Debut of Neymar with Al-Hilal Delayed Due to Injury
An unexpected hurdle has emerged for Al-Hilal, the Saudi Pro League team, following the high-profile transfer of Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain. The anticipated first appearance of the Brazilian forward has been postponed due to a minor injury, despite his recent €90 million move to the club. This unforeseen setback has left fans disappointed and raised questions about Neymar’s participation in upcoming matches.
Al-Hilal’s acquisition of Neymar generated immense excitement and fanfare, with his introduction at the King Fahd International Stadium attracting a crowd of 60,000 spectators. However, the club and its supporters have been hit with a major blow as Neymar encounters a delayed start due to a minor ankle injury that has kept him sidelined since February.
Complicating matters further, Neymar’s call-up to the Brazil national team for World Cup qualifying fixtures in September has caused tension between Al-Hilal’s manager Jorge Jesus and Brazil’s interim coach Fernando Diniz. Jesus expressed his frustration over Neymar’s inclusion in the national team, considering his injury status. He criticized the decision, stating that Neymar should not be compelled to participate in matches when he is not fully fit and capable of training.
— Neymar Jr Site (@NeymarJrSite) August 20, 2023
The unexpected delay in Neymar’s debut has thrown a wrench into Al-Hilal’s plans, particularly as they had made substantial investments to strengthen their squad with multiple high-profile signings, including Yassine Bono from Sevilla and Aleksandar Mitrovic from Fulham. The Saudi Pro League team broke transfer records three times this summer, underscoring their dedication to enhancing the team.
Al-Hilal’s coach, Jorge Jesus, emphasized the significance of Neymar to the team despite the setback. He recognized Neymar’s status as one of the world’s top players and expressed optimism regarding his contribution once fully recovered. However, Jesus also expressed uncertainty about the timeline for Neymar’s return to action and questioned the rationale behind his call-up by the Brazilian national team.
The news of Neymar’s delayed debut has disappointed Al-Hilal’s passionate fans, who were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to see the star player in action. As the club navigates the situation and focuses on Neymar’s recovery and readiness, supporters remain hopeful for a successful season ahead.