They’re a cynical bunch, football fans.
A reminder of that came on Wednesday night when Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar won, took and scored a penalty to give his side the lead in their French League Cup quarter final against Amiens. Having done so, the Brazilian chose to unlace one of his boots, take it off and balance it on his head in celebration. Naturally.
nike celebration pic.twitter.com/5w99dGKax9
— Philou (@philousports) January 10, 2018
As footage of this did the rounds on social media, some suggested that £537,000-per-week Neymar had celebrated in this way purely as a PR stunt for Nike.
The 25-year-old has only recently started wearing the new Puro Fenomeno signature Nike Mercurials and it seemed some mistakenly believed this was all a ploy to get them a bit more exposure…
— Omar Wakas ?? (@OmarWakas) January 10, 2018
Incredible really how Neymar will be playing and thinking of how he'll fit in a Nike promotional stunt into the game.
At Barcelona he would just change his boots on the pitch just to get the TV cameras focused on the boots https://t.co/c6KYCd5ejR
— EchoChambers are bae (@EuginhoCortez) January 10, 2018
Neymar celebrating by putting his shoe on his head, Nike is going to be happy ? pic.twitter.com/54QviL9uJm
— Brazil Football ?? (@BrazilEdition) January 10, 2018
Wonder if this was Neymar’s idea or Nike’s… pic.twitter.com/hjTsSf4xOz
— Alex McGovern (@amcgovern25) January 10, 2018
Remember how Neymar always changes his boots during games like every game at Barça? Him & Nike have reached a new level now. pic.twitter.com/yTe9VomjEf
— ٰ (@GYLFl) January 10, 2018
Neymar's celebration was shameless tbh. Not even Ronaldo has done that… yet https://t.co/v87wqHUh4u
— Veron (@MesmericMessi) January 10, 2018
You get the gist.
As it turns out, the celebration had nothing to do with endorsing Nike at all. Or at least, that’s what the man himself has claimed. Posting on Instagram after the game, the former Barcelona star explained that those who know his friend, João Celso Moraes, will know that this celebration was dedicated to him. He also shared a couple of images of Moraes balancing a drinks on his head – presumably his party piece.
That’s that cleared up then.