Neymar has officially made his Saudi Pro League debut, but the Brazilian’s fans weren’t thrilled as he was denied a goal in his first game.
Earlier this summer, the former Paris Saint-Germain star made a staggering £77.6 million move to Jorge Jesus’ Al Hilal.
On Friday, September 15, Neymar had his first taste of Middle Eastern football when he came off the bench for midfielder Michael in the 64th minute.
Despite registering an assist and recently surpassing Pele as the top male Brazilian goalscorer, Neymar couldn’t secure his first goal in this debut.
In the 87th minute of the game against Al Riyadh, Al Hilal was granted a penalty kick, and Neymar geared up to take it.
However, despite the 31-year-old being fully prepared to step up, he was substituted for club legend Salem Al-Dawsari.
The winger boasts an impressive 223 caps for his childhood club, but fans at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium believed that the 32-year-old had taken away Neymar’s golden opportunity.
Video footage posted on social media captured the resounding boos echoing throughout the stadium as the winger approached the ball.
BREAKING: NEYMAR DEBUT – AL-HILAL PLAYER BOOED FOR NOT LETTING HIM TAKE THE PENALTY pic.twitter.com/gg6RPMTnnE
— Sulaiman Ahmed (@ShaykhSulaiman) September 15, 2023
Despite the initial negativity, Al-Dawsari didn’t let it affect him and promptly scored his first goal of the game, adding another in the 95th minute.
With the crowd now appeased and the goals flowing, Neymar joined the winger in celebrating, demonstrating there were no hard feelings.
Following Al-Dawsari’s goal, Al Hilal went on to win 6-1, placing them at the top of the Saudi Pro League table.
On social media, users have been expressing their opinions about the viral footage and sharing their thoughts on the crowd’s reaction, which included booing one of their own players.
One X user wrote: “Hold up they are booing AL-DAWSARI?? Swear he’s their club legend and their nations best player, that’s actually quite sad.”
A second said: “Booing a club legend who represented your country well at the World Cup for a newbie even tho it’s Neymar is insane.”
“Fans showing (sic) their true colours now,” commented a third.
Another fan gave their opinion on the negative reaction: “Probably a lot of people that aren’t diehard fans just wanted to see Neymar.
“The same would happen if they didn’t let Messi take the (sic) PK in that first game,” they added
Neymar and Al Hilal are due to face Navbahor in the AFC Champions League group stage on Monday, 18 September before coming up against Damac in the league on Thursday, 21 September.