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#pounditTuesday, June 25, 2024

Giannis Antetokounmpo gets unusual gift from team in Saudi Arabia

Giannis Antetokounmpo wearing headphones

May 13, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots during warmups prior to game six of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia definitely read Giannis Antetokounmpo’s tweets.

The Saudi soccer team Al Hilal sent an unexpected gift to the Milwaukee Bucks superstar Antetokounmpo this week. They tweeted on Tuesday that they had made Antetokounmpo a custom Al Hilal soccer jersey. There was also a gift box for Antetokoumpo that contained the message, “You are part of Al Hilal family now.”

Al Hilal is the team that attempted to sign French soccer phenom Kylian Mbappe with a world-record offer of over $1 billion ($332 million in transfer fees that would have gone to Mbappe’s club Paris Saint-Germain and $776 million in salary that would have gone to Mbappe himself). While Mbappe ending up giving Al Hilal the cold shoulder, the whole saga did draw a funny reaction from Antetokounmpo, who jokingly tweeted that he wanted to go to Al Hilal.

After missing on Mbappe, Al Hilal pivoted to Brazilian star (and Mbappe’s PSG teammate) Neymar Jr. instead. They signed Neymar to a two-year, $300 million contract (not including a $102 million transfer fee to PSG).

Antetokounmpo reacted to both his jersey gift and the Neymar transfer news by tweeting a picture of himself with Neymar. “Best duo in Saudi league!!” Antetokunmpo wrote.

In addition to Neymar, their new captain, Al Hilal has landed other big names from the European soccer leagues this summer like midfielder Ruben Neves and defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Soccer superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema now play for other teams in Saudi Arabia as well. Now it appears that Antetokoumpo, who is much younger than most of those guys at 28 years old, is next on Al Hilal’s recruitment list.

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