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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Neymar rejoins PSG on China tour after not wanting to look at a football

World's most expensive player posed for pictures with airport staff before noisy welcome in arrivals hall

Wherever he goes, Neymar remains a hugely popular figure in football. Reuters
Wherever he goes, Neymar remains a hugely popular figure in football. Reuters

Dozens of screaming fans welcomed Brazil star Neymar on Thursday as he flew in to China to rejoin Paris Saint-Germain after his disappointing World Cup.

The world's most expensive player, wearing a canary-yellow hoodie, posed for pictures with airport staff before his noisy welcome in the arrivals hall.

Footage on Neymar's Twitter account showed him signing Barcelona, Brazil and PSG shirts before being guided through the crowd by minders and security staff.

Neymar's arrival, ahead of Saturday's French Super Cup game against Monaco in Shenzhen, comes more than five months after his last appearance for PSG following a foot injury in late February.

The flamboyant forward then endured a turbulent World Cup as Brazil were stunned by Belgium in the quarter-finals and he was widely lampooned for his play-acting.

"I didn't want to see a ball, or to see any more football played," the 26-year-old player told AFP last month in an interview, describing his World Cup disappointment.

However, Thursday's enthusiastic welcome indicated that his popularity in China remains very much intact.

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