Brazilian forward Neymar Jr. slammed critics for calling Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo 'crazy' for moving to the Saudi Pro League in 2022. Neymar was speaking after completing his big-money transfer to Saudi club Al-Hilal, who paid Paris Saint Germain a reported 90 million euros ($98m) transfer fee.
Neymar will reportedly earn €91.7m ($100m) at Al Hilal as part of his annual salary package with countless other benefits. With this transfer, the 31-year-old Brazilian became one of the biggest names in the mass exodus to Saudi Arabia from Europe's major leagues in England, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal.
Hence talking about his transfer and the thinking behind it, Neymar credited Cristiano Ronaldo for taking the initiative and bringing top footballing talent to Saudi Arabia. The former FC Barcelona star also called the SPL to be ' very competitive' after the major signings in the transfer window.
"I believe Cristiano Ronaldo started all of this and everybody called him 'crazy,' and this and that," Neymar said in an interview with Al-Hilal. "Today you see the league grow more and more.
"The league will be very competitive, especially after the signings made in the summer transfer window. I believe competitiveness is important. That's why I am joining this league. I am driven by challenges. I am there to help the league grow.
Further, Neymar Jr. expressed excitement about starting a new chapter in his career and hopes to continue winning titles in Al-Hilal. He said, "I am very excited to write a new story chasing all the objectives with the club and my teammates -- winning more and more titles and fulfilling the club's ambition. I am very excited in that regard."