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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024
Neymar’s Al Hilal to play mumbai city in pune

Mumbai City FC to face Neymar's Al Hilal in AFC Champions League group stage

If Neymar travels to Pune, it will be an opportunity of a lifetime for Indian fans to catch a glimpse of him playing in the country

PTI New Delhi Published 25.08.23, 07:58 AM
Neymar in Riyadh after signing for Al Hilal.

Neymar in Riyadh after signing for Al Hilal. File photo

Mumbai City FC players can fancy rubbing shoulders with Brazilian superstar Neymar in the upcoming AFC Champions League season after the Indian Super League team was clubbed with Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in the group stage of the continental club showpiece.

Al Hilal, the third-place finishers in the 2022–23 Saudi Pro League, recently signed Neymar, a former Barcelona FC — with whom he won the Uefa Champions League title — and Paris Saint-German player. Neymar’s new Saudi club is also the most successful team in the AFC Champions League history, having won the title four times, besides being runners-up on five occasions.

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Al Hilal have bolstered their squad for the upcoming season with some big-name signings including Neymar Jr, Kalidou Koulibaly, Ruben Neves, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Yassine Bounou and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The group stage of the AFC Champions League is a home-and-away affair and thus it will be interesting to see if Neymar is seen in action at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, Mumbai City FC’s home venue.

If Neymar travels to Pune, it would be an opportunity of a lifetime for Indian fans to catch a glimpse of him playing in the country.

FC Nassaji Mazandaran of Iran and PFC Navbahor Namangan of Uzbekistan are the other two sides in Group D. The draw of AFC Champions League 2023-24 group stage was held at the Asian Football Confederation headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr were drawn with Persepolis FC of Iran, Al Duhail SC of Qatar and FC Istiklol of Tajikistan in Group E.

The 10 group winners, along with the three best runners-up across the five West Zone groups, will make it to the round-of-16.

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