“Playing in Saudi Arabia Is Not an Easy Matter” – Hours After Leaving Al Hilal, Neymar’s Ex-Teammate Mirrors Cristiano Ronaldo’s Bold Claim

Published 09/27/2023, 8:15 AM EDT

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It’s been a heartbreaking story for one of South Korea’s finest players in the Saudi Pro League. But he has nothing but praise for the Saudi Arabian league. After Cristiano Ronaldo claimed that the SPL was one of the best leagues in the world, Neymar‘s South Korean ex-teammate has also spoken out about the league after departing Al Hilal in tragic circumstances.

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Al Hilal’s Korean center-back Jang Hyun-soo was diagnosed with a benign lymph node tumor, forcing him to cut-short his career in the SPL. Al Hilal were looking at extending Jang’s contract but after his diagnosis, they were forced to part ways. However, he is grateful for the treatment offered to him in Saudi Arabia and has made comments about the progress of soccer in the country.

Al Hilal defender Jang Hyun-soo praises Saudi Pro League after health issue forces his exit

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Jang signed for Al Hilal in 2019 and has been an important figure in the heart of the Saudi club’s defense over the past few seasons. But after his health issue, Al Hilal had no choice but to let his contract run out.

As per this tweet on X, speaking about soccer in Saudi Arabia, the 31-year-old South Korean center-back said, “Football in Saudi Arabia has changed and is constantly developing. There are changes in the quality of the level of players, methods of management, training, and preparation of players before each match, and this is what makes every confrontation difficult in the competition. Therefore, playing in Saudi Arabia is not an easy matter. Saudi football has developed a lot for the better.”

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Jang has been invaluable to Al Hilal. He joined the club from Tokyo in 2019 and has made 146 appearances for the Riyadh club scoring 6 goals and providing 4 assists. He even scored 2 goals and made 1 assist for the club in 18 appearances in the SPL last season. But following his tragic health condition, Jang has spoken about the treatment he’s received in Saudi Arabia.

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Jang Hyun-soo thankful for excellent treatment in Saudi Arabia

Al Hilal wanted to extend Jang’s contract until his untimely diagnosis forced the club to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea instead. But in what was a great gesture, the club have covered all of Jang’s treatment expenses.

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In an Instagram post on his official account, following the start of his chemotherapy treatment, Jang posted: “I would like to thank you. Because of your help, my family and I are having unforgettable days in life. I’ll never forget what you did for me and my family.”

Jang has been pivotal to Al Hilal’s success since he joined the club, winning 3 Saudi Pro League titles, 2 AFC Champions Leagues, 2 King’s Cup trophies and 1 Saudi Super Cup trophy.

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Despite the heartbreak of losing their talismanic defender, Al Hilal will look to win more silverware this season with their new signings including Brazilian superstar Neymar, and also perhaps, for their fan favorite Jang, as his treatment continues.

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Written by:

Gaurav Krishnan

204Articles

One take at a time

With extensive knowledge & over 8+ years of experience as a soccer journalist, Gaurav knows the intricacies of the beautiful game inside out and is now working with EssentiallySports. He played as a No.10 on the pitch during his younger years, modeling his game around his idol Zinedine Zidane.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra

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