SAUDI PRO LEAGUE
Neymar debut: why didn’t the Brazil star play in Al-Raed vs Al-Hilal?
The 31-year-old is yet to feature in the Saudi Pro League since his move from PSG, owing to fitness issues.
Brazil star Neymar is yet to feature for Al-Hilal since his big-money move to the Saudi Pro League earlier this month.
The 31-year-old signed from Paris Saint-Germain on a deal worth an initial $98.6 million, a huge amount considering his sketchy fitness record in recent years.
However fans of Al-Hilal did not get to see him their side’s 4-0 win over Al-Raed on Thursday, leaving many wondering when Neymar will actually make his debut.
Neymar arrived in Saudi with an injury and Al-Hilal head coach Jorge Jesús has admitted that he does not know when the Brazilian will be able to return to training.
“Neymar can do anything. He is one of the best players in the world” Jesús insisted. “He came with a small injury, he still can’t train with the team. I don’t know when he’ll be able to play.”
Why has Neymar been called up to the Brazil squad?
Brazil’s record goal scorer looks unlikely to feature for Al-Hilal in the coming weeks as he continues his recovery from injury. Nevertheless, Neymar has been called up to the Brazil squad for international fixtures at the start of September.
Brazil face Boliva on 8 September, before travelling to Lima to take on Peru on 12 September. In a recent press conference new Brazil coach Fernando Diniz insisted that Neymar is “very willing” to feature.
This news came as a surprise to the Al-Hilal head coach, who insisted that Neymar is not fit enough to play for the national side.
“I don’t know why he was called up, he’s injured,” Jesús said recently. “Maybe they force him to go with Brazil.”
“He won’t play because he can’t play. He can’t even train, and even less so play. Right now I don’t see why he has to go to Brazil.”
Neymar salary demands make him a costly investment
It appears that Neymar will not be seen on the pitch for some time but the Brazil star will still be picking up a serious salary. Last week AS USA reported that Neymar’s deal will be worth at least €320 million over the course of the next two years.
On top of that, he will receive another €80,000 for every Al-Hilal win. He will also be paid €500,000 for every social media post that promotes Saudi Arabia.
During his time in Saudi Arabia, Neymar will have use of a mansion with a full team of staff. And, perhaps most incredibly, a private jet. Unlike other unmarried Saudi Arabians, Neymar will be allowed to live with his partner, Bruna Biancardi.