed.”