Attendees celebrate Al-Fiha's Saudi league with Neymar and Moroccan goalkeeper Yassin Bounou
Posted : 20 August 2023
On Saturday evening, the King Fahd Stadium, with a seating capacity of 68,100, was packed with enthusiastic Al-Hilal fans. They gathered not only to witness their team's match against Al-Fiha, which ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw in the second round of the Saudi league, but also to witness the introduction of their biggest summer signing - Neymar. Accompanying him was Moroccan goalkeeper Yassin Bounou.
Neymar, the 31-year-old Brazilian superstar, recently inked a two-year contract with Al Hilal for a remarkable sum of €260 million. He arrived in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, to a festive welcome on Friday. Although he wasn't part of the squad for the game, Neymar addressed the fans for the first time, expressing his enthusiasm for the journey ahead: "Let's enjoy our football, have fun and win trophies together."
Among the Saudi league teams, Al-Hilal has been the most active in the transfer market. The club offered PSG a staggering €300 million for Kylian Mbappe, who declined the offer, and also pursued Lionel Messi before he signed with Inter Miami. Finishing in third place last season, Al-Hilal has bolstered their squad with notable signings this summer, including Neymar (from PSG), Bounou (from Sevilla), Ruben Neves (from Wolves), Kalidou Koulibaly (from Chelsea), Malcolm (from Zenit St. Petersburg), and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (from Lazio). The addition of Aleksandar Mitrovic from Fulham is also anticipated. In the opening round, they secured a victory against Abha Club with a 3-1 scoreline, courtesy of a goal from Malcolm.
Neymar, who set a transfer record of €222 million when he joined PSG six years ago, has now made his way from the French club to Saudi Arabia. The substantial financial offer from Al-Hilal played a significant role in this move. Reportedly, Neymar's earnings from the club will amount to €260 million over a span of two years, while PSG received €90 million for his transfer.
Apart from his on-field contributions, Neymar is set to enjoy a series of substantial perks and bonuses. These include provisions like private jet travel arrangements, a luxurious residence with staff, and an €80,000 bonus for each victory. However, the benefits extend beyond the confines of the pitch. Al-Hilal has committed to awarding the star a considerable bonus of €500,000 for every social media article or post that promotes the club. Alongside these incentives, Neymar will be receiving an annual salary of €130 million.