Neymar hails title-winning Al Hilal teammates

Neymar has praised his Al Hilal teammates for winning the Roshn Saudi League title in his absence, and revealed he is eagerly awaiting a return to action next season.

The Brazilian superstar attacker joined Al Hilal from Paris St Germain last summer but has missed most of the season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in October on international duty.

Neymar made three RSL appearances before his injury, recording three assists as Al Hilal won two and drew one of the matches in which he featured.

His final league club appearance of the season, a 2-0 win over Al Shabab at the end of September, marked the first in a world record run that saw Al Hilal win an incredible 34 matches in succession.

“I am very happy obviously. Winning titles is always good. The best thing would have been being on the pitch, but I am so happy for my teammates,” said Neymar, speaking at the title celebrations on Saturday following Al Hilal’s 4-1 victory over Al Hazem that clinched an eighth title for Al Hilal since the launch of the Saudi Pro League in 2008-09.

“I am fine. I am feeling good. I am impatient to be back on the pitch. The fans are unbelievable. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to give them the happiness they deserve but you can be sure that next season we are going to have a lot of fun.”

Unbeaten domestically this season, Al Hilal clinched the league title with three matches to spare, winning 29 of their 31 games thus far. Nearest challengers Al Nassr are 12 points behind. Al Hilal’s next match sees them travel to Cristiano Ronaldo’s side for the Riyadh derby, which takes place at Al Awwal Park on Friday May 17.

Al Hilal’s top flight world football record run earlier this season saw them overtake Welsh club The New Saints’ winning streak of 27 games in season 2016-17. Prior to that, the record stood for 44 years following Dutch giants Ajax’s 26-game winning run between 1971 and 1972.