Saudi football league lures Brazilian star Neymar as it seeks to attract ‘Only great players’

  • Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain His current team has yet to comment on the deal.
  • Saudi Pro League director Michael Emenalo said: “The league needs all the top players. And I think this is going to be at the heart of this strategy.”
  • The report is the latest in a series of high-profile athlete acquisitions by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. which shows that countries Determined to make a name for himself in the world of sport

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe celebrates his goal against Neymar Jr (right) during the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic Glasgow and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at Celtic Park on September 12, 2017.

Jean Katoff | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Once again, Saudi Arabia has attracted one of the biggest names in football with a multi-million dollar contract. This time it’s Brazilian superstar Neymar, who has reportedly agreed a two-year contract with Al-Hilal. Saudi Arabian pro team

Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain His current team has yet to comment on the PSG and Brazil international forward Neymar’s deal. In 2017, he became the most expensive player in history when PSG signed him from Barcelona for 222 million euros. ($242 million) French sports daily L’Equipe said he would earn 160 million euros ($175 million) over two seasons. But did not provide details on transfer fees.

The report is the latest in a series of high-profile athlete acquisitions by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This shows how a country is trying to make a name for itself in global sports. by using every means that money can buy

Saudi Arabia has also recruited legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema for hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts. And is expected to bid to host the 2030 World Cup. Other recent high-profile transfers include Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Kalidou Koulibaly, Lyon’s Moussa Dembele and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.

Saudi Arabia’s Pro League Director Michael Emenalo said: “The league needs all the top players. And I think this is going to be at the heart of this strategy.”

“In the next few years This league will only become a league for the best players.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese footballer Pictured with the jersey after signing with Al-Nasser Football Club. of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 30, 2022.

Al Nassr Football Club/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Al-Hilal has reportedly offered France and PSG prodigy Kylian Mbappé a one-year contract worth up to €700m, which includes a salary of €200m per year. along with significant commercial management and image rights.

Sports analysts are skeptical that Saudi Arabia will see its ambitions of making the top soccer league a reality. Although there is all the money that can be offered to high level players. Many said bringing domestic leagues to the same level as European leagues could take generations.

Saudi Arabia’s massive investment in sports has gone beyond football. This includes boxing, golf, motor racing and more in June. News of a surprising merger between Saudi Arabia’s LIV Golf and the American PGA Tour has sent shockwaves across the sport’s world. And it angered critics, athletes, fans and even US lawmakers.

The multibillion-dollar spree is part of a broader campaign to shape the image of a new conservative Muslim country. attract tourism and diversify the economy without oil. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 37-year-old Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, has initiated a series of liberalizing reforms since coming to power. It allowed women to drive cars, cinemas and concerts, while cracking down on dissent and imprisoning political activists.

The result is critics of this kingdom including human rights groups It accused the kingdom of “cleaning up sport”, using it to cover up and distract from illegal acts such as human rights abuses. The Saudi government denies the allegations. CNBC has contacted the Saudi Foreign Ministry for comment.

Smash GC team captain Brooks Koepka and caddy Ricky Elliott shake hands on the 18th green during Day Three of LIV Golf Invitational – Jeddah at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on October 16, 2022 in King Abdullah Economic City. Saudi Arabia

Charles Laberge | Lift Golf | Getty Images

Other criticisms come from the attitude of many that the Saudi league cannot be a serious stadium for athletes.

Emenalo, formerly a defender for the Nigerian national team and former technical director of English club Chelsea. called such criticism “outrageous”.

“Amazing The biggest concern is storytelling. And we must destroy these outrageous narratives. That something is wrong with the Saudi League or with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Emenalo said, citing the biggest obstacle he encountered. acquisition.

“That’s what they’re worried about. But I can’t tell you how many calls or texts I received last night from players who weren’t watching this game because they wanted to watch it. and after they saw it they thought ‘You know what? It’s not what I expected and I love being a part of it.’”

The Guardian reported in late July that Saudi Arabia had spent more than $6.3 billion on sports deals from 2021, “more than four times the previous amount spent over six years.”

for Saudis It is a long-term investment in their economies and people.

“Any sport that has a global and domestic consumer is one that we are interested in as an investment opportunity. Not only generate commercial returns for investors, whether PIF or private investors. but also to improve the quality of life of Saudi Arabia This is part of our tourism agenda,” Saudi Investment Minister Khalid al-Falih told CNBC in June.

PIF is the Saudi Public Investment Fund. It is a $600 billion sovereign wealth fund controlled by the crown prince. It is heavily used as an economic tool for Vision 2030, a multi-year project aimed at modernizing and diversifying the Kingdom’s economy.

“It is part of the treatment of our Saudi citizens. Residents of the world who choose Saudi Arabia as their home stay in Saudi Arabia and consume this product which is in high demand,” the minister said. “And also bring sports followers around the world to kingdom for various activities and sports that will be held here.”

#Saudi #football #league #lures #Brazilian #star #Neymar #seeks #attract #great #players

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *