Will the giants of the Saudi Professional League, Al Nassr or Al Hilal, make Anderson Talisca laugh for the last time?


Anderson Talisca’s revelation by Al Nassr was as shocking as it was surprising.

Enraged Al Hilal supporters had to digest both the chastising loss of that long-term goal to a bitter rival and the derisive laugh as the former Brazil U23 international announced his $ 8 million bombing while he saw the highlights of the frustrating 1: 1 took in on Friday. 1 tie for former suitors against the promoted Al Batin.

The status of a villain and hero was immediately secured in a social media post. Depending on the beliefs of the passionate soccer fans in Riyadh.

The key question, however, is whether time will turn Talisca’s giggle into a glaring act of hubris, or can the tables turn in the capital?

A quick look at the ranking of the Saudi Professional League shows how big the gap has become since Nassr’s gripping title race in 2018/19.

Hilal only needs two points to be confirmed as a master for the ninth time this century. Since the beginning of 2019/20 they have won 21 points more than their neighbors, who have a game in their hands, scored 22 more goals and conceded 11 fewer goals.

Talisca has entered this arena.

The seven-strong foreign contingent from Nassr requires extensive renovations. Moroccan stars Abderrazak Hamdallah and Nordin Amrabat as well as Argentine playmaker Pity Martinez could be the only survivors for 2021/22.

Talisca’s reputation has remained rich despite the lack of game time this year after China’s strict coronavirus travel rules bogged him down in Brazil.

A great talent coveted by Jose Mourinho arose in Benfica before winning more silver and more fortune in Besiktas and Guangzhou Evergrande.

The inability to earn more ACL trophies for the Chinese heavyweights is an issue, but a return of 39 goals in 65 games leaves a potency remaining.

It attacks the midfield where an outstanding career has been made.

In the last coronavirus-interrupted 2020 season in Guangzhou, he made 10 of 19 appearances in the center-forward, scored six times and provided two assists. A trio of outliers in the role of playmaker showed no goal contributions, with six displays on the right wing returning a single goal and assisting.

So the tall 27 year old presents a dilemma for anyone who inherits him in the kingdom.

A ratio of 132.7 minutes per goal for 2020 from the center-forward is superior to Nassr-based Hot Shot Hamdallah’s 139.8 for 2020/21. Still, the Moroccan is a club icon and a significant force in the locker room, good or bad.

There are plenty of questions.

Can Talisca and Hamdallah coexist efficiently in Nassrs XI? They have many physical properties in common and now they prefer to work in the same areas of the field of play.

Does the new man represent a new source of goals for Hamdallah, an alternate attack option or evidence of a transition from the club’s dominant figure in recent years?

Will these Middle Eastern grandees compete against each other again on the transfer market this summer as ex-Shakhtar Donetsk and Jiangsu Suning attacker Alex Teixeira are not yet available?

Having extremely talented people is a good problem. But an XI handicapped by dysfunction cannot hope to overtake Hilal.

Smart and courageous solutions have to be found.

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