Neymar praised his Al Hilal teammates for winning the Saudi title

Al Hilal clinched the Saudi Arabian Roshn League title with a 4-1 win over Al Hazem on Saturday, and Neymar, who missed the game through injury, praised his teammates for their efforts.

The Brazilian forward, who joined Al Hilal from Paris Saint-Germain last summer, has missed most of the season after suffering cruciate and meniscus injuries to his left knee in a South American qualifier against Uruguay at the Estadio Centenario.

Neymar made just three La Liga appearances before his serious injury, providing three assists in his team’s two wins and one draw.

His final appearance of the season, a 2-0 win over Al Shabab at the end of September, marked the start of a world-record run of 34 consecutive wins for Al Hilal.

Speaking at the title celebrations on Saturday after a 4-1 win over Al Hazem to secure the club’s 19th Saudi Arabian league title, Neymar said: “I’m obviously very happy. Winning titles is always good. It would have been better to be on the pitch, but I’m very happy for my teammates.

“I’m fine. I feel good. I’m eager to get back on the pitch. The fans are amazing. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to give them the happiness they deserve, but they can be sure we’ll have a lot of fun next season,” he said, dismissing rumours that he would leave the Arabian giants to join Brazilian side Santos, as speculated in early April.

Neymar was only able to play three matches this season. GETTY IMAGES

Neymar is expected to return to action between June and July this year, although he won’t be playing for Brazil in the Copa America as he was not called up by coach Darival Júnior, who announced the 23-man squad last Friday and did not include the former Barcelona star alongside Messi.

Unbeaten in the league this season, Al Hilal clinched the Roshn League title with three games to spare, winning 29 of their 31 matches – a veritable winning machine. They finished 12 points clear of the likes of Al Nassr.

Al Hilal’s next game will see them take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr in the Riyadh derby at Al Awwal Park on Friday 17 May at 20:00 GMT.

Al Hilal football team’s world-record winning streak at the start of the season surpassed Welsh club The New Saints’ 27-match winning streak in the 2016-17 season. Previously, the record stood at 44 years after Dutch giants Ajax’s 26-match winning streak between 1971 and 1972.