Ahead of Brazilian striker Neymar’s much-anticipated return to the field for Paris Saint-Germain, Collectif Ultras Paris has released a statement from supporters' groups warning the association football (soccer) star that he must be on his best behaviour to win back the fans, after reports of his summer push to move back to Barcelona.
The statement, quoted by El Mundo Deporivo, said:
“In a footballing sense, Neymar is one of the greatest players of his generation, but that's far from the most important thing for us today. What we reproach him for is being disrespectful on several occasions towards our club, even to have humiliated it at times. He has put in place a disastrous communication strategy to try and force a move to Barcelona, one of our main European rivals, leaving his entourage to speak in his place... except when it comes to discussing his best memories!"
The antagonised PSG supporters went on to say:
“At a time when he has made no public statement, let alone an apology, he will soon return to the field of our Parc des Princes, and we are legitimately more than sceptical about him playing another season in our jersey.
Therefore, we invite all the Parisian supporters who have felt hurt at one point or another to show him that he no longer has the right to make mistakes and the path of redemption will be long... very long. It's out of the question that we will penalise the team due to a single player.”
— Collectif Ultras Paris (@Co_Ultras_Paris) September 13, 2019
During much of the past summer, Neymar has been pushing for a transfer to Spain, returning late for pre-season training, according to media comments by his entourage.
When questioned over his favourite soccer memories, Neymar cited Barcelona’s famous ‘remontada’ against PSG – considered one of the most infamous in that of the French club.
In July, Neymar added fuel to rumours of a Barcelona return by posting a video containing an image of himself in the club's shirt, as just two years after leaving Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain the Brazilian has been angling for another transfer, with Catalunya appearing to be his favoured destination.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) July 13, 2019
At the start of July, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu confirmed reports that Neymar wanted out of Parc des Princes, while admitting the Ligue 1 champions did not want to sell.
Since signing from Barca in 2017 for a world-record fee of €222 million ($263 mln), the Brazil striker played 58 matches, scoring 51 times, for PSG, however, injuries have prevented him from taking part in key Champions League matches in both seasons he has been involved.
Social media swept up the story, responding with tweets that cited Lionel Messi as saying:
🗣 "I would have loved for Neymar to come back to Barcelona. Honestly, I don't know if the club did everything possible to get him back but I'm sure negotiating with PSG isn't easy. On a sporting level Neymar is one of the best in the world."
— PurelyFootball UK (@PurelyFootball) September 13, 2019
Some twitter fans took a dim view of the soccer star’s actions:
— Nymeria🐺 (@winterfellgirI) September 14, 2019
— dotman (@Dotun20706397) September 14, 2019
Others emphasised the magnitude of the striker’s worth:
— King Don (@KingDon36631416) September 14, 2019
— Mohamed Sahid (@MohamedSahid3) September 14, 2019
Fans also took to twitter to offer memes inspired by the news:
— El_Kabylo 🇩🇿ⵣ🇨🇦 (@Zect0_YT) September 14, 2019
— thє Ⓜ️σnσlíth° (@TheMonolith10) September 13, 2019
— Rom’🉐 (@Newt741) September 14, 2019