PSG's Marquinhos says it was Neymar's plan to mock Haaland

12.4.2020 14:25

Paris Saint-Germain star Marquinhos has lifted the lid on the club's Erling Haaland-inspired celebration during the Champions League round-of-16 clash, saying it was Neymar's idea to mock the young Borussia Dortmund striker.

PSG advanced to the quarterfinal stage courtesy of the 2-0 victory over the German side at the Parc des Princes on March 11. Neymar scored the opener, then mocked Haaland's "Zen" celebration.

According to Marquinhos, Neymar's club teammate and fellow Brazilian international, the derisive celebration aimed at the 19-year-old Norwegian goal machine was premeditated.

"He likes that," Marquinhos told YouTube channel Desimpedidos, per ESPN UK. "Neymar is not just a football player, he is not afraid and always responds to provocations.

"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," Marquinhos added.

Following the victory, several PSG players replicated Haaland's trademark celebration on the pitch before doing so again in the locker room.

It is understood that mocking the celebration of the teenage star stemmed from a social media post featuring Haaland that tagged the French capital and read "My city, not yours." It was later determined that Haaland was not responsible for the Snapchat post and that the caption was fake.

Haaland recorded both goals in the first leg at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, celebrating the second marker with his meditative pose. Post-match, the former Red Bull Salzburg standout attributed the exhibition to his love of meditation.

UEFA warned PSG after the victory for "unsportsmanlike conduct," though it's not clear if that was a result of the on-pitch melee following Emre Can's sending off or the Haaland-inspired celebrations.

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