Neymar, a winger from Brazil, might not play his first game for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal until September because he is hurt, said coach Jorge Jesus.
Neymar left Paris St. Germain on Tuesday and signed a two-year deal with Al-Hilal. The French newspaper L’Equipe said that the 31-year-old could make 160 million euros ($174 million) from the deal.
“Neymar is a smart, clever player who will help us get better, but he’s hurt right now and I don’t know when he’ll be back. “Maybe he’ll be ready by the middle of September,” Jesus said Saturday at the King Fahd International Stadium, where 60,000 people had come to welcome him.
Drones flew above Al-Hilal’s home field and wrote out “Neymar is Blue” before the former Barcelona star watched his new team draw 1-1 with Al-Fayha.
Jesus, the leader of Al-Hilal, was also surprised that Neymar was picked to play for Brazil in two World Cup qualifying games next month.
Jesus said, “I don’t know why the Brazilian national team called him, he’s not ready.”
Neymar hasn’t played for Brazil since last year’s World Cup because he hurt his ankle in February. However, he is in the team for the World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia on September 8 and Peru four days later.