Neymar, the captain of Brazil’s national football team, believes that the Saudi Arabian football league could already be stronger than Ligue 1 in France.
In August, the forward, who is now 31 years old, made the move from Paris St. Germain to the Saudi Pro League for approximately $77.5 million plus add-ons.
During the transfer window in which Neymar signed Al-Hilal, Saudi Arabian teams spent more than 700 million pounds sterling on foreign players.
“For the names that went to Saudi Arabia, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saudi league is better than the French,” he remarked. “For the names that went to Saudi Arabia.”
According to information provided by the governing body of football, Fifa, the amount of money spent by Saudi clubs this summer on foreign transfers was second only to the amount spent by teams competing in the Premier League, who spent just under £1.6 billion on transactions involving players from other countries.
Although Al-Ittihad were unsuccessful in their attempt to sign Mohamed Salah from Liverpool, several Premier League players, including Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, and Fabinho, made the move to Saudi Arabia. Salah’s former teammates at Liverpool include Henderson, Firmino, and Fabinho.
In addition to Neymar’s teammate at PSG, Georginio Wijnaldum, Real Madrid’s Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, and Sadio Mane of Bayern Munich have all signed contracts with Saudi teams.
Marcelo Brozovic, who captained Inter Milan in the Champions League final, Franck Kessie, who played for Barcelona, Jota, who played for Celtic, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who played for Lazio, are among the other players who have made the transfer to the Saudi Pro League.
There was also the potential for a transfer that would have set a new world record. After making a bid of 259 million pounds, Paris Saint-Germain granted Al-Hilal permission to speak to Kylian Mbappe. However, the striker decided to remain with the French champions, and PSG ended up selling Neymar instead.
According to the ECA, the expenditure of Saudi Arabia is not a threat to European football.
Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona for a record-setting sum of £200 million in 2017, and during his time there he helped the club win five Ligue 1 titles. However, his stay in Paris was plagued by ankle ailments.
During his time with the Brazilian national team, Neymar had a press conference in which he claimed the following: “I can assure you that the football in Saudi Arabia is the same.” The ball is spherical, and there are posts to act as goalposts.
There is no mystery here. There, we put in a lot of work at practice, and the hunger to succeed is still strong.
I want to be successful with Al-Hilal and win trophies. There isn’t much of a difference.”
Several managers in the Premier League have expressed their displeasure with the fact that the Saudi deadline would close about a week after the main leagues in Europe.
Jurgen Klopp, the manager of Liverpool, stated a week ago that the Saudi Pro League seemed to be more of a threat than not. Klopp is of the opinion that there is a pressing requirement to “protect the game and make sure European leagues stay as strong as they are.”
Meanwhile, Henderson, who has been a prominent ally of the LGBTQ+ community, stated that he was “really hurt” by criticism of his relocation. Henderson’s transfer was criticized for being a poor business decision.
His action has been called into question by those who advocate for LGBTQ+ rights because sexual conduct between people of the same gender is against the law in Saudi Arabia.