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Behind the scenes: Santos distances itself from Neymar to avoid “bragging” among players |  Saints

Behind the scenes: Santos distances itself from Neymar to avoid “bragging” among players | Saints

Neymar's presence at Villa Belmiro was certainly one of the highlights of Santos' night in the first match of the Paulista Championship final. Despite the star's visit, the coaching staff avoided any further contact between him and the Pixies' athletes to avoid a “yay-yay” atmosphere in the locker room.

Neymar celebrates Otero's goal in the Santos x Palmeiras match

Invited by President Marcelo Teixeira to participate in the ceremony held by the São Paulo Federation, Neymar immediately agreed and left Miami for Baixada Santista in a hurry. After landing in the capital, São Paulo, the player took a helicopter to Santos and arrived just over an hour before the start of the final.

Neymar with the Paulistão Cup in Villa Belmiro before the Santos x Palmeiras final – Photo: Marcos Riboli

From there, Neymar headed directly to Villa Belmiro. The Al Hilal striker greeted the athletes and members of the technical staff one by one, but he did not stay in the locker room for long. Until he took to the field to lift the Paulistão Cup, the boy from Villa was isolated in Villa Belmiro's press room, chatting with former left-back Leo, who now works at the club.

Santos 1 x 0 Palmeiras | Best moments | Final match 1 | Paulista Championship 2024

The decision not to maintain such close contact between the team and the Brazilian national team star was considered by the technical committee. There was a certain fear that Neymar's presence in the locker room could distract the athletes from the match against Palmeiras.

Otero praises Neymar's goal against Santos against Palmeiras – Photo: Raul Barreta/Santos FC

At the end of the match, even with Pixie winning the first deciding match, the player did not have another long contact with the players. Coach Fabio Carril, although aware of the weight of the star image, did not want to take his team's focus away from the decisive match at Allianz Parque.

“This is the big moment for Santos,” Isabel says. Fan sound