The Eiffel Tower put on a spectacular lights display Saturday night to welcome Brazilian football star Neymar Jr in a truly Parisian fashion.
The iconic landmark lit up in Paris Saint-Germain colours of red and blue, with a screen on the tower flashing the message: ‘Welcome Neymar Jr’ to celebrate the athlete’s arrival.
Neymar was forced to sit out and watch his new teammates beat newly-promoted Amiens 2-0 at the Parc des Princes, after La Liga officials reportedly failed to send over the necessary paperwork to French league officials in time for his PSG debut.
The 25-year-old was signed from Barcelona for a world record 222-million euros ($264m) last week. PSG shirts emblazoned with his name and No.10 on the back are already selling at an average of 100 euros, with PSG generating 1 million euros on his first day.
Neymar was unveiled to the PSG fans on the Parc des Princes pitch on Saturday ahead of their opening Ligue 1 match of the season against Amiens.
Fans hail Neymar as PSG stroll to opening win
The Parc des Princes in Paris reverberated to the sound of Neymar´s name chanted over and again before kick off as the world´s most expensive player was presented to fans.
“Paris is magic,” said Neymar as he vowed to “win lots of trophies” for his mega-rich employers following his transfer from Barcelona.
Neymar has been bought to bring Champions League glory to PSG´s Qatari owners and on this evidence he won´t be needed for humdrum domestic matters as the newly-promoted visitors were nonchalantly dismissed.
“This (signing) shows the ambition from both sides: we´re trying to improve and for Neymar this bet is also to take a step forward,” said PSG coach Unai Emery.
“Our ambition is to get closer to winning trophies and the Champions League is one of those.”
Last season´s top scorer Edinson Cavani opened the scoring three minutes before the break with Javier Pastore notching the second 10 minutes from time of a one-sided affair.
“There was a great atmosphere, the fans pushed us to win and I hope they will continue to do so the whole season,” added Emery.
“We controlled the match with our possession and chances.
“If there had been more clarity, we could have scored more goals and had an easier win.”