Barcelona’s newest star-signing Neymar made his first appearance for the Catalan club yesterday, but he was denied victory as they drew with Polish side Lechia Gdansk 2-2 in a pre-season friendly.
Neymar was the standout performers in last month’s Confederations Cup where Brazil won the tournament on their home soil, and he joined up with his new team-mates on Monday having completed his £48.6m move from Santos earlier in the year.
Neymar was introduced to the action in the 78th minute as a replacement for Chilean Alexis Sanchez, shortly after Balor D’or winner Lionel Messi was withdrawn from proceedings after having a solid run-out, delaying the first time that the two will play together.
Neymar was welcomed to life in Europe with a series of robust challenges from the home side, but he emerged from the game unscathed and will be looking forward to the visit of his former club to the Nou Camp on Friday for another friendly.
New Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino did not travel to Poland, and his first game in charge will be that against Santos as he also adapts to life having swapped South America for Europe, taking over from Tito Vilanova who resigned from the role due to his on-going battle with throat cancer.
A minute’s silence was held before yesterday’s match in Gdansk after Barcelona announced that their former goalkeeper Antoni Ramallets has paased away at the age of 89.
Ramallets appeared for Barcelona 473 times between 1946 and 1961, winning six La Liga titles and five Spanish Cups along the way.
He was presented with the Zamora trophy for the best goalkeeper in the Spanish top flight on five occasions and he was a member of the Spanish national squad that finished fourth at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil.