Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar has sent Santos FC fans into hysteria after promising that he will return to the club one day.
The 31-year-old, who is out for the season with an ankle injury, was spending time in his local Brazil when he decided to attend Santos’ 0-0 draw with Audax Italiano in the Copa Sudamericana on Thursday.
Neymar began his meteoric rise to superstardom at the Brazilian club. However, he still enjoys a strong following at the Vila Belmiro, with fans pictured chanting his name during the recent draw.
After the game, the 31-year-old said he still loved the club, declaring he is still a supporter.
“It’s nice to come back home,” he said after the game via GOAL.
“I feel at home here, so happy to be back here after ten years.
“Unfortunately, it was a draw. I wanted the win. I came here to support Santos and receive the affection of the fans. It was the club that gave me everything, that opened doors for my family and me, that revealed me to the world.”
When the club’s supporters approached him as he left the stadium after the game, Neymar took his declaration further by stating that he would one day return to the club.
“One day, I’ll be back. I’ll be back soon.”
Neymar started his professional football career at Santos, and he dazzled in the Campeonato Brasileiro. He made 134 appearances across competitions for the Brazilian giants, scoring 70 goals and contributing 35 assists. He won one Recopa Sudamericana and a league title with the club.
But for now, the Brazilian remains a Paris Saint-Germain player and will be keen to get back to the field after a frustrating season that has seen him spend much time on the sidelines. His current deal at the Parc des Princes expires in 2025 after an automatic renewal was triggered last summer.
However, his future with the Parisians is uncertain amid reports in December claiming that Kylian Mbappe was pushing for his teammate to leave.