Brazilian forward, Neymar has bid farewell to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and embraced a new challenge with Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal.
The former Barcelona player’s departure marks the end of an era for PSG.
Neymar’s new journey has come at a significant cost, with the transfer reportedly amounting to around 90 million euros (£77.6 million) plus additional performance-based incentives.
The 31-year-old’s move is a significant departure from his world-record transfer fee of £200 million when he joined PSG in 2017.
Neymar’s Time at PSG
Neymar’s impact on the French capital was substantial, contributing to the club’s collection of 13 trophies, including five Ligue 1 titles, and a memorable run to the 2020 Champions League final.
However, recent seasons have seen Neymar plagued by ankle injuries, impeding his consistency on the pitch.
A decision that was perhaps influenced by these injury setbacks, PSG coach Luis Enrique opted not to include Neymar in his plans for the upcoming season.
Al-Khelaifi’s Reaction to Neymar’s Exit
PSG’s president and chief executive, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, expressed mixed emotions about Neymar’s exit.
“It is always difficult to say goodbye to an amazing player like Neymar, one of the best players in the world,” Al-Khelaifi stated.
“I will never forget the day he arrived at Paris St-Germain and what he has contributed to our club and our project over the last six years.”
The former PSG forward is set to earn 150 million euros (£129.2 million) annually in Saudi Arabia, which is a massive increase from his PSG earnings.
The Saudi Pro League has been busy throughout the summer transfer window, attracting an players from Europe.
Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Jordan Henderson, Ruben Neves, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino have all embarked on new chapters in Saudi Arabia.
This trend has led to predictions of a sustained presence of top-tier talent in the league, a notion acknowledged by Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City.
Guardiola remarked, “I don’t know how long they will sustain it, but the feeling is that they will stay. The players want to take this experience to play in that league, and they are able to do it.”