Neymar (Brazil), who plays in French professional soccer for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), has signed with Saudi Arabian professional soccer team Al-Hilal.
Al-Hilal announced on Saturday that it had “signed Neymar on a two-year contract.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but European and U.S. media outlets estimated the transfer fee to be 90 million euros ($131.5 million) and Neymar’s salary to be more than $100 million.
The Associated Press estimated Neymar’s salary at $100 million, and the BBC estimated it at 150 million euros, which is equivalent to between 130 billion won and 200 billion won in Korean currency.
Neymar joins Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Karim Benzema (France), and Sadio Mane (Senegal) in the Saudi Arabian professional soccer league.
“I achieved a lot in Europe, I had a great time,” Neymar said on Al-Hilal’s social media, explaining his decision to move, “but I always wanted to challenge myself and test myself in a new place”.
“I want to make sports history,” he said, adding that “there is a lot of energy in the Saudi league, and there are a lot of great players.”
Neymar is a Brazilian icon who needs no introduction.
Born in 1992, he played for Brazilian club Santos before moving to Europe with FC Barcelona (Spain) in 2013 and then to PSG in 2017.
His transfer to PSG was a record-breaking €222 million.
Neymar has scored 68 goals in the Spanish Primera Liga and 82 in the French Ligue 1, and he is Brazil’s all-time leading goal scorer for the national team with 77 goals in 124 A-matches, tied with Pele for the most goals in Brazil’s A-matches.
He was expected to be teammates with South Korea international Lee Kang-in, who joined PSG in July, but Lee left the club just a month after donning a PSG jersey.
Notably, Neymar played alongside Lee and scored a goal in the Coupang Play Series match against Jeonbuk Hyundai earlier this month in Busan, South Korea, just two weeks after donning a new jersey.
PSG, which boasted a formidable lineup of Lionel Messi (Argentina), Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe (France) until last season, is worried about weakening after Messi left for Inter Miami CF of the Major League Soccer (MLS) and Neymar confirmed his departure today. 꽁머니지급
Mbappe also rejected the club’s offer to extend his contract with a year left on it, leaving his future unclear for the 2023-2024 season, but he returned to team training on Thursday, leaving the door open for him to link up with Lee Kang-in on the field.
Al-Hilal, which Neymar joined on the same day, is a prestigious club that has won the Saudi league 18 times, the most in its history.
Al-Hilal is followed by Ronaldo’s clubs Al Nasr and Al Ittihad, who have each won the title nine times.
Al-Hilal also acquired Portugal’s Ruben Neves, who was Hwang’s teammate at Wolverhampton in the English Premier League until last season, in June of this year for a transfer fee of approximately 78.4 billion won.