Neymar thanks PSG supporters for 'magical, magnificent' welcome
PARIS -- Despite his ineligibility for the Ligue 1 season opener against Amiens, Neymar was introduced to Paris Saint-Germain supporters at Parc des Princes on Saturday -- once the crowd finally stopped chanting his name.
French DJ Martin Solveig set the tone for the party atmosphere in the French capital with a prematch set as fans took their seats waiting for a glimpse of the €222 million man.
They finally got it just over an hour before kick-off as Neymar followed chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi onto the pitch with fireworks going off as he emerged from the players' tunnel.
The Brazil international made his way to the podium and after a few introductory words from Al-Khelaifi on the most expensive football player in history, Neymar was finally allowed to address the crowd.
Facing a sea of PSG's Samba-themed yellow shirts, the 25-year-old declared his "disappointment" at being unable to feature against newly promoted Amiens but spoke of his gratitude to the fans for the warmest of welcomes.
"This is magical, magnificent, I want to thank the supporters," Neymar said to the stadium. "I am disappointed to be ineligible today, I really wanted to [play], so it will maybe be next week instead.
"In the dressing room I am alongside Dani Alves and Thiago Silva, once again. I hope that we are going to have a great season together."
Neymar then completed a lap of honour and ended by throwing his shirt to the section of Ultras situated at the Auteuil end of Parc des Princes.
The Brazil international then watched Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore score to provide a 2-0 win but -- unsurprisingly -- revealed after the match that his lavish presentation was the highlight of the day for him.
"I am very happy to be here," Neymar told reporters. "Today was magnificent and now I cannot wait to get back on the pitch to be really happy.
"It was a good game today and I know we will keep improving day by day to be at our best as soon as possible.
"My presentation for the fans went really well, it was just incredible and this will remain a very special day for me."
PSG coach Unai Emery was mostly concerned by his team's victory over Amiens but did admit that Neymar's arrival is further proof of the capital club's ambitions and development.
"PSG continue to grow, that is clear with Neymar's arrival," the Spaniard said. "He bet on PSG because he wants to grow with PSG."
Midfielder Adrien Rabiot revealed that he had been "blown away" by Neymar's ability, while Pastore -- who gave up his No. 10 shirt for the Brazilian -- hailed him as one of "the best players in the world" and "fantastic" news for the club.
And although Presnel Kimpembe is yet to train with Neymar, he called the move "something great" and emphasised that "everybody is delighted by the news."
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.