Mumbai City Is’Super Thrilled’ To See Neymar In The AFC Champions League.

Mumbai City Is'Super Thrilled' To See Neymar In The AFC Champions League.

Along with the Saudi team, FC Nassaji Mazandaran of Iran and PFC Navbahor Namangan of Uzbekistan are also included in the same group.

Neymar joined Al-Hilal in the summer transfer window from a Saudi club.(REUTERS)

The Mumbai City FC players erupted in celebration after their name was called in the AFC Champions League draw, which was held on Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, while they were glued to the television and holding their phones out to record the joy. The anticipation was palpable because, for many, it would be their first opportunity to meet the biggest football stars who had just relocated from Europe to Asia. And that’s exactly what happened when the Indian Super League (ISL) team was drawn in Group D of the AFC Champions League alongside Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia, a team that has recently added players like Neymar Jr., Kalidou Koulibaly, Yassine Bounou, Ruben Neves, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Aleksander Mitrovic.

Along with the Saudi team, FC Nassaji Mazandaran of Iran and PFC Navbahor Namangan of Uzbekistan are also included in the same group.

“Players appeared eager to take on any of these squads, as evidenced by their excitement. Some people are huge fans of Ronaldo, so they requested Al-Nassr’s attendance. In the press conference that followed the draw, Mumbai captain Rahul Bheke remarked, “We were all pleased that we got one of the teams, and we got Al Hilal, so we are really excited for that.

The guys named above all have extensive experience playing in Europe, but Neymar in particular gets the most attention because of how well-liked Brazil and he are on the subcontinent. And Bheke, who is a member of the back four, may be tasked with stopping the Brazilian.

The defender began by saying that he is “super excited” to take on the challenge before adding, “If I play that game, I will make sure to give my best effort to stop him.”

Mumbai is not a new participant in the league; in fact, they are the first Indian club to record a victory there. Last season, the Islanders twice defeated Iraq’s Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, and they will be hoping for a much better performance this time around.

“Like last time, we were given the chance and gave it our all. Even though we had two victories, it wasn’t enough to go to the next stage. However, this year, our goal will remain the same: to advance to the next round. Consequently, we have already begun to prepare. The Durand Cup is currently in progress, and after that, we will have two to three weeks until our first game. So, we’ll try our best to be well-prepared,” Bheke added.

The Durand Cup was the first step in preparation.

Des Buckingham, the head coach of Mumbai, acknowledged his satisfaction with the team’s performance in the Durand Cup and said that it served as part of their training for the forthcoming AFC Champions League. Additionally, he mentioned that this was the reason Mumbai fielded a complete roster in the competition as opposed to other ISL teams.

Mumbai has advanced to the quarterfinals of one of Asia’s oldest tournaments after winning all three of its games thus far.

“We came to this area for the Durand Cup. First and foremost, we want to be a successful club, so we’ve sent a team here at full strength with the intention of competing as hard as we can. And I’m quite pleased with how we performed in the three games we’ve played thus far.

If we can advance as far as we can, it offers us the chance to play challenging games to prepare for what will be our season’s opening match, a Champions League match. Consequently, for us, it won’t be an ISL match,” the coach added.

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