Neymar finally had the breakout game for Paris Saint-Germain that everyone had been waiting for this season. He scored two first-half goals as PSG went up 2-0 away to Bordeaux in Ligue 1. But his goal celebrations were somber ones.
After he netted the first time in the 26th minute, the Brazilian superstar raised his shirt over his head to reveal a message dedicated to Marilia Mendonca, a Brazilian singer and Latin Grammy winner who was killed in a plane crash the day before. The T-shirt read: “I will be your fan forever, queen of suffering. RIP MM”
Neymar never cracked a smile on his second goal, either, sharing another tribute in her memory in the 43rd minute:
The 26-year-old Mendonca, one of the most popular artists in Brazil, died with her producer, her uncle, and the two pilots. She was en route to a concert that night in the state of Minas Gerais and shared an Instagram post with her 38 million followers showing her boarding the plane.
The cause of the crash, which occurred just minutes before the plane was to arrive in the city of Caratinga, is still unknown. An investigation is underway.
Mendonca was known as “the queen of suffering” for her sentimental sertanejo songs, a genre of Brazilian country music. She broke out in 2016 and won her Latin Grammy in 2019 for best sertanejo album.
Neymar, whose goals were Nos. 400 and 401 of his professional career, tweeted the words “I refuse to believe, I just refuse” Friday night before sharing video on Instagram of a moment he called “one of the best surprises that I ever had in my life was having you sing ‘happy birthday’ for me. It was my honor.”
The moment struck a chord with fans on Twitter, who were immediately aware of the tribute: