The sister of Brazilian star Neymar issued a staunch defence of her brother when he recently came under fire from Paris Saint-Germain supporters over his desire to leave the club this summer.
Banners with the words ‘Neymar go away’ were on display and the fans chanted expletives at the player throughout the course of the team’s season-opening 3-0 win against Nimes in Paris.
It is a far cry from the hero’s welcome he received when he moved to PSG from Barcelona in a world-record £200million transfer in summer 2017.
Neymar has scored an astonishing 51 goals in 58 appearances for the reigning Ligue 1 champions despite having his two seasons in the French capital curtailed by injuries.
A return to Barca appears to be his favoured choice this summer, a move that looks increasingly likely following Philippe Coutinho’s loan switch to Bayern Munich. There is also a possibility of Real Madrid taking him back to Spain, with Los Blancos still seemingly far from done in the transfer market. Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo have all signed this summer but Les Parisiens could be open to a deal if Raphael Varane is included.
Understandably the PSG fans have been left feeling aggrieved and, having let their feelings about Neymar known, they probably were not expecting his sister to come back at them.
Rafaella Santos posted several social media posts – which have since been deleted – slamming the abuse of her brother and wrote in English: “WHAT A DISGUSTING AND DISRESPECTFUL HEAPS OF HUMAN Y’ALL ARE! You wish you still had my brother at your team. You will win nada without him.”
Neymar has until September 2 to find a new club or he will have to see out the first half of the season in France – something PSG officials have seemingly not given up hope on.
In the meantime, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel again left him out of the squad again for Sunday’s shock 2-1 Ligue 1 defeat at Rennes, although he suggested that Neymar’s ongoing injury concerns were the reason behind his omission.