Neymar scored a last-gasp winner for Paris Saint-Germain against Strasbourg to defy vocal criticism from the home crowd at the Parc des Princes.
The wantaway superstar made his first appearance since failing to force through a move from the French capital this summer, and was unsurprisingly handed a frosty reception by the home faithful. But the mercurial Brazilian shrugged off criticism from the stands in style when he latched on to Abdou Diallo’s teasing delivery to hook an acrobatic volley into the net.
Neymar and his father were the target of several insulting banners and chants on Saturday evening, after a lengthy transfer saga soured relations between the player and club.
The 27-year-old had missed PSG’s opening four league clashes of the new campaign as he actively attempted to secure a big money reunion with former side Barcelona. But after the Spanish side were unable to wrap up negotiations, Neymar was resigned to once again securing his future in the French capital for at least another season.
The forward’s name had been loudly booed when read aloud over the tannoy in the build-up to the clash, and large messages directed at the Brazilian were unfurled in the crowd. One read: ‘Neymar Sr, sell your son in Vila Mimosa’, which refers to a neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro notorious for prostitution.
Another declared hope that the player would move to Barcelona, and translated as: ‘€20m to join Messi, no more wh**es in Paris’. Before the meeting with Strasbourg, boss Thomas Tuchel had stressed that Neymar needed ‘focus’ after a turbulent few weeks. He said: ‘Neymar is in the group, that is for sure. He can focus now. ‘He needs to make his return as he is a PSG player, so he is in the squad for this one. ‘It has not been easy for him in recent weeks, but that is life.