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'Paris will forgive Neymar if he can deliver' - French capital's mayor calls on wantaway star to knuckle down

10:38 IST 13/09/2019
Neymar PSG
The Brazil star came under criticism from PSG supporters as he looked to secure a move to Barcelona over the summer

Neymar will return to action for Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday when the defending Ligue 1 champions take on Strasbourg at Parc des Princes.

Having made his comeback for Brazil during the international break after missing their Copa America triumph in July, all eyes will be on the star forward as he takes to the field for PSG following a summer of speculation.

Barcelona tried everything they could to bring the ex-Santos man back to Camp Nou during pre-season but a deal could not be reached.

And now even the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has had her say on Neymar's return to action.

“I'm going to have to help you win,” she told Télé-Loisirs in a direct message to the 27-year-old.

“I like football and I like this team. I support them thoroughly and we turn the Eiffel Tower red and blue — the colours of Paris and PSG. 

“We love you a lot. You'll have to give your all to help us win the Champions League.”

Since Neymar’s arrival in the summer of 2017, PSG have been unable to make it past the last 16 in the Champions League, losing to Real Madrid in 2018 and to Manchester United last season despite winning 2-0 at Old Trafford in the first leg.

Neymar missed three of the four legs of those matches, and given his willingness to leave the club this summer, a number of PSG fans have begun to turn on their world-record signing.

Hidalgo, though, is still hanging her hopes on the 27-year-old forward, but believes he has to improve his attitude and get the fans on his side.

"He has to come back down to earth a little bit,” she added.

“He has to help the team that signed him. Paris has received him well, and he may have a few issues with the supporters, but if Neymar gives us what we know he can give I think that everything will be forgiven."

From fans, pundits and players, to politicians, everyone has had their say on one of the world’s most high profile footballers who now needs to take to the pitch to remind them what all the fuss is about.