Neymar may be settling in nicely at Paris Saint-Germain, but that does not mean there are things he misses about Barcelona.
The €222 million signing was present as PSG continued their perfect start to the Ligue 1 season on Friday evening, recording a 3-0 victory over Saint-Etienne at Parc des Princes.
It was the first time that Neymar had failed to gain a goal or an assist for his new club, though he was still one of the standout players on the field. Prior to the match, he had left a message on his Instagram account with the message: ‘Friends I miss’.
Those friends were his old partners in crime, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, with whom he made up the great MSN strike trio.
But it is not just old team-mates that the 25-year-old misses. Indeed, this week he spared a thought for Espanyol attacker Leo Baptistao, who celebrated his 24th birthday.
The former Atletico Madrid man is a close friend of Neymar. “Today it's my little brother's birthday. We met a long time ago, but one of the best things that happened in Barcelona was getting to know him. Congratulations, brother, may God always enlighten you, and you know something? You deserve it. I love you @leobaptisteo,” Neymar posted.
But it’s not been a week entirely about looking back for the superstar.
On Friday, he crossed paths with basketball legend Stephen Curry, who arrived in Paris to watch Neymar in action.
The Brazilian had taken in Game 2 of the NBA Finals in June, and now the Golden State Warriors star replicated the gesture. Neymar appreciated it greatly, posting “Idol” on his Instagram account with a picture of the future Hall of Famer.
Neymar’s interest spreads further than just basketball and football, however, and like millions around the world he took in Floyd Mayweather’s fight with UFC star Conor McGregor in Las Vegas.
He paid tribute to the boxer, who claimed his 50th professional victory without a single defeat by stopping the Irishman in the 10th round.
Meanwhile, PSG team-mate Dani Alves has been getting philosophical on Instagram. “Life, life is the greatest gift we have in this world and we do not know how long it will last, so those who are healthy have the opportunity to live it intensely, do not waste time, you can’t get it back when the light of being is extinguished,” he said.
“Do not accelerate vital processes, let life take care of it. Do not be slaves to a mediocre society, they will use weapons to destroy each other. Heal their minds and live in the peace that desperately seeks humanity.
A vida, a vida é o presente maior que temos nesse mundo e não sabemos o quanto durará, por isso, aqueles que há tem saudável aproveitem para vivê-la intensamente, não perca tempo, não poderá recupéralo quando a luz do ser se apague... não acelerem o processo vital, deixemos que a vida se encarregue disso. Não sejam escravos de uma sociedade medíocre, eles os usarão de armas para que destruam uns aos outros. Sanem suas mentes e viverão na paz que desesperadamente busca a humanidade.
Patrice Evra has also sent out a message through social media this week following the terrorist attacks in Catalunya. His message was to spread peace and love.
Nice star Mario Balotelli has also been soul searching. He was criticised by head coach Lucien Favre after his side’s exit from the Champions League, beaten 2-0 at home by Napoli in midweek and 4-0 on aggregate.
However, he has vowed to come back stronger after missing the trip to Amiens at the weekend. “I will try my best to makes @ogcnice to come out of this dark period .. The last game I played I was still injured and I speeded up my comeback but I was still not even 50% .. I speeded up my comeback because I really wanted to help and, as you all know, I couldn't,” he said.
“Now I'm coming out of a flu, which I had for four days already - that's why I wasn't in Amiens."
I will try my best to makes @ogcnice to come out of this black period .. last game I played I was still injured and I speeded up my come back but I was still not even 50% .. I speeded up my come back because I really wanted to help and as you all know I couldn't . Now I'm coming out of a flue which I had for 4 days already that's why I wasn't in Amiens . I know is always easy to attack me when things don't go in the right way and it makes me sad and proud at the same time because it means ou people still beliving in me but all I can do is to prove wrong once again to all of those that were whistling at me. Kids fall men stand up. We are men so let's not stay angry and look forward
“I know is always easy to attack me when things don't go in the right way and it makes me sad and proud at the same time because it means you people still believe in me but all I can do is to prove to all of those that were whistling at me were wrong once again.
“Kids fall, men stand up. We are men so let's not stay angry and look forward.” If all that’s a bit heavy, Memphis Depay can have the final word. “Don’t forget to smile today my young kings and young queens,” the Lyon star told his followers.