The Brazilian international Neymar Jr. recently moved to the Saudi Pro League giants Al-Hilal this summer from Paris Saint Germain to become the third biggest name to join the Saudi club after Cristiano Ronaldo to Al-Nassr and Karim Benzema to Al-Ittihad.
The former PSG winger is still seeking his first goal for Al-Hilal this season. In their last league game, Neymar missed a penalty, extending his goal drought to four games. Now, as they prepare to face F.C. Nassaji Mazandaran away, the forward has recently commented on the pitch condition of the venue.
Neymar Jr. reacts to Iranian side’s playing pitch
The star-studded Al-Hilal is set to face the Iranian club F.C. Nassaji Mazandaran at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Tuesday for the second matchday of the AFC Champions League group D fixture. Neymar’s side is now residing at the second spot in the group table with a single point.
Prior to their AFC Champions League clash, a video surfaced showing the grounds staff covering large concrete portions on the pitch with grass strips at Nassaji’s Azadi Stadium. Neymar was stunned at seeing the condition of the pitch and didn’t hesitate to express his disbelief.
ActuSPL tweeted a video that stated, “The Azadi stadium, which will host the match between Nassaji and Al Hilal next Tuesday !!!! CATASTROPHIC”
To which Neymar replied, “This is not possible” along with a facepalm emojis. Clearly, Neymar, who has played across some of the most iconic venues in Europe, was not expecting the dire condition of the stadium where he is about to take field next.
Al-Hilal are aiming to reassert its dominance in Asian football and strengthen its squad with several high-profile names, including players like Aleksandar Mitrovic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Ruben Neves, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who have recently joined the club.
Al Hilal’s AFC CL schedule
Al-Hilal finished as the runners-up in the previous edition of the Champions League following a defeat at the hands of South Korean side Urawa Red Diamonds. The Blues have previously won the competition twice in 2019 and 2021 respectively.
This time, Al-Hilal have been drawn into Group D alongside Indian Super League champions Mumbai City FC, Uzbekistan’s Navbahor, and FC Nassaji Mazandaran whom they are facing tonight in an away fixture.
The last runners-up began their Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Uzbekistani club Navbahor in their group-stage opener. Next up, they will face Nassaji Mazandaran, aiming for their first win in the competition. On matchday three, the Saudi giants will host Mumbai City, and for the subsequent rounds, the fixtures will be reversed.