Neymar Jr: the prince that never became the king – The internet reacts to Neymar leaving for Saudi Arabia

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Brazilian striker Neymar is leaving Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and heading to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal.

The deal, which some reports are calling comparable to what Cristiano Ronaldo got from Al-Nassr, includes a transfer fee of around $98.6 million and a reported salary of around $160 million for the two years, though some outlets are reporting numbers as high as $219 a year. 

Neymar’s contract with the Saudi Pro League club is for two years worth $88 million per season, according to French outlet L’Equipe

Al-Hilal, which is one of four Saudi soccer clubs owned by the government’s Public Investment Fund, was previously reported to have offered a $776 million salary to PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and a $1.6 billion offer for Lionel Messi. However, neither Mbappe nor Messi have signed with the club.

Al-Hilal has now evidently turned its attention to Neymar, who PSG paid a $243 million transfer fee in 2017 to obtain him from his contract with FC Barcelona.

Last week, it was reported that Neymar would be rejoining FC Barcelona. However, the latest reports have him instead going to Saudi Arabia, where fellow star Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Al Nassr. 

Since Ronaldo’s arrival, the Saudi Pro League has struck broadcast deals in over 170 territories, including its new U.S. media deal with Fox Sports and DAZN’s agreement to stream games in the U.K., Canada, Germany, Austria, and Belgium.

Neymar is the latest high-profile player to move to Saudi Arabia this summer after Jordan Henderson, Ruben Neves and Roberto Firmino all agreed deals.

Neymar’s impending exit was clearly signposted last week when he was left out of Luis Enrique’s squad for their Ligue 1 opener against Lorient, which finished goalless. He is thought to have been open to staying in Paris if the manager’s plans had permitted, and a move elsewhere in Europe would have appealed, but ultimately the move to Saudi Arabia makes sense for all parties.

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