Brazilian football star Neymar could play his first match in India this year. His new team, Al Hilal, will face Indian club Mumbai City FC in the AFC Champions League. The group stage draw for the AFC Champions League was announced on Thursday (August 24). Mumbai City FC has been placed in Group D alongside Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal.
While fans hoped that football legend Cristiano Ronaldo might come to India, he didn’t. Ronaldo’s team, Al Nassr, is in Group E. Neymar signed a two-year contract with Al Hilal. The 31-year-old player from Brazil joined the club for around 90 million euros (approximately 817 crore INR). His salary package for two years is about 300 million euros (around 2,713 crore INR). Before this, Neymar was playing for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in France.
Change in Mumbai City’s Home Ground
The clash between Al Hilal and Mumbai City FC in the group stage will be held at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. Mumbai City’s home ground, the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai, couldn’t meet the tournament’s requirements. Therefore, Mumbai City will have to play their home matches at this venue in Pune. The AFC Champions League group stage matches will start from September 18. Apart from Al Hilal, Mumbai City’s group includes FC Nasaji Mazandaran from Iran and Navbahor from Uzbekistan.
Owners of Mumbai City and Manchester City United
City Football Group from Abu Dhabi owns Mumbai City FC. England’s champion team Manchester City is also part of the same group. Mumbai City FC had a great performance in the previous season of the AFC Champions League.