Neymar’s move to Alhilal has secured him a spot in the upcoming 2023-2024 Asian Football Confederation Champions League (ACL). Cristiano Ronaldo could join them if they make it through the qualifiers, while Alhilal’s Neymar and Al Ittihad’s Karim Benzema have gone straight to the group stage.
On July 16, Alhilal announced the signing of Neymar, the Brazil No. 10, Pele’s second-leading scorer, and former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star, on a two-season deal. The deal was finalized in France on Friday. The reported transfer fee is 90 million euros (approximately $136 million).
Neymar is immediately eligible to participate in the ACL, which begins in September. The ACL moved from the Spring Festival to the Autumn Festival this season. As a result, there were no games in the first half of the year, and the group stage starts in the second half.
Neymar’s team Al-Hilal will be participating in the new season’s ACL as the winners of the Saudi King’s Cup (FA Cup). Al-Ittihad and Al-Fayha will also qualify directly for the knockout stages, while Al-Nasr can advance if they make it through the qualifiers. That means Neymar, Kalidou Koulibaly, Leo Neves, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Maicon for Altyhad and Benzema, N’Golo Kante, 꽁머니 and Fabinho for Alaves in the ACL, while Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Alex Telles, and Marcelo Brozovic could also compete if Alaves qualify.
Neymar won the 2011 Copa Libertadores with Santos in Brazil. In the 2014-2015 season, he won the UEFA Champions League (UCL) with Barcelona. The fact that he’s won two of the most prestigious tournaments in both South America and Europe is what sets him apart from other superstars of his generation. Neymar’s immense international popularity is also due to his grip on South America.
Neymar is going for a new record. The world’s first ever summit of three major continents. To date, only 12 players have won both the Copa and UCL, and none of them have added a continental cup on another continent. Of the 12, Joke Junior (Alayan), Carlos Tevez (Shanghai Shenhua), and Jámiles (Jiangsu Suning) played in Asia but did not win the ACL.