After losing out on Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, and despite already having Cristiano Ronaldo in situ, the Saudi Pro League capture of Neymar put them on the map.
Al Hilal had previously been linked with Neymar’s former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain colleague Messi, in an incredible €400m per year deal according to various sources cited by Sport.
In the end, the Argentinian World Cup winner decided to head to Inter Miami and a stint in MLS, where he was joined by ex-Barcelona stars, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, and will soon have Luis Suarez for company too.
The fanfare that greeted Neymar’s arrival in the Emirates was in keeping with his standing as one of world football’s most bankable stars, however, the move has quickly turned sour.
A cruciate ligament injury which occurred during Brazil’s match with Uruguay has meant that he will miss the remainder of the Saudi Pro League season.
Though Al Hilal are streaking away at the top of the table at the moment and are seven points ahead of Ronaldo’s Al Nassr after 13 matches, the club clearly want to improve their squad when the transfer window opens in the new year.
To that end, Neymar will have to suffer possibly the ultimate humiliation of his career. According to Saudi outlet, Arriyadiyah, Al-Hilal will de-register the player in order to bring in another foreign star in January.
Ruben Neves, Yassine Bounou, Malcolm, Kalidou Koulibaly, Michael, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic are the other seven foreign players at the club, with a limit of eight allowed.