When Bayern Munich defeated Paris Saint Germain in the UEFA Champions League final on Sunday, 23 August 2020, Bayern’s David Alaba went straight to PSG’s Neymar immediately after the final whistle to console the 28-year-old Brazilian forward.
This act which was captured during the live broadcast of the match became a talking point. The 28-year-old Austrian left-back who did not have any history of friendship with Neymar before the match received heartwarming applause from football fans across the world for his sportsmanship.
As he was being applauded, some were wondering what inspired the Bayern Munich star to leave his teammates who broke into celebration immediately after the final whistle and headed straight to Neymar to console him.
In his attempt to reveal what inspired him to carry out such an action, David Alaba told FC Bayern Podcast that he decided to go straight to the Brazilian talisman to console him because of how much the player gave to win the match for PSG.
He added that he didn’t only admire the way Neymar plays but the fact that he plays so well with a smile on his face. The Austrian added that people like him love athletes like Neymar.
“It turned out that way. He (Neymar) is a player who has a lot of pressure on his shoulders, who carries a large burden, who carries the whole club,” Alaba noted.
On the night David Alaba decided to console Neymar
Immediately Bayern Munich defeated Barcelona 8-2 in the quarter-finals of the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League, it was clear that they are the favorite to win the tournament. The German Bundesliga champions established this fact in the semi-finals stage when they knocked out “stubborn” French Ligue 1 side Lyon.
Yet, French Ligue 1 champions, PSG, were hoping that their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League final would earn them the club’s first Champions League title. They had two players who could have helped them to achieve this feat – Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Unfortunately for Thomas Tuchel, the manager of PSG, Mbappe could not come to the party on the night he was needed the most while Neymar tried all he could to carry the team on his shoulder but it was impossible to do much. On the night, the goalkeeper of Bayern Munich, Manuel Neuer, put up a priceless performance to stop PSG and Neymar’s best chance of the night.
After 90 minutes of a fierce battle, Bayern Munich ran away with the Champions League title with a 1-0 victory courtesy of Kingsley Coman 59th minute goal which left Neymar in tears of disappointment.
Though Neymar missed the first four matches of the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League campaign, he was able to score 3 goals and provided 4 assists in 7 matches which were not enough to land PSG their first Champions League title. He has just two years on his current contract with PSG to help them to actualize the dream of winning the title.