A half-season into PSG’s Neymar experiment – or is it Neymar’s PSG experiment? – the Brazilian’s time in Paris is going about how we expected it to. There have been egotistical feuds. There have been goals and assists – a lot of them. And there have been a lot of circles run around overmatched opponents.
That’s what makes Neymar so entertaining. He’s a wizard, and he doesn’t feel sorry for the muggles. Instead, he clowns on them. And he has a lot of fun doing it.
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Case in point: Tuesday’s Coupe de la Ligue semifinal against Rennes. Neymar was in fine form:
I mean, come on. So disrespectful – in the very best sense of the word. A back trap! And then for no good reason, a flick over an opponent’s head!
Let’s have another watch:
Oh, and did you catch that at the end? Yep, later in the game, Neymar was whistled for a foul, and booked after he kicked the ball away. Then he went over to his opponent to help him up, only to pull the classic schoolboy prank.
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And if you’re mad about supposed disrespect, lighten up and listen to Neymar after the match. “I always laugh and make jokes to my friend,” he said. “Why not vs. the opponents?”
Touché. Neymar has already perfected the art of making jokes of his opponents anyway.
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PSG won the match 3-2, and is on to the Coupe de la Ligue. But only after going up 3-0, having Kylian Mbappe sent off, and holding on in stoppage time.
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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.