TROUBLE IN PARADISE AS NEYMAR CLASHES WITH AL-HILAL COACH

2023-09-30 · 2 min read · UEFA Champions League/Soccer
Al Hilal and the Brazil national team's Neymar

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Not even one month into Neymar’s move to Saudi Arabia reports are coming out that the Brazilian star is creating tension with his new team. The ex-FC Barcelona and PSG star Neymar is "already a problem in Saudi Arabia" where he has clashed with manager Jorge Jesus and left new club Al-Hilal "not happy" with his performances according to El Nacional.
The Brazilian pushed for a move back to his first European club this summer after telling Paris Saint-Germain he wished to leave. The Qatari-owned Ligue 1 giants were also keen to get rid of the 31-year-old, who formed no part of new head coach Luis Enrique's plans and was told so by the Spaniard and sporting director Luis Campos according to RMC Sport.
PSG weren't going to let their world record €222 million ($237.5 million) signing from Barca in 2019 go cheap, however. And given their financial problems, the Catalans were in no position to buy Neymar or pay his exorbitant salary as part of a loan deal. In the end, Al-Hilal shelled out a reported €90 million ($96.2 million) for the Santos academy product who finally made his debut against Al-Riyadh last week while providing two assists in a 6-1 win.
After his showing in a 1-1 draw in the Asians Champions League against Navbahor, however, Al-Hilal's owners have reportedly been left disappointed by Neymar and his new teammates including Malcom, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Ruben Neves and Alexander Mitrovic. Neymar is being questioned for looking much "slower, clumsier and more predictable than usual.”
Furthermore, he has also allegedly clashed with his manager Jorge Jesus. Their troubles stem from Neymar being called up to the Brazil national team despite not being at full fitness.
Neymar broke Pele's all-time scoring record for the Selecao with his brace during a 5-1 World Cup 2026 qualifier win against Bolivia in Belem. Yet Jesus apparently thought that the trip across the Atlantic was unnecessary for his star player, who he feels prioritized representing his national team over the interests of the club that pays him his wages.
Neymar's participation in Brazil's next Conmebol matches against Venezuela and Uruguay in mid-October is guaranteed to be requested, and it is worth keeping an eye on how he balances club and country commitments while also staying on the right side of Jesus and Al Hilal - or not.
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By: Aaron Cantin

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