Neymar has boldly claimed that the Saudi Pro League could be better than the French league in a subtle dig at his former club, Paris Saint-Germain.
Neymar became one of the many high-profile stars to make the lucrative switch to the Middle East this summer, joining Al Hilal in a deal worth a reported €100m (£86.3m) in August, calling time on a six-year career at PSG.
The 31-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year contract worth £2.5 million per-week, which includes plenty of other financial incentives, such as a alleged bonus payment for every social media post which endorses the country.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian is thought to have requested a 25-room mansion with eight workers to keep the house tidy, nine cars and all expenses paid for travel, restaurants and hotels.
Despite not setting foot onto the pitch yet for Al Hilal, Neymar has already suggested that the league is “better” than Ligue 1 in a controversial interview.
“I can assure that the football in Saudi Arabia is the same,” Neymar told reporters on Thursday. “The ball is round, we have goal posts.”
“And I think that, for the names that went to Saudi Arabia… I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saudi league is better than the French,” he added.
There is no question that the level of competition within the league should spiral following an influx of superstars and managers into Saudi Arabia, though many fans remain sceptical of the quality.
Neymar also discussed his mindset and his ‘thirst for winning’, saying: “But, my head must be good, I must be happy, I must feel well.
“I know how to take care of myself, what I need to do to be in conditions to play a game. I have been living this for the last 15 years.
“There’s no secret. We have intense practice there, the thirst to win is still big, I want to win trophies with Al Hilal… it doesn’t change much.”
Al Hilal are currently joint-top of the Saudi Pro League on 13 points alongside Al Tawawon, having played five games so far this season.
They face 15th-placed Al Riyadh next in the division, with Neymar in contention to make his debut as he recovers from injury.