Paris: Neymar wasted no time in making an impact on the field for Paris Saint-Germain, scoring on his debut in a 3-0 win at Guingamp and declaring he felt “more alive than ever”.
The Brazilian world record signing was handed a start by coach Unai Emery for the game in Brittany, two days after international clearance came through for his 222 million-euro ($261m) switch from Barcelona.
The 25-year-old, at home in PSG’s all yellow change kit, played a part in the own goal scored by Jordan Ikoko that gave the away side the lead early in the second half.
He then set up the second goal for Edinson Cavani with a superb pass in behind the Guingamp defence before completing a comfortable victory with his team’s third goal eight minutes from the end.
“People think that leaving Barça is to die, but no, it’s the opposite,” Neymar said.
“I’m more alive than ever. I play, I’m very happy, and football is the same. Only the country, the city and the team change, but football is the same.”
Guingamp coach Antoine Kombouare, a former PSG player, described Neymar as a “phenomenon”.
“It’s been a long time since I have seen such a phenomenon. All his teammates want to play with him and he brings competition,” said Kombouare.
“Everyone gets more time because of him, he can accelerate and make a difference. We’re happy that we don’t have to play PSG every weekend.”