Despite sitting top of the Roshn Saudi League, Al Hilal were active in the international transfer market this past month, bringing in former Atletico Madrid left-back Renan Lodi. He has already gotten some minutes under his belt for his new club after featuring for Al Hilal in both their Riyadh Season Cup matches.
Here's a little background on the latest Brazilian to join the RSL.
On January 17, it was announced that Lodi had signed a contract with Al Hilal until 2027, making the move from French Ligue 1 club Marseille. Lodi, 25, was pictured with the Al Hilal jersey alongside club president Fahad bin Saad bin Nafel at a signing ceremony in Paris.
The full-back will be registered in the RSL in place of compatriot Neymar, who continues his recovery from injury. He is expected to make his competitive debut when Al Hilal resume their 2023-24 league campaign on February 18, at home to Al Raed.
In a welcome post on X, Al Hilal said: “He is here to deliver, to compete. He is ready.”
Born in Serrana, Brazil on April 8, 1988, Lodi spent his formative footballing years with Athletico Paranaense’s youth team, staying there from 2012-2017.
The Club Career
Lodi began his senior professional career with Paranaense in 2016, making 48 league appearances and helping the Curitiba club lift the Copa Sudamericana and Campeonato Paranaense in 2018. He won the latter the following year also.
Lodi's rise earned a transfer to Spain’s Atletico Madrid in 2019, where he played 84 times in La Liga, winning the 2020-21 top-flight title. He is remembered also for scoring the goal at Old Trafford in March 2022 that knocked Manchester United out of the Uefa Champions League.
In 2022, Lodi joined Nottingham Forest in the English Premier League, initially on a season-long loan. He would go on to play a crucial part in the club avoiding relegation, featuring 28 times in the Premier League, starting 26 of those matches.
Sold to Marseille last summer, Lodi started 14 matches for the French club this campaign.
The International Career
Debuting for the Brazil senior team in 2019, Lodi has made 19 appearances to date for the five-time world champions. He was part of the team that finished runner-up to Argentina at the the 2021 Copa America.
The First Interview
Speaking to Al Hilal’s official social media channels, Lodi said upon joining: “I am in Al Hilal, one of the best clubs in the world. I am very happy and proud to be in this team. I cannot wait to be there and with the fans.”