Anthony Ralston has gone toe to toe with Neymar but he now faces an even bigger challenge – helping Dundee United gain promotion.
Ralston has joined the struggling Tangerines on loan from Celtic for the rest of the season and it was while wearing the hoops that he came up against the Brazilian superstar.
Neymar was in the Paris St Germain side that won 5-0 in the Champions League clash at Celtic Park last September 12.
Rather than stand back and admire the world’s most expensive player, Ralston got stuck into his opponent and was “rewarded” with a handshake snub and refusal to swap shirts from a huffy Neymar.
The 19-year-old Scot brushed it all off and he is now fully focused on getting more experience in United’s first team.
He will have his work cut out, along with his new teammates, if he is to achieve the Tangerines’ goal of finishing in second spot and then negotiating the promotion play-offs.
The latest poor result came on Tuesday night as they were beaten 3-2 at Tannadice by Queen of the South after coming back from two goals down.
Asked about his clash with Neymar, Ralston said: “That was an experience!
“No matter where I am playing or who I am playing against I always have the same mindset.
“It is about doing the best I can for the team.
“I also want to get the best I can out of it now and that means getting game time with United.
“I want to play and help the team get to the play-offs and hopefully then achieve promotion.
“It was good to get back playing.
“As for the game, the result was obviously disappointing.
“In the first half, we started well and it was a sloppy goal that we gave away.
“In the second half, we showed that we have fighting spirit about the team.
“Unfortunately, we lost the match but from a personal point of view it was good to get out playing again.
“That was my first match proper competitive game since September so it was great to be back involved.
“I am very happy to have signed for a big club like Dundee United.
“I’m looking forward to helping them before going back (to Celtic) a better player.”
Ralston has his own personal goal but the reality is that United must improve dramatically if they are to have any hope of going up.
“You know, that happens at every club but in just the few days I have been here I have seen that there is a fighting spirit about the team,” he said.
“That will stand us in good stead for what lies ahead.
“From now until the end of the season I am just going to get my head down and work hard in every game.
“I got a feel for it against Queen of the South in my first game. That’s out of the way now and I have 80 or so minutes under my belt.
“I am looking forward to the rest of the season and I can kick on.”