Messi and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have decided to go their separate ways. This decision has raised speculations about Neymar's future as well. Neymar, who shares a close relationship with Messi, has been labeled as a player who might also seek a new club.
Despite concerns about Neymar's fitness, the wealthy Saudi Arabian has shown interest in this Brazilian superstar.
They are well aware of Neymar's ability to captivate audiences and raise the profile of any league he plays in. While Neymar was initially not within the Saudi League's target range of quality players, circumstances have changed.
With Messi's departure from PSG, Neymar has emerged as the most influential backup plan for the Saudi club. Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club has even proposed a substantial transfer fee of 45 million euros to PSG, along with a lucrative annual salary of 200 million euros for Neymar.
Interestingly, Neymar had turned down an offer from the Saudi club in May, but facing the opportunity to earn an annual salary comparable to his time in Paris, can he resist the temptation this time?
Since joining PSG, Neymar's performance has been marked by a pattern - consistent injuries and absences from matches.
Earlier this year, PSG officially announced that Neymar would undergo ligament repair surgery, sidelining him for an estimated 3-4 months and ruling him out for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, injuries have been a recurring theme throughout Neymar's career.
In 2014, a knee injury inflicted by Zúñiga during the quarterfinal match against Colombia forced Neymar to exit the tournament. He could only watch helplessly as Brazil suffered a humiliating 7-1 defeat against Germany in front of their home crowd.
At the time, Neymar was just 22 years old.
Four years later, although Neymar managed to avoid serious injury, he was repeatedly targeted by opponents, resulting in him tumbling across the field with a grimace on his face. Despite scoring two goals in five games, he was unable to guide Brazil beyond the quarterfinals.
By then, Neymar was 26 years old.
In the recent World Cup in Qatar, Neymar endured nine fouls from his opponents in one match before being substituted due to injury, as per official FIFA statistics. This constantly targeted aggression towards Neymar on the field has led fans to quip, "Brazil plays football, while the opponents play Neymar."
This statement perfectly encapsulates Neymar's situation during matches.
At 31 years old, Neymar finds himself facing uncertainties about his future.
While he enjoys watching the NBA playoffs, there are several options available to him, whether it be staying at PSG or pursuing a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia. Neymar, who has always been adept at distancing himself from negativity, can also rely on his successful stint at Barcelona to ward off criticisms.
His impressive record of 105 goals in 168 games has been accompanied by an impressive collection of 10 trophies, including the coveted UEFA Champions League title.