Neymar left Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in less than 48 hours after Kylian Mbappe was reinstated to the first team, saying he’s excited for “new challenges and opportunities in new places” at Al-Hilal. The 31-year-old joined the Middle East after six years in Paris, following Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Sadio Mane.PSG signed Neymar from Barcelona in 2017 for a world record 222 million euros ($242 million), a few weeks before signing Kylian Mbappe.
Neymar enjoys ‘new challenge’ at Saudi Al-Hilal from PSG
The Brazilian attacker won five Ligue 1 titles and three French Cups with PSG, scoring 118 goals in 173 outings, but injuries plagued him. He missed important games after helping the club reach the 2020 Champions League final, which they lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich. After right ankle surgery in early March, Neymar joined PSG on their pre-season tour of Asia.
According to the source, PSG will pocket close to 100 million euros but not return the Neymar fee. Al-Hilal is one of Saudi Arabia’s top clubs and has won the Asian Champions League four times. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Al-Nassr, Al-Ahli, and Al-Ittihad own them. Neymar left PSG as Lionel Messi joined Inter Miami in the US. When Neymar was linked to Real Madrid, French media reported that Mbappe made his departure a condition for signing a new deal in 2022.
Neymar said in a statement from the Saudi Pro League: “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.”
“I want to write new sporting history. The Saudi Pro League has tremendous energy and quality players at the moment,” his statement read.
“Al-Hilal is a giant club with fantastic fans, and it is the best in Asia. This makes me feel that it is the right decision for me at the right time with the right club. I love winning and scoring goals. I plan to continue doing that in Saudi Arabia and with Al-Hilal.”