For two glorious days last weekend, there was a real chance that the much-rumored return of Neymar Jr. to Barcelona had finally upgraded from a clickbait dream to at least a remote possibility. Xavi Hernández was still not too keen on reuniting with his former teammate but was starting to warm up to the idea, and every other key decision-maker at the club wanted Neymar back.
But then, Saudi Arabia’s money showed up and ended the Neymar dream before it really began, as the Brazilian has been officially announced as Al-Hilal’s newest signing.
Al-Hilal paid a whopping 90 million euros to Paris Saint-Germain for the transfer (like, seriously, PSG got 90 million) and according to Fabrizio Romano are giving the player a world-record salary package that could reach 400 million dollars in the next two years.
Official, confirmed. Neymar Jr joins Al Hilal on $300m package record salary in two years, no option to extend— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 15, 2023
Salary could go up to potential $400m total until 2025 based on add-ons & commercial deals.
Deal completed by his father Neymar Pai and super agent Pini Zahavi. pic.twitter.com/M3YDaFsWQ0
That is an obscene amount of money, which makes the stories about Neymar willing to lower his salary to return to Barça sound absolutely hilarious in retrospect. Neymar has officially given up on his dream of becoming the world’s best player, the apparent reason why he decided to leave a potentially dynastic Barcelona team six years ago for the glamour — and the money — of Paris.
There are reports from French media leaving the door open for a Neymar return to Barça once his deal expires in 2025, because of course there are. But we can ignore those stories. Anything can and will happen in two years, and Neymar will probably leave Al-Hilal for the highest bidder anyway.
It’s time to close this chapter for good and go back to what we as Barça fans have grown accostumed to: ignoring the Neymar rumors.