Anthony Ralston insists he was fearless against Neymar – who is “just another player” – during Celtic’s Champions League hammering by PSG.
The pair clashed repeatedly during a 5-0 defeat at Celtic Park on Tuesday night and Ralston “exchanged words” with the world-record £200m Brazilian at the final whistle.
The 18-year-old, who at one point laughed in the Brazil star’s face, says he does not care if Neymar was rattled and going in hard on the ex-Barca forward is “what you need to do against those types of players”.
“I didn’t fear him at all. He is just another man on the pitch against me,” the European debutant, making only his fifth competitive start for Celtic, told Sky Sports News.
“I didn’t have him on a pedestal. I felt I dealt with him quite well, and it’s only going to make me a better player coming up against players of the calibre PSG have.
“It’s what you need to do against those types of players; let them know early that they’re in a game. That’s just part of the mental game as well, how they deal with that.
“I don’t really care about that side of things at the end. There were a few words exchanged but nothing major. It’s football.
“I don’t think that was the case (that he refused to shake my hand). I walked by. I didn’t offer my hand out. I won’t dwell on it too much. I’m not bothered.”
Neymar scored the opener as Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and a Mikael Lustig own goal completed the rout, but Ralston said it was “proud moment” to play for his boyhood club in Europe’s elite competition.
“It’s great experience for myself. I’ll take a lot of learning from it,” he said. “The fans were amazing – they’re the best fans in the world.”