In a big surprise for soccer fans worldwide, Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr. has joined Al Hilal, a team from Saudi Arabia. This news was announced on Wednesday, August 16.
Neymar, who is 31 years old, used to play for the French team Paris Saint-Germain. Now, he’s moving to Al Hilal, and they paid a huge amount of $98 million for him. The club that got him is co-owned by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Moreover, the five-time Ligue 1 winner has also been presented with a gigantic contract offer for his two-year term. According to reports in Al Jazeera, the player will be earning $100 million per year – that is – $200 million for the duration of the contract, during his stay in the Middle East.
Explaining why he moved from Europe to Saudi Arabia, Neymar stated, “I’ve done a lot in Europe and had great experiences there, but I’ve always wanted to be known worldwide and face fresh tests and chances in different locations. I aim to make new sports history, and the Saudi Pro League has a lot of enthusiasm and skilled players right now.”
He continued, “I’ve heard much and realized that many Brazilian players have played in Saudi Arabia throughout the years, so I think it’s the right place for me.”
Neymar Jr. To Join Ruben Neves, Malcom in Star-Studded Team
Notably, barring Neymar, a plethora of Brazilian stars are currently playing in the Saudi Pro League. UEFA Champions League winner with Liverpool, Roberto Firmino has joined Al-Alhi, while fellow former Liverpool player, Fabinho joined Al-Ittihad. At Al-Hilal, Neymar will join his countrymen, Michael Oliveira and Malcom.
For the 18-time Saudi Arabian champions, Neymar is the fifth overseas signing of the season, following the acquisitions of Ruben Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Malcom.
“Neymar Jr is a global icon who has brought joy and pleasure to all fans wherever he plays. The spotlight is always on him and he always responds to it. We are delighted to have him join Al Hilal, the most successful club in all of Asia,” the chairman of the club, Fahad bin Saad bin Nafel said.