Neymar reveals 'unforgettable' meeting with Maradona as a child

PSG star Neymar reveals his ‘unforgettable’ experience of meeting Diego Maradona when he was just 14 years old when the Argentina hero starred in a legends match against Brazil… and took the starstruck kid on to the team bus

  • Football world is in mourning following Diego Maradona’s death last Wednesday
  • Neymar has been among those paying tribute to the Argentina legend
  • PSG striker has also revealed details on an unforgettable meeting with him
  • The pair had a photograph taken together when Neymar was a youngster
  • Neymar stated encounter during a legends game has led to his eternal respect 

Neymar has opened up on how he fondly remembers one of his first meetings with Diego Maradona while just a child attending a legends game.

The football world is in mourning following the passing of Maradona last Wednesday with many paying their tributes to the 1986 World Cup winner.

Neymar revealed that although he had enjoyed many meetings with the Argentina legend it was during his very early teenage years as a youngster at Santos which left him with a great impression.

Diego Maradona and a young Neymar share a hug during a legends encounter between Argentina and Brazil

The event held in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia saw former stars go toe-to-toe as Maradona looks to take on 1994 World Cup winning captain Dunga

Maradona was featuring in a legends game against Brazil, and while there was no room on the Brazil bus for the travelling fan Neymar, he was made to feel welcome on the Argentina coach which featured the football great.

The Paris Saint-Germain star and Brazil international stated that the pair got on so well, Maradona even went out of his way to arrange a photograph during the event.

‘I had just a few contacts with Maradona, but I’ll never forget the one when I was 12 or 13 years old,’ Neymar told Eleven Sports.

‘I was just starting at Santos and I went to watch a show match between Brazil and Argentina – a game between former players.

The PSG striker warmed up for Saturday’s clash against Bordeaux with a shirt that read ‘Bye number 10! Rest in peace’ in tribute to Maradona

Neymar was joined by his fellow PSG stars including Kylian Mbappe (centre) and Alessandro Florenzi (left)  in wearing tribute to Maradona

‘As the Brazilian team’s bus were already full, I couldn’t go with them, so they put me onto Argentina’s bus. There were two guys highlighted in there, because they were sitting in the first seats: they were [Alejandro] Mancuso and Maradona.

‘So they put me alongside them and treated me very well. So well that, when we arrived in the stadium, they took me to Argentina’s locker room and onto the field.

‘I even have a photo with Maradona, from when I was a little. He called me over to take that picture. I’ll never forget his gesture.

‘On the pitch he was an icon for everybody, sure. For me as well, but I’ve always respected him as an athlete and as a footballer. I will never forget that.’

Neymar has already been among those paying public tribute to Maradona’s passing after warming up in a shirt against Bordeaux showing his face with text reading ‘Bye number 10! Rest in peace’ during the French top flight encounter last Saturday.

Neymar admitted he would always have eternal respect for Maradona following the meeting

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