Neymar showed up for training at Paris Saint-Germain on Monday, according to French media reports, a week late and days after controversially claiming his best football memory was beating PSG when he played for Barcelona.
A video posted on the website of leading sports daily L’Equipe showed the 27-year-old Brazilian – his hair dyed peroxide blonde – getting out of a black Mercedes van at the club’s training ground in the suburbs of the French capital.
PSG officially began pre-season training last Monday but Neymar, linked with a move back to Barcelona, was not there with the player’s camp maintaining he had a prior agreement to stay away.
The French champions responded last week by threatening to take “appropriate action” against the world’s most expensive player, who said he had stayed in Brazil to attend a charity five-a-side football tournament run by his foundation, the Neymar Institute.
On Saturday, Neymar, who joined PSG for €222 million (Dh913m) from Barcelona in 2017, made a series of remarks that strained his relationship further with the club and sparked outrage on social media.
Asked by online sports channel Oh My Goal about his best memory in football, the troubled superstar cited Barcelona’s incredible 2017 Champions League victory over PSG when he was part of the team that overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit by winning 6-1 in the second leg of their last-16 tie.
Neymar posted a 10-second video of himself in a Barcelona shirt and a quote from the Bible: “No weapon turned against you will prosper.”
Neymar’s father, who is also the player’s representative, later defended his son in an Instagram post, saying: “At no point did my son show a lack of respect to PSG or the players who played in that game in 2017.”
“My son plays for PSG, but he can’t simply ignore his past. A past that led to him arriving at the French club