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“I can’t see much difference between Saudi and French leagues” – Neymar

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Former Paris Saint Germain forward, Neymar Junior, can’t see much difference between the Saudi Pro League and the French Ligue 1.

Recall that Neymar who moved from FC Barcelona to PSG in 2017 for a world record transfer fee worth €200 million, left the French side for Al Hilal this summer for a €90 million transfer fee.

Since he joined the club on August 15, 2023, the 31-year-old Brazilian winger has not played a competitive game for the Saudi Pro League side due to fitness issues.

Despite that, he believes the competitiveness in the Saudi Pro League is the same as that of the French Ligue 1 if not better due to the calibre of players that have moved to the Middle East this year.

“I assure you that soccer there [in Saudi Arabia] is the same. The ball is round, there’s a goal, and if you look at the names that have gone to the Saudi league… I don’t know whether it is better than the French league or not”, Neymar told the press on Thursday, September 7, 2023.

He continued, “I want to win titles for Al Hilal, my head won’t change much. Everyone said the same when I went to France [about competitiveness], and it was the place I was hit the most in my life.

“I am sure that it won’t be easy to win the Saudi championship, other teams got stronger, and have famous players. It will be very interesting and I am sure you will be watching.”

Neymar has been invited to play for Brazil’s national team as they kick off their 2026 World Cup qualification against Bolívia on Friday and against Peru on Tuesday.

Al Hilal’s coach Jorge Jesus is reportedly not happy that the Brazil Football Confederation decided to invite Neymar to the matches when he is not fully fit.
But Neymar who admitted that he is not 100 percent fit believes he is good enough to play for Brazil this September.

He said, “I feel well, and happy, but obviously I am not 100% fit. But my head is well, my body is well. I was going to play the latest match [of Al Hilal], but I was hit during training and the coach chose to leave me out, so I could come to Brazil.”

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Euro 2024: Portugal Join Two Other Teams In Round Of 16

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In just two matchdays in the ongoing European Championship (Euro 2024), three countries have secured their place in the tournament’s round of 16.

Interestingly, the Three Lions of England and France, seen as the Super favourites to win the Euro 2024, will have to wait until the last day of the group stage to confirm their place.

Earlier today, June 22, 2024, Portugal’s national team, ably led by five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, defeated Turkey 3-0 to book themselves a place in the round of 16.

Goals from Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, and an own goal from Samet Akaydin made all the difference.

Ronaldo provided an assist for Portugal’s third goal, which was his 7th in the history of the tournament, and the all-time highest in the European Championship.

Portugal coach bemoans risk to player safety as pitch invaders chase  Ronaldo selfies - Yahoo Sport

Recall that Portugal defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 in their opening game in Group F. Hence, the Portuguese side now have 6 points in two games.

Whether or not they beat Georgia in their last group stage game on Wednesday, June 26, the Portuguese side will play in the round of 16. However, they need to win the game to ensure they finish top of Group F.

Other two teams that have already booked themselves a place in the Euro 2024 round of 16 with a game in hand are the hosts, Germany, and Spain.

Germany are topping Group A with 6 points in 2 games, while Spain are topping Group B with 6 points in two games.

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Chelsea Sign Brazilian Youngster Estevao Willian From Palmeiras

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Chelsea have completed their transfer transaction with Brazilian club, Palmeiras, for the services of teenage forward Estevao Willian.

Earlier today, June 22, Chelsea took to X to announce that Estevao Willian is now officially their new player but he wouldn’t join the Premier League side until the summer of 2025.

This means that the 17-year-old forward will remain at Palmeiras throughout the 2024-2025 season.

A statement from Chelsea reads: “Chelsea Football Club has agreed a deal to sign teenage forward Estevao Willian from Palmeiras, with the Brazilian to officially join Chelsea next summer.

“The 17-year-old has already built a strong reputation in South America as one of the most exciting talents around due to his skilful dribbling and electric pace, causing defences plenty of problems in his breakout season in senior football.

“Estevao has featured 10 times in the Brazilian Serie A for Palmeiras, contributing two goals and two assists, as well as also finding the net in the Copa Libertadores and Copa do Brasil.”

Estevao Willian Transfer – Have Chelsea Learnt Nothing?, 41% OFF

What are the details of Chelsea’s contract with Estevao Willian

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Estevao Willian signed a deal with Chelsea which will keep him at Stamford Bridge until June 30, 2033.

The Premier League side paid Palmeiras the sum of €34 million to complete the deal.

The transfer expert wrote on X, “Chelsea have signed all documents for Willian Estevão, deal sealed!

“Final conditions include €34m fixed fee, €6m add-ons based on apps with Palmeiras, €17m add-ons based on being a multiseason starter at #CFC, €4m difficult add-ons Contract until 2033.”

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Transfer Update On Luiz, David, Greenwood, Gomez, Wan-Bissaka, Others

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The 24-year-old forward Jonathan David, of Lille and Canada, is wanted by several teams, including Manchester United and Tottenham, in this summer transfer window, according to Sky Sports.

West Ham have made the first bid of £25 million to Wolves for the signature of Max Kilman, an English defender. However, Wolves are seeking up to £45 million for the 27-year-old in this summer transfer window, the Guardian reported.

Aston Villa are about to transfer Brazil’s Douglas Luiz, a 26-year-old midfielder, to Juventus in exchange for English winger Samuel Illing-Junior, 20, and Argentine midfielder Enzo Barrenechea, 23, plus a £25 million transfer fee, the Mail claimed.

Initial contact has been established between Manchester United and Lille over the transfer of 18-year-old French defender Leny Yoro, Sky Sports reported.

Lazio are willing to pay £15 million to get English forward Mason Greenwood, 22, from Manchester United, in addition to offering Greece’s 22-year-old goalkeeper Christos Mandas, according to Tuttomercato.

Bobby DeCordova-Reid, a 31-year-old winger for Fulham and Jamaica, is being targeted by Southampton. His contract expires this summer, the Sun reported.

The 18-year-old Spanish Barcelona attacker Marc Guiu, who has a 6 million euro release clause, is attracting interest from Chelsea and Bayern Munich, transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano wrote.

Bein Sports Turkey reported that the 26-year-old defender for Manchester United and England, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, is very close to joining Galatasaray and might receive a four-year contract offer from the Turkish team in this summer transfer window.

Manchester United are worried that they won’t be able to entice Desire Doue, a 19-year-old midfield player from Rennes, to Old Trafford since the French team has set a high asking price for the player, Givemesport reported.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 27, an England striker for Everton, has drawn interest from West Ham and Brentford, according to Football Transfers.

Roma will speak with Manchester City in an attempt to acquire Spanish defender Sergio Gomez, 23, in the coming days, Caught Offside reported.

The 28-year-old midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Tottenham and Denmark is interested in AC Milan in this summer transfer window, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Marseille’s Illian Ndiaye, a 24-year-old midfielder from Senegal, is a target for Everton, according to L’Equipe.

The 30-year-old Turkish captain and Inter Milan player Hakan Calhanoglu have been talked about by Bayern Munich, according to Bild.

Belgium midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, 24, could leave Arsenal on loan as Spanish La Liga side, Sevilla are in talks for his signature, Vamos Mi Sevilla reported.

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