Neymar says Saudi Pro League is strong and competitive


Arabian Weekly report

RIO DE JANEIRO — Neymar da Silva, captain of the Brazilian national team and player for Al-Hilal, has praised the Saudi Arabian Pro League, describing it as highly competitive and challenging. He emphasized his confidence that anyone attempting to underestimate the level of competition and significant growth in the Saudi league would eventually change their opinion after witnessing its matches.

Speaking at a press conference prior to his national team’s match against Bolivia in the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, Neymar stated: “In Saudi Arabia, there are top-level players in several clubs. I cannot yet say that the Saudi league is better than the French league because I haven’t played there yet. However, I am certain that those who follow both leagues will understand the difference in competition and strength between them.”

He continued: “Since my arrival in Saudi Arabia, many have tried to downplay the quality of the tournaments there, but those who truly understand football and have experience on the field know the difficulty and competitiveness that awaits in a league featuring top names and strong clubs.”

The Brazilian star further emphasized that his next goal is to win all possible championships with his club.

He said: “I am always hungry for victory, and Al-Hilal has fantastic players. I was ready to participate in Al-Hilal’s previous match against Al-Ittihad, but I sustained a minor injury in the last training session before the game. Jorge Jesus, the team’s coach, decided to exclude me from the match to preserve me for the upcoming matches.”

He added: “Currently, I am not at 100%, but I feel good enough to play. I do not consider the words spoken by Jesus at that time, regarding my national team call-up as harsh because I wasn’t ready back then as I am now. I don’t see any difficulty in maintaining my high level with Al-Hilal. I am very happy with the warm welcome I received in Saudi Arabia, not only from Al-Hilal fans but also from fans of other clubs.”

Neymar also addressed the cultural differences he has encountered between Europe and the Arab region, saying: “Of course, there are differences, but I respect the Arab culture and know a lot about it, so I won’t have trouble adapting to it.”

He added, “I now know a few Arabic words, but I must admit I didn’t learn much French despite spending six years there.”

Neymar’s comments shed light on the rising stature of the Saudi Arabian Pro League in the global football landscape and underline the growing interest of international stars in the championship.

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