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Celtic youngster Anthony Ralston has insisted he “won’t lose any sleep” over Neymar’s decision not to shake hands with him on Tuesday.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward appeared to decline the opportunity after the UEFA Champions League game, with the duo clashing previously in the contest. Neymar also netted the opening goal for the French side in a 5-0 win.
Ralston, just 18 years old, was asked about his exchange with the most expensive player in history after the game, per Michael Gannon of the Daily Mirror.
“It wasn’t a big deal,” he said after what was only his fifth senior start. “I won’t dwell on that too much. If that is the case, and that is the way he wants to be, then fine. I don’t care.”
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As noted by Tom Farmery of the MailOnline, Neymar also seemed to turn down the chance to swap shirts with the Celtic youngster after the final whistle. Earlier in the game Ralston laughed at the Brazilian after he was booked for diving and left a few tough challenges on him in the match.
Rory Smith of the New York Times was disappointed by the incidents:
Rory Smith @RorySmith
I think (not certain) Neymar may have refused to swap shirts with Anthony Ralston, as well as not shake his hand. Which is a bit of a shame.
Ralston, who played at right-back, was in direct competition with Neymar for much of the contest. As we can see courtesy of Sport Witness, the French media didn’t rate his display too highly up against the PSG No. 10:
Sport Witness @Sport_Witness
L’Equipe rate Celtic’s players, and it’s not pretty. #Celticfc https://t.co/M18Vvkvfah
Indeed, in the end it was Neymar and the visitors who had the last laugh, as they ran riot on a miserable night for Celtic in Glasgow.
After Neymar’s opener Edinson Cavani grabbed a brace and Kylian Mbappe also got on the scoresheet, offering European football a reminder of their devastating firepower following a summer of lavish spending.
As noted by OptaJean, the trio were ruthless when chances came their way at a notoriously difficult venue to play on European nights:
4/5 – Cavani (2/3), Mbappé (1/1) and Neymar (1/1) converted four of their five shots on target into goals v Celtic tonight. Trident. https://t.co/SuTmIRCvx8
Although it was a tough night for Ralston he should have learned plenty from going up against one of the best footballers on the planet on the biggest stage, especially with matches against Bayern Munich and Anderlecht to come in the group.
Should the youngster get the nod again when Celtic travel to the Parc des Princes, plenty will be keen to see how he fares against Neymar second time around.