As Paris Saint-Germain FC successfully defended their three-point lead in France on Sunday, they were lifted not only by Nenê's two goals against Dijon FCO but also by the Brazilian winger's mindset.
The 2-0 home victory earned by Nenê strikes at the end of each half, coupled with Olympique Lyonnais' loss at LOSC Lille Métropole, means only Montpellier Hérault SC are now within three points of PSG. Nenê's fine finishes – notably his long range, perfectly placed second – doubled his Ligue 1 tally for the campaign and also paid testimony to his mental strength.
When Nenê joined the capital club in summer 2010 after some exceptional displays for AS Monaco FC, he was considered PSG's star man and he duly struck 13 goals in his first 18 league games. However, the recent €42m arrival of Javier Pastore relegated Nenê to a supporting role, a development which was followed by an argument between the No10 and striker Kevin Gameiro over who would take a penalty during the OGC Nice match last month.
Yet, bolstered by his Dijon double, the 30-year-old underlined his commitment to the cause: "We all have egos that must work together to serve the team. That incident was nothing." He has proved it on the pitch by combining excellently with Pastore to help lift PSG to the top of Ligue 1, with Antoine Kombouaré's side unbeaten since the opening day.
"It was important to win tonight and keep our rivals at bay," Nenê added of Sunday's victory. "We have continued our unbeaten run. Scoring two goals is great but I'm happy to help the team."
Captain Mamadou Sakho said: "It's good for him and for the team. We all want to help the club reach the targets we've set. Nenê can be proud but without his team-mates he would not have scored those goals. It's good to think about the team."
Coach Kombouaré hopes to see more of the same. "He is happy, he does the job, works hard," he said. "I'm happy for him. Now it's a long-term job and we expect more."
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.