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Neymar at PSG: Ligue 1 has finally landed its first true superstar

| 25.08.2017

Brazilian is making his impact felt

As a world-record £222m signing, the bar has been set extraordinarily high for Neymar to perform wonders with Paris Saint-Germain.

The impact of his arrival though, will be felt far beyond the walls of the Parc des Princes.

And the early signs suggest that the Brazilian can become the X-factor star Ligue 1 has been seeking.

They may have had Zlatan Ibrahimovic previously, but Neymar’s arrival takes the French top-flight to another level.

It will count for nothing if Neymar doesn’t produce the goods, but so far, he’s lived up to the hype.

Making his debut away at Guingamp, the striker needed just 62 minutes to make his first impact for his new club, with a delightful slide-rule pass to assist Edinson Cavani.

And just 20 minutes later came his first goal for Les Parisiens.

Toulouse torment

But Neymar’s role on his debut was only a glimpse of his talent, as Toulouse found out to their detriment.

The 25-year-old brought out all the tricks in a quite sensational performance.

It wasn’t just the two assists and two goals in a 6-2 win though. It was the skills, the magic, the creativity.

Every move he made was shared thousands upon thousands of times on social media, in a manner not seen in relation to a PSG game before.

It was the kind of reaction usually reserved for Real Madrid or Barcelona, and it highlighted how quickly Neymar’s impact reaches beyond the football pitch.

Now on to Europe

Now PSG need Neymar to maintain that level, and even more importantly, bring it to the Champions League too.

And here’s where the club’s ambitions will align with those of Ligue 1.

No French side has won the Champions League in 24 years.

It’s a quite dire record when remembering that Spanish clubs have won it 10 times, while England and Italy have had four winners each since 1993.

And it’s for that reason why France’s top-tier is not regarded in the same manner as La Liga, the Premier League, or Serie A.

But in Neymar the division now has a player who can bring that continental success. So the more he benefits PSG, the better it will be for Ligue 1.

They now boast one of the few true global superstars, and as the division’s profile grows worldwide, more may well follow.

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Richard Marsh