Neymar planned to mock Erling Haaland after Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund in advance, according to Marquinhos.
The two sides were drawn against each other in the last 16 of this season’s competition, with the first leg taking place at Westfalenstadion on February 18.
Dortmund secured a 2-1 victory in front of their own supporters thanks to a superb brace from Haaland, who celebrated scoring by adopting a meditation pose on the side of the pitch.
Neymar, who scored PSG’s only goal of the game, was motivated for revenge in the return leg in Paris, particularly after a photo emerged on social media of Haaland in Paris with the caption: “My city, not yours.”
Neymar imitated Haaland’s celebration for the cameras, and PSG went on to book their place in the quarter-finals with a 3-2 aggregate win after Juan Bernat doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time.
The French champions celebrated wildly after the final whistle despite the absence of fans in the stadium, and Neymar led the entire squad in a mass-group photo copying Haaland’s pose once again.
The 28-year-old then took to Instagram to post an image of himself celebrating in one final dig at the Dortmund star, accompanied with his own “Paris is our city, not yours” message.
PSG midfielder Marquinhos says Neymar’s actions were pre-meditated, admitting that a fellow countryman is not one to avoid any potential confrontations.
“He likes that. Neymar is not just a football player, he is not afraid and always responds to provocations,” the 25-year-old said during an interview with YouTube channel Desimpedidos.
“After his goal, I asked him if he had taken everything out. He warned me, I told him to wait until the end of the match, but he told me to leave it and not to stop it.”
UEFA issued PSG with a formal warning for “unsportsmanlike conduct” after the match, but the club avoided a fine.
Tuchel’s side are now within sight of a maiden Champions League triumph, but it is not yet known whether it will be safe for the current season to resume amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis which has seen all major leagues and competitions shut down for the foreseeable future.