At the 70,000-seat Al-Hilal stadium, the all-time leading scorer for Brazil was welcomed alongside two other newcomers: fellow Brazilian Malcolm and Moroccan custodian Yassine Bounou.
Good night, Al Hilal supporters. “This response and this new task make me very delighted. I’m impressed and ecstatic,” he exclaimed to the crowd’s applause.
The two-year deal that the 31-year-old signed should net him a salary of roughly $100 million every year.
He promised that his new team would increase the supporters’ excitement levels.
After fellow countryman Malcom, Portuguese midfielder Rben Neves, and Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly, Neymar was Al Hilal’s sixth acquisition of the summer.
One of four Saudi teams that have been essentially nationalised by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund with assets estimated to be worth $700 billion, is Al Hilal, a club with a record 18 national championships.
Neymar earlier stated in the club’s statement, “I have accomplished a lot in Europe and had wonderful times, but I have always wanted to be a global player and push myself with new opportunities and challenges in new places. “I want to create new sporting history, and the Saudi Pro League right now has top-notch players and a tonne of energy,” he said.
Nevertheless, despite moving to PSG from Barcelona for a then-record 222 million euros ($244 million), he never won the Champions League with PSG.
Neymar reportedly wanted to return to Barcelona, but the Spanish club was unable to provide the necessary financial package. Neymar, who has experienced injury issues recently, was neither willing or affluent enough to join any other elite European team.
He played for PSG, who assembled a star-studded forward line that included Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, and Lionel Messi but now only has one of them remaining, and was unquestionably talented but frequently annoying.