Neymar Gets Hero’s Welcome From PSG In China after World Cup heartache

Neymar was given a hero’s welcome on his return to the PSG squad as he joined up with his team-mates in China ahead of Saturday’s Trophee des Champions clash with Monaco.

There were hugs all round after his World Cup cheat storm as he was greeted by old faces and a number of new ones too, including boss Thomas Tuchel and summer arrival Gianluigi Buffon.

The Brazilian, 26, was dumped out in the World Cup quarter-finals by Belgium,and came under fire for his antics in Russia.

Regular theatrics and over-the-top reactions to strong tackles made Neymar the no1 target for online jokers.

His return to PSG in Shenzhen was a popular one however, with last summer’s £198m arrival looking forward to a second season with the Ligue 1 champions in which he could be made the highest-paid player in the world on an £850,000-a-week deal.

In his first season, Neymar scored 28 goals in 30 games before a fractured metatarsal in February saw him miss the remainder of the campaign.

The Monaco game is PSG’s first of the new season as the French football federation take their traditional curtain-raiser abroad for the first time.

PSG, as league and cup champions, face runners-up Monaco in Shenzhen at the 60,000-seat Universiade Sports Centre.

The Parisians have endured a rocky pre-season so far, including a 5-1 thrashing by Arsenal on Tuesday and a 4-2 defeat to third-tier Chambly.

A 92nd-minute winner from Virgiliu Postolachi gave the club just their second victory in five pre-season games against Atletico Madrid on Thursday as they rounded off their International Champions Cup action.

 Angel di Maria was on hand to greet Neymar

 Tuchel greeted his star man warmly

The return of Neymar will be a welcome sight, having been without the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva so far.

Club captain Silva was among those to greet the Brazilian forward in China, alongside Marco Verratti and Angel di Maria.

New signing Buffon, who joined after 17 years at Juventus when his contract ended with the Serie A champions, was also present.

And Tuchel, who replaced now-Arsenal boss Unai Emery this summer, gave Neymar one of his more amorous receptions.


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