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Anthony Ralston: Neymar verbals didn't bother me at all

The teenager made his Champions League debut against the world's most expensive player.

Celtic defender Anthony Ralston said he had no fears about facing Neymar on his Champions League debut and shrugged off verbal sparring throughout the 5-0 defeat at Celtic Park.

The world's most expensive player opened the scoreline and had a running battle with Ralston throughout, taunting the 18-year old full-back during the game and exchanging words at full time.

Ralston's inclusion in the starting line-up was the big talking point pre-match as Brendan Rodgers reshuffled his defence. That put him in direct opposition to Neymar but he said he was ready for the challenge.

"I didn't fear him at all," Ralston said. "I knew I was coming up against him and had time to prepare.

"I felt I went out and faced him head on and it was a good test for me to see what level I'm at. I'm my own biggest critic so I'll go home, analyse the game and see what I can do better and what I did well.

"I enjoyed being up against him and it was a good task so I'll take a lot of learning from it."

Neymar has previously had clashes with Celtic's Mikael Lustig and Scott Brown when playing for Barcelona against the Scottish champions and he wasn't short of words for Ralston when the two clashed. The Brazilian also seemed to snub a handshake at full-time but Ralston said there was nothing that bothered him about the flashpoints.

"It's just part and parcel of it and it's the mental side of the game," he said. "These things happen and you move on.

"It wasn't a big deal. Again, it's learning, it's the mental side of the game and talking back and forth and that's all it was.

"I was walking by and it happened to be Veratti was there as well. It was just a moment where he said whatever it was he said and I said back and that was it. Don't look into that, I don't care about that and that whole side of things because I don't really dwell on that too much. It's part of learning the mental game so move on."

The teenager was far more concerned with his performance than the sideshow and revealed that Rodgers had given him plenty of notice that he would be appearing on European club football's biggest stage.

"The gaffer let me know a week ago just to get it in my head and let me get myself prepared right," he said.

"I was very excited and it was an exciting week at training, knowing I was getting this opportunity so I prepared myself right. I treated it like any other game.

"It was a very special night and the fans created a brilliant atmosphere. On a personal note, I'll take a lot of learning from it."

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