Sunday, September 17, 2023

Al Hilal fans welcome Aleksandar Mitrovic with niche stat banner as striker takes swipe at Fulham

Aleksandar Mitrovic is already a hero at Al Hilal following his summer arrival from Fulham, where fans have produced a classy – albeit quite niche – banner to celebrate the striker.

But it appears the Serbian frontman may have burned all his bridges with his former club after his latest comments about his move to Saudi Arabia, which Cottagers supporters will not like.

Mitrovic has started his career in Saudi Arabia on fireGetty Images

Mitrovic now counts Neymar as a teammate at Al Hilal, with both stars making a contribution in their recent 6-1 winGetty

Mitrovic has not taken long to settle in at his new club following his £46million move to Al Hilal.

The 29-year-old has five goals and one assist in four appearances for the Saudi Pro League giants, including one hat-trick.

And it seems the supporters are already in love with their new striker, who has led the line brilliantly throughout the early absence of the club’s landmark signing Neymar – who has only made one appearance since his celebrated move to the Middle East due to injury.

Fans displayed their affection for Mitrovic by displaying a banner in the home end of their most recent game, a 6-1 victory over Al Riyadh in which the former Premier League ace scored a penalty and Neymar got an assist on his debut.

However, while banners for the Brazilian star might feature his seven league titles, Champions League crown or beating Pele’s Brazil goalscoring record, Al Hilal supporters were forced to be a little… creative with the content for Mitro’s tifo.

They might have mentioned his two Championship titles with Newcastle and Fulham, his Belgian Pro League win with Anderlecht or Serbian SuperLiga glory with boyhood club Partizan.

But no, instead they hailed his achievement as the top scorer in the UEFA Nations League for the 2022/23 campaign.

What was his record? Six goals in five games, and it was shared with Erling Haaland who also got six goals for Norway.

Al Hilal fans unfurled this banner to celebrate Mitrovic’s achievements…Twitter

Meanwhile, Fulham supporters won’t be feeling the same affection for their former talisman anymore following his bitter exit – feelings that won’t be helped by his latest comments about the move.

Mitrovic is said to have vowed to never play for Fulham again after they rejected several bids from Al Hilal over the summer, with the striker keen for the transfer to happen.

He ultimately did play for the Cottagers earlier this season in the Premier League, but Mitrovic got his way as Fulham ‘reluctantly’ accepted a £46m offer – a club record sale for the London side.

And now he’s rubbed it in, and Newcastle supporters might also be a bit peeved, with the striker saying he has ‘finally arrived at a top club’ as he made a comparison between Al Hilal and Real Madrid.

Fulham did not want to sell their star striker this summer, but Mitrovic forced their handGetty

Mitrovic has settled in quickly at Al Hilal with five goals in four games

“When I received the offer from Al-Hilal, I talked about it with my family, giving up was impossible,’ Mitrovic said in an interview with Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport.

“I have no nostalgia for England, I played many years there.

“I’m happy to have finally arrived at a top club, Al-Hilal is a bit like Real Madrid in Europe.”

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