Neymar likely to play in India, will represent Al-Hilal in AFC Champions League

Brazillian footballer Neymar in all likelihood may play a game in India representing the Saudi football club which he joined recently.  Saudi Club Al Hilal is placed in Group D of the AFC Champions League tournament and India’s  Mumbai FC is also in the same group. 

Neymar who is a part of the Saudi club Al-Hilal is placed along with FC Nassaji Mazandaran, PFC Navbahor Namangan and Mumbai City FC in Group D for the AFC Champions League Group Stage matches and it is in this context that Neymar may visit India during the club’s game with Mumbai City FC.

“Neymar is an innovative and creative player, he will help us to improve, but he has a slight injury now and I don’t know when he will return. Maybe he will be ready in mid-September,” Jesus said after a welcoming ceremony in front of 60,000 spectators at the King Fahd International Stadium on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Al-Hilal coach Jesus also expressed his surprise at Neymar’s inclusion in the Brazil squad for two World Cup qualifiers next month.

“I don’t know how the Brazilian national team (could have) called him, he is not ready,” Jesus said.

Neymar has not played for Brazil since last year’s World Cup as he recovers from an ankle injury sustained in February, but he has been included in the squad for World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia on Sept. 8 and Peru four days later.

Kandarp Chandra – CEO, Mumbai City FC said “While all of us at Mumbai City FC are excited about a huge season ahead of us, we are very disappointed at not being able to bring AFC Champions League football to Mumbai. Unfortunately, the current infrastructure in Andheri does not allow us to host Champions League games.” “This provides us an opportunity to take the beautiful game to other parts of Maharashtra, which continues to be one of our key targets at Mumbai City FC. 

We believe that Mumbai City FC is a club that does not belong only to Mumbai but to all of Maharashtra and the AFC Champions League presents a wonderful chance for fans from Pune and the surrounding areas to watch their own football club in action against the very best clubs from Asia” “While we share the disappointment of our fans in Mumbai, we will spare no effort to ensure our supporters cherish a memorable matchday experience in Pune as we prepare to welcome fans to experience AFC Champions League football for the first time not just in Maharashtra but for the first time in India.”

*With Agency Inputs

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Updated: 24 Aug 2023, 03:56 PM IST

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