Neymar was presented to the Paris Saint-Germain fans with incredible pomp. There was a DJ, a podium, fireworks and tifo in his image. No expense was spared to welcome him like PSG's new hero, which is exactly what he will become.
Despite being unable to play the opening match of the season against Amiens, he took to the field in the shirt of the capital side. It was a taster of what was to come for fans, who were no doubt disappointed they could not see him debut at home. Although he missed out, the Parisians turned out in great numbers to give him a warm welcome. The warmest, though, came from the famous Auteuil cop. The Collectif Ultra Paris were there to welcome their new recruit in style.
He had already been given a hint of what life he would experience in Paris with the massive crowds on August 4, the day of his presentation. He was clapped everywhere, songs were sung and there was already a great fervour that the former Barcelona star would feel even more prior to PSG-Amiens.
Given a lap of honour at Parc des Princes, where he kicked balls into the crowd and had photos taken with fans, the Brazilian heard his name resonate around the stadium with songs in his honour. It was a bit of an anomaly because the Parisian Ultras generally reserve such chants to players who have already made their mark in the history of the club. This time, though, everything was directed towards one man. This was evidenced by his spontaneous return to the stage to throw his jersey into the crowd.
Les Ultras du PSG en très grande forme pour accueillir Neymar dans quelques instants ! pic.twitter.com/pkZngBsxBC— Johann Crochet (@johanncrochet) 4 août 2017
The refrain of ‘Brazil’ on the air, previously used for Rai in the 1990s, has already been adopted by Neymar. In a video that was widely shown on social media by PSG, there is footage of the Sao Paulo-born player signing his side. And that’s before he’s achieved anything on the field for his new team.
The first contact between the fans and Neymar was a success. If he had need of reassurance that moving to France from Barcelona, his first steps in the red and blue should offer encouragement enough.
Against Toulouse on Sunday night, it will be on the field Neymar must continue his operation to seduce a new public. His first outing on the park at Guingamp was very promising and without doubt increased the impatience of the Parisians to finally see him on his own grass. Now that’s only a formality and the lightning bolt of his arrival is expected to become a long story of true love.