Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar expects to continue receiving a hostile reception from his own fans after trying to push a move away in the summer.
The Brazilian looked set to leave the French champions during the summer transfer window, with a return to Barcelona appearing to be his most likely destination.
Neymar’s playing away: Five things to know…
- Neymar was heavily linked with a move away from PSG in the summer.
- Barcelona and Real Madrid were the two sides most-frequently attributed with genuine interest.
- But Neymar stayed and made his first appearance of the season at the weekend.
- The Brazilian scored the winning goal against Strasbourg, but was booed by home fans.
- And Neymar expects more of the same throughout the season.
But no deal materialised and Neymar made his first appearance for PSG on Saturday in their Ligue 1 clash against Strasbourg after recovering from fitness issues.
In true Neymar fashion, the Brazilian scored the only goal of the game in the 90th minute, a bicycle kick to earn PSG a fourth win of the season.
The winning goal, however, was met with a mixture of cheers and boos from the PSG fans who were happy to have all three points but discontent with the scorer.
And Neymar is expecting more of the same throughout the season, telling reporters: “I understand the fans and I know that it was hard for them. But from now on I am a PSG player.
“No, I do not have a particular message for [the fans]. I am used to being booed throughout my career. This time, I will be playing each match as if we were away from home. It is a shame, I have nothing against the fans.
“Everyone knew that I wanted to leave. I said it and I repeated it. I do not want to go into details.
“The page is turned. I am a PSG player and now I am going to give everything on the pitch.”
Despite his return to action, Neymar will be unavailable for PSG’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday as a result of a three-match suspension picked up in the wake of his side’s last-16 exit to Manchester United last season.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
What went wrong with Neymar’s Barcelona return?
A transfer saga which seemed to stretch the entire summer, Neymar looked almost certain to re-sign for Barcelona up until the close of the European window.
The Blaugrana were reported to have tabled several bids, including one in the final days of the window, but failed to reach PSG’s desired conditions.
“Our position on a potential departure of Neymar is clear, everyone knows what we want,” PSG sporting director Leonardo told reporters at the end of August.
“We got a first written offer on 27 August and we refused it, the conditions didn’t suit us.”