Neymar showcased his skills with a goal for Paris St-Germain during a pre-season friendly against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
Brazilian forward Neymar has officially made his move to Saudi Pro League’s Al-Hilal from the French champions, Paris St-Germain.
The transfer deal for the former Barcelona player is estimated to be valued at around 90 million euros (£77.6 million), along with additional bonuses.
Having been acquired by PSG for a record-breaking fee of £200 million in 2017, Neymar was omitted from the team’s lineup for the Ligue 1 match against Lorient on Saturday.
Luis Enrique, the coach, did not have Neymar in his plans for the upcoming season.
This departure aligns with PSG’s strategy of transitioning away from the ‘Galacticos’ era of signing high-profile players for substantial fees and significant salaries, as exemplified by Lionel Messi’s departure earlier in the summer.
“I am now here in Saudi Arabia, a proud member of Al-Hilal,” Neymar declared in a video released across the club’s social media channels.
Neymar was reportedly earning approximately 25 million euros (£21.6 million) per year while at PSG.
In Saudi Arabia, he is expected to receive a yearly salary of 150 million euros (£129.2 million), a six-fold increase from his PSG earnings, following the signing of a two-year contract.
During his time at PSG, the Brazilian participated in 173 matches, contributing to the team’s success in securing 13 titles, including five Ligue 1 championships, and making it to the 2020 Champions League final.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the president and CEO of PSG, expressed his sentiments: “Saying farewell to an exceptional player like Neymar, one of the world’s finest, is always a challenge. I will forever cherish the day he joined Paris St-Germain and the influence he had on our club and project over the last six years.”
Neymar’s tenure in Paris was marked by several ankle injuries, with his latest surgery in March causing him to miss the remainder of the season; he only resumed training in July.
Additionally, he was absent from the 2019 Copa America due to a torn ligament in his right ankle, and in 2021, he was sidelined for weeks with a similar injury.
The Saudi Pro League has been making headlines with its signings of European stars, a trend exemplified by Neymar’s transfer, illustrating the league’s aspiration to become a premier global competition in the near future.
Notable names like Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Jordan Henderson, Ruben Neves, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino have all moved to Saudi Arabia’s clubs.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese superstar, joined Al-Nassr from Manchester United in January.
Among Neymar’s new teammates are former Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Ruben Neves, former Chelsea center-back Kalidou Koulibaly, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, previously with Lazio, all of whom were signed for substantial fees.
The signing of Neymar follows a remarkable summer of acquisitions by Saudi clubs, underscoring the league’s ambition to emerge as a top-tier global competition in the coming years.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Football Transfers
What is the main highlight of this news?
The main highlight is Neymar’s transfer from Paris St-Germain (PSG) to Saudi Pro League’s Al-Hilal football club.
What is the reported value of Neymar’s transfer?
Neymar’s transfer deal is understood to be worth around 90 million euros (£77.6 million), with additional bonuses.
What were Neymar’s contributions to PSG?
Neymar made 173 appearances for PSG, aiding the team in winning 13 trophies, including five Ligue 1 titles and reaching the 2020 Champions League final.
How does Neymar’s salary change with this move?
While Neymar was earning approximately 25 million euros (£21.6 million) annually at PSG, his salary is reported to increase to 150 million euros (£129.2 million) per year with Al-Hilal.
What is PSG’s strategy with these high-profile departures?
PSG aims to shift away from the ‘Galacticos’ approach of signing star players for large fees and wages, as evident from the departures of Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Who are some other notable players moving to the Saudi Pro League?
Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Jordan Henderson, Ruben Neves, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino are among the notable players who have moved to Saudi clubs.
How has the Saudi Pro League influenced the football transfer market?
The league’s financial muscle has transformed the market, attracting top players like Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo, reflecting its growing influence.
What is the significance of Neymar’s move for Al-Hilal?
Neymar’s transfer underscores Al-Hilal’s ambition to establish itself as a top global football competition in the future.