Neymar hits back at 'fake news' claims he demanded Al Hilal dismiss Jorge Jesus

Saudi Pro League's marquee summer signing has not had the best of starts to life at the Riyadh club

Neymar has struggled to make an impact on the pitch at new club Al Hilal. Getty
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Neymar has labelled reports that he called for Al Hilal manager Jorge Jesus to leave the club as “lies”.

A report in Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo on Sunday claimed Neymar was involved in a heated exchange with Jesus in the Hilal dressing room following last week’s disappointing draw in the Asian Champions League opener against Uzbeki side Navbahor. The match in Riyadh finished 1-1.

The report said Neymar, signed last month from Paris Saint-Germain, had since demanded the Portuguese coach’s dismissal.

However, a post on his official Instagram account on Monday night, translated into English, said: “Lies … Y'all got to stop believing these things, pages like this … with millions of followers you can't keep posting fake news!

“With all due respect in the world, I ask you to stop this. This is a lot of disrespect.”

Neymar, 31, has enjoyed a modest start on the pitch at Hilal. Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer, the Saudi Pro League’s most high-profile signing this summer, has yet to score since making his debut as a second-half substitute on September 15.

He has played two full matches since, but was rested for Monday’s King’s Cup 1-0 victory at Al Jabalain. Ruben Neves, a fellow summer recruit, got the game’s only goal.

Despite Neymar’s indifferent form, Hilal remain beaten through the opening seven rounds in the Saudi Pro League, with five wins. They sit second in the table, one point off champions Al Ittihad.

Updated: September 26, 2023, 6:06 PM