Neymar suggests Saudi Pro League could rival Ligue 1 in football quality
Posted : 08 September 2023
Brazil captain Neymar, who recently moved to the Saudi Pro League from Paris St-Germain, has suggested that Saudi Arabia's football league may already rival France's Ligue 1 in terms of strength. Neymar's transfer to Al-Hilal for £77.5m plus add-ons was part of a summer transfer window in which Saudi clubs spent over £700m on overseas players.
Neymar expressed his views on the league, saying, "For the names that went to Saudi Arabia, I wouldn't be surprised if the Saudi league is better than the French." The spending by Saudi clubs on international transfers this summer was second only to the Premier League, which spent just under £1.6bn on overseas deals, according to FIFA figures.
Several high-profile players made moves to Saudi Arabia during the transfer window, including Neymar's former PSG teammate Georginio Wijnaldum, Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, Bayern Munich's Sadio Mane, and Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic, among others.
Notably, there was the potential for a world-record transfer as PSG allowed Al-Hilal to negotiate with Kylian Mbappe following a £259m bid, but Mbappe chose to remain with the French champions, and Neymar was subsequently sold.
Neymar emphasized that the essence of football remains the same in Saudi Arabia, with intense training and a strong desire to win trophies. Despite his move, he is determined to achieve success with Al-Hilal and believes that the quality of football in Saudi Arabia is on par with other top leagues.