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Neymar to debut in India as Mumbai City takes on Saudi’s


Get ready, Indian football fans! Brazilian sensation Neymar may soon be dazzling the pitch in India. His Saudi club, Al Hilal, has been drawn into the same group as India’s leading team, Mumbai City, for the Asian Champions League. This is an exciting prospect, marking Neymar’s potential debut game on Indian turf. 

After a prodigious deal with Al Hilal, Neymar will showcase his skills at the humble Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune. Initially, Mumbai City’s usual home ground, the Andheri Sports Complex, was deemed unsuitable for the tournament requirements, making Pune the home ground for this event. 

The excitement begins with the Asian Champions League group stage kicking off on September 18. However, we are still on tenterhooks as the final schedule for Al Hilal’s game in India remains to be released. 

It’s worth noting that Al Hilal is no ordinary club. With a record four AFC Champions League titles, it stands as one of the most successful clubs in the history of the tournament. Joining Mumbai City and Al Hilal in Group D are Iran’s FC Nassaji Mazandaran and Uzbekistan’s Navbahor. 

Neymar transfer to Al Hilal was a whopping $97.8 million deal:

Neymar’s transfer to Al Hilal was a whopping $97.8 million deal. He now stands with other football superstars like Kalidou Koulibaly, Ruben Neves, and Malcom who have recently joined the Saudi club. Al Hilal’s coach, Portugal’s Jorge Jesus, has yet to confirm Neymar’s inclusion for the India trip. As for Ronaldo fans, unfortunately, he won’t be making it to India for this tournament as rules prevent two clubs from the same country being in one group. 

Prior to the draw, Mumbai City’s coach Des Buckingham expressed his team’s enthusiasm about playing against ‘the best in the world’. But they know it’s not going to be a walk in the park. 

Mumbai City, owned by the Abu Dhabi-based City Football Group, had an impressive run in the last season of the Asian Champions League, giving the best performance ever by an Indian club. 

They secured second place in Group B, defeating Iraq’s Air Force club twice and drawing once against UAE’s Al Jazira. Despite their efforts, they didn’t advance to the knockout rounds as only the top three second-placed teams from the five West Zone groups could qualify. 

Historically, India has had its share of football stars playing on its fields. Back in 1977, Pele enthralled thousands in Kolkata with his team, the New York Cosmos. Lionel Messi, Oliver Kahn, and Alessandro del Piero have also graced Indian grounds. But Neymar’s potential participation in the Asian Champions League is a level above, as this isn’t just a friendly match, but a high-stakes competitive encounter.

Please, also have a look into : Indian Hockey team wins record fourth Asian Champions Trophy after beating Malaysia 4-3 in final

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