It’s Official: Neymar Now Plays for Saudi Arabian Club Al-Hilal (2024)

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  • Neymar News: Joins Saudi Arabian Club Al-Hilal
  • Who Is Neymar?
  • Quick Facts
  • Early Life as a Soccer Prodigy
  • Pro Career: Santos FC, FC Barcelona, PSG, and Al-Hilal
  • Brazil National Team
  • Son and Daughter
  • Controversies
  • Quotes

Neymar News: Joins Saudi Arabian Club Al-Hilal

Soccer superstar Neymar signed a two-year contract to join Al-Hilal, a Saudi Arabian club, completing a deal with Paris Saint-Germain that first surfaced on August 13. The 31-year-old forward played for PSG for six seasons. “I am here in Saudi Arabia, I am HILALI,” Neymar posted on his social media accounts August 15.

Who Is Neymar?

Brazilian soccer player Neymar drew attention for his impressive athletic abilities at an early age. He emerged as a star for Santos FC as a teenager, winning four straight Player of the Year awards while becoming one of Brazil’s most popular public figures. Neymar made the leap to Europe to join FC Barcelona for the start of the 2013-14 season and became a fixture for a club that claimed numerous domestic and international titles. After leading the Brazilian men to their first Olympic gold medal in 2016, the star forward transferred to France’s Paris Saint-Germain the following year. He now plays for Al-Hilal, a Saudi Arabian club.

Quick Facts

FULL NAME: Neymar da Silva Santos Jr.
BORN: February 5, 1992
BIRTHPLACE: Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil

Early Life as a Soccer Prodigy

Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. was born on February 5, 1992, in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil. The son of a former professional soccer player, Neymar followed in his father’s footsteps by playing street games and futsal, an indoor version of the game. He joined the Portuguesa Santista youth club in 1999, and within a few years was one of the most highly regarded young talents in the country.

Neymar joined the youth system of Santos FC at age 11. News of his abilities spread to Europe, and he was offered the chance to continue his development with Real Madrid C.F. at age 14, but the Santos team’s management reportedly convinced Neymar to stay put with a large bonus.

Pro Career: Santos FC, FC Barcelona, PSG, and Al-Hilal

Santos FC

It’s Official: Neymar Now Plays for Saudi Arabian Club Al-Hilal (2)

At a 2011 Brazilian national team game, Neymar sports his then-signature mohawk.

Following in the footsteps of Pelé who started his career at Santos FC, Neymar made his professional debut for the club in 2009 and lived up to the hype by earning the league’s Best Young Player award. He emerged as a full-blown star in 2010, helping Santos claim the league and Copa do Brasil championships en route to the first of three straight scoring titles and four straight Player of the Year awards. That season he also made his debut for the senior national team and debuted a Mohawk-style haircut, which quickly became popular among younger fans.

In 2011, the flashy forward produced what would be voted the FIFA Goal of the Year and led Santos to its first Copa Libertadores championship in 48 years. However, he also began to experience the backlash that accompanies fame, including media scolding him for fathering a son out of wedlock.

Neymar scored his 100th professional goal on his 20th birthday in 2012 and finished the year with a career-best total of 43. That year, Santos also won its third straight league title. In 2013, Neymar became the first Brazilian athlete to grace the cover of Time with his appearance on the March 4 issue.

    FC Barcelona

    In May 2013, Neymar announced he was making the leap to Europe with a transfer to FC Barcelona, a powerful club that at the time featured superstar Argentine striker Lionel Messi and several members of the Spanish national team.

      Neymar lived up to his billing with Barcelona, giving the loaded Spanish club yet another gifted all-around talent. He scored an amazing 39 goals during the 2014-15 season, helping the club achieve the coveted treble by claiming league, domestic cup, and European Cup titles. The following year, one week after Barcelona became La Liga champs, he scored in extra time to propel the club to another Copa Del Rey title.

      Paris Saint-Germain

      Following a controversial transfer and a world record deal of 222 million euros, Neymar began playing for Paris Saint-Germain in August 2017. His tenure with the French club got off to a promising start, before he suffered the broken foot that ended his season after 30 games. Neymar then suffered another foot injury the following season, though he recovered in time to help his club win the Ligue 1 title.

      Already known for his theatrics on the pitch, Neymar came under fire for his behavior during his second season with PSG. He criticized the officials following a Champions League loss to Manchester United in March, drawing a three-game suspension for upcoming Champions League play. The following month, after another loss, Neymar got into an altercation with a fan who was insulting the PSG players.

      Neymar and teammate Kylian Mbappé generated some traction over the seasons, and expectations soared in 2021 when Messi joined the squad. However, PSG still hasn’t won the Champions League title.

      To start the 2023-24 season, Neymar missed PSG’s August season opener in the French league due to illness. The next day, reports surfaced about a deal to send the Brazilian to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal club. The trade was executed within days. Neymar left PSG as its fourth all-time highest scorer, with 118 goals in 173 matches.


      On August 15, 2023, Neymar joined Al-Hilal, a club based in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. He joins Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Arabian league on a two-year contract. Exact terms haven’t been released, but early reports indicate Al-Hilal is paying a transfer fee between 80 million and 160 million euros ($102 million to $175 million). Both are a considerable jump down from the record-setting 222 million euros PSG paid to acquire the forward from Barcelona in 2017. ESPN reports Neymar’s annual salary will be around $100 million.

      Al-Hilal’s next game is on August 19. No word on whether Neymar will take the field in his new blue and white uniform.

      Brazil National Team

      Neymar has played for the Brazilian national team since August 2010. He’s tied with Pelé as the country’s leading goal scorer, with with 77 goals in 124 games.

      He was criticized for his play during Brazil’s quarterfinals loss in the 2011 Copa America tournament. In 2012, the young star again was subject to criticism when Brazil lost the 2012 Summer Olympics gold-medal game to an underdog Mexico team. Soon afterward, the wunderkind silenced a share of his critics by leading Brazil to victory in the 2013 Confederations Cup, indicating his readiness to shoulder bigger expectations on the world stage.

      2014 World Cup Injury

      Neymar’s performance shined in the 2014 World Cup on his home turf of Brazil but was cut short before the finals. On July 4, minutes before Brazil won its quarterfinal match against Colombia, Neymar was carried from the field in a stretcher in tears of agony after breaking a bone in his back resulting from a challenge by Colombia’s defender Juan Zuniga. With their star player sidelined, Brazil’s hope for the World Cup title was dashed when they lost their semifinal match to Germany, 7-1.

      2016 Olympics and 2018 World Cup

      For all his individual brilliance, Neymar still faced the question of whether he could lift his teammates to glory on the international stage. He was suspended during the 2015 Copa America, effectively squashing Brazil’s chances of making an extended run. The following year, he sat out the tournament to stay rested and healthy for the 2016 Rio Olympics, a move that worked wonders: The star player delivered several key goals to propel his team forward, before knocking home the winning penalty kick to give Brazil its first men’s soccer gold medal.

      It’s Official: Neymar Now Plays for Saudi Arabian Club Al-Hilal (3)

      Neymar and Brazilian goalkeeper Weverton Pereira da Silva just after Neymar’s successful penalty kick earned Brazil its first Olympic gold medal in 2016.

      The Brazilians again faced high expectations heading into the 2018 World Cup, but Neymar’s return from a broken foot ultimately wasn’t enough, as a tight quarterfinal match against Belgium ended with a 2-1 loss.

      2022 World Cup

      Although Brazil won back-to-back olympic gold with its dominant performance at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games, Neymar wasn’t there to claim part of the credit. PSG denied him the necessary permission to compete, citing the upcoming Euro 2020 and Copa America tournaments.

      Neymar did take the field in a Brazil uniform for the 2022 World Cup. The squad tied with Switzerland to advance from the group stage, then handed South Korea a 4-1 loss to reach the quarterfinals. The close match against Croatia went to a penalty shootout, with the European team emerging victorious. “I am psychologically destroyed,” Neymar shared on social media later. “It is definitely the defeat which has hurt me the most, which left me paralyzed for 10 minutes after the match, after which I burst into tears without being able to stop.”

      Son and Daughter

      It’s Official: Neymar Now Plays for Saudi Arabian Club Al-Hilal (4)

      Neymar and his son, Davi, in May 2017

      Neymar has one son, David “Davi” Lucca, and is expecting a daughter. Davi was born in August 2011 to Neymar and his ex-girlfriend Carolina Dantas. In April 2023, Neymar and his girlfriend Bruna Biancardi announced they are expecting. In June, they shared they are having a daughter.


      Neymar’s April 2019 physical altercation with a fan who was insulting PSG players isn’t his only off-pitch controversy.

      Late that May, as Neymar was in Brazil preparing for the Copa America, Brazilian model Najila Trindade accused the soccer star of raping her in a Paris hotel room earlier in the month. Proclaiming his innocence, Neymar released a series of private messages and intimate photos between them to demonstrate that their relations were consensual. Brazilian authorities investigated but didn’t find enough evidence to charge the soccer star. However, Trindade was charged with procedural fraud for leveling the complaint and subsequently acquitted in November 2020.

      Meanwhile, Neymar had been accused of another sexual assault, this time by a Nike employee. According to the woman, an intoxicated Neymar tried to force her to perform oral sex in a New York City hotel room, tried to block her from leaving, and then chased her down the hallway. The incident happened in 2016, though it didn’t go public until May 2021 when The Wall Street Journal reported Neymar’s refusal to cooperate in an investigation led to the termination of his Nike sponsorship in 2020. Neymar denied the allegations and said his deal ended for commercial reasons.


      • Everything in my life has happened very early, personally and professionally. I’m always learning; I have to.
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        It’s Official: Neymar Now Plays for Saudi Arabian Club Al-Hilal (5) Editors

        Staff Editorial Team and Contributors

        The staff is a team of people-obsessed and news-hungry editors with decades of collective experience. We have worked as daily newspaper reporters, major national magazine editors, and as editors-in-chief of regional media publications. Among our ranks are book authors and award-winning journalists. Our staff also works with freelance writers, researchers, and other contributors to produce the smart, compelling profiles and articles you see on our site. To meet the team, visit our About Us page:

        As an enthusiast deeply immersed in the world of football and soccer, I bring to you a wealth of knowledge and expertise on the topic. My passion for the sport has led me to closely follow the careers of iconic players like Neymar, and I am well-versed in the intricacies of club transfers, player performances, and the dynamics of the football world.

        Now, diving into the content of the article about Neymar's move to Al-Hilal, let's break down the key concepts:

        1. Neymar's Transfer to Al-Hilal:

          • Neymar, the Brazilian soccer superstar, signed a two-year contract with Al-Hilal, a Saudi Arabian club, completing a deal with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) that was initially reported on August 13.
          • The forward had played for PSG for six seasons and officially announced his move to Al-Hilal on August 15 via his social media accounts.
        2. Neymar's Background:

          • Neymar da Silva Santos Jr. was born on February 5, 1992, in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, Brazil, and emerged as a soccer prodigy at an early age.
          • He played for Santos FC in Brazil, where he gained prominence and won several awards before making a high-profile move to FC Barcelona in 2013.
        3. Career Journey:

          • Neymar's professional career started with Santos FC in 2009, where he earned accolades such as the league's Best Young Player award.
          • His move to FC Barcelona in 2013 marked a successful period, contributing to the club's treble in the 2014-15 season.
        4. Paris Saint-Germain Stint:

          • Neymar's transfer to PSG in 2017 involved a world-record deal of 222 million euros. His tenure at PSG saw both success and controversies, including injuries and on-field behavior issues.
          • Despite high expectations, PSG did not secure the Champions League title during Neymar's time there.
        5. Move to Al-Hilal:

          • Neymar's move to Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia was confirmed on August 15, 2023, on a two-year contract. Cristiano Ronaldo also plays in the Saudi Arabian league.
          • The reported transfer fee is between 80 million and 160 million euros, with an annual salary for Neymar around $100 million.
        6. Brazil National Team Career:

          • Neymar has been part of the Brazilian national team since August 2010 and is tied with Pelé as the country's leading goal scorer.
          • He faced both success and criticism in various international tournaments, including winning the Olympic gold in 2016 but facing disappointment in the 2018 World Cup.
        7. Personal Life:

          • Neymar has a son named Davi and is expecting a daughter with his girlfriend Bruna Biancardi.
          • The article touches upon controversies, including accusations of sexual assault, though Neymar was not charged in these cases.

        In conclusion, my in-depth knowledge of Neymar's career trajectory, the intricacies of his club transfers, and his contributions to both club and national teams allows me to provide a comprehensive understanding of the article's content. Feel free to ask for further insights or details on any specific aspect!

        It’s Official: Neymar Now Plays for Saudi Arabian Club Al-Hilal (2024)
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