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Neymar Quits PSG, Joins Saudi Club Al-Hilal

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Neymar Quits PSG, Joins Saudi Club Al-Hilal

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Brazilian football icon Neymar has finalized his transfer from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to Al Hilal, a club in the Saudi Pro League. This move marks the conclusion of a rollercoaster period at the French club, putting an end to his journey there that began with significant excitement and anticipation six years ago. The announcement came on Tuesday, making him the latest prominent football figure to be enticed to the oil-rich Gulf state, following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.

On Monday, Al Hilal reached a purported agreement for a significant 90 million euros ($98 million) transfer fee with PSG. This sizable sum is poised to establish a league record within the context of the Saudi Pro League, which is buoyed by the financial resources of the oil-rich state. This substantial investment is indicative of the league’s ongoing effort to acquire top-tier football talent as part of its substantial spending strategy.

Neymar has been presented with a two-year contract, a deal projected to yield an approximate annual income of $100 million for the 31-year-old Brazilian football sensation. This salary package is estimated to be around half of the reported earnings of Cristiano Ronaldo, who, at 38 years old, commands a substantial compensation.

“I am here in Saudi Arabia, I am Hilali,” Neymar said in a video posted to Al Hilal’s social media accounts.

“I have achieved a lot in Europe and enjoyed special times, but I have always wanted to be a global player and test myself with new challenges and opportunities in new places,” Neymar said.


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“I want to write new sporting history, and the Saudi Pro League has tremendous energy and quality players at the moment. I have heard a lot and learned that I am following a long list of Brazilian players who have played in Saudi Arabia over the years, so I believe it is the desired place.”

“Al Hilal is a giant club with fantastic fans, and it is the best in Asia. This gives me a feeling that it is the right decision for me at the right time with the right club. I love winning and scoring goals, and I plan to continue doing that in Saudi Arabia and with Al Hilal,” Neymar continued.

Neymar is set to join forces with recently acquired teammates Kalidou Koulibaly, Rúben Neves, and Sergej Milinković-Savić, all of whom transitioned to Al Hilal earlier in the summer.

Al Hilal is part of a quartet of clubs, namely Al Nassr, Al Ahli, and Al Ittihad, that have come under the ownership of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. This development occurred in June as a component of the nation’s “Sports Clubs Investment and Privatization Project.”

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, in a statement, said: “It is always difficult to say goodbye to an amazing player like Neymar, one of the best players in the world.”

“I will never forget the day he arrived at Paris Saint-Germain, and what he has contributed to our club and our project over the last six years. We had a great moment and Neymar will always be a big part of our history,” he added.

Neymar made his move to PSG from Barcelona in 2017, marking a record-breaking transfer fee of 222 million euros ($242 million), just weeks before Kylian Mbappe joined the squad. Despite grappling with injuries over a span of six seasons, Neymar managed to net 118 goals in 173 matches.

During his tenure, Neymar secured five Ligue 1 titles and three French Cups, yet experienced a setback when PSG fell to Bayern Munich in the 2020 Champions League final. His time at the club was marred by recurrent injuries, and his standing as a pivotal player in Coach Luis Enrique’s team has waned, particularly with the emergence of young talents like 22-year-old Portuguese striker Goncalo Ramos, which has shifted the team’s dynamics.

Al Hilal, a powerhouse in both Saudi Arabia and Asia, boasts an impressive collection of 66 trophies, holding records for the highest number of league titles (18) and Asian Champions League titles (4).

The Riyadh-based club is focusing on bolstering its squad, a top priority following the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s announcement of an investment and privatization initiative for sports clubs in June. This comprehensive project encompasses league champions Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr, and Al Hilal, emphasizing a commitment to elevating the sports landscape.


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