Mumbai City FC are set for a thrilling showdown against Al Hilal in the upcoming AFC Champions League group stage. This match could elevate the league's significance in India as Mumbai City FC will have to face Neymar Jr, who has recently signed with Al Hilal.
The Islanders were placed in Pot 3 along with Al Faisaly (Saudi Arabia), FC Istiklol (Tajikistan), Air Force Club (Iraq), and Ahal FC (Turkmenistan). The draw took place at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday.
This year's campaign holds particular significance as Mumbai City becomes the final Indian club to secure a direct spot in the AFC Asian Champions League. Notably, India's direct entry was relinquished following the recent rebranding by the Asian Football Federation.
In this prestigious tournament, Mumbai City FC carries the final hopes of a nation fervently eager to showcase its football prowess on the grand stage of the Asian Champions League.
Mumbai City FC finds themselves in Group D with Al Hilal SFC, Nassaji Masandaran FC, and Navbahor FC.
Group A - Pakhtakor, Al Fayha FC, Ahal FC, Al Ain FC
Group B - Al Sadd, FC Nasaf, Al Faisaly, Sharjah FC
Group C - Al Ittihad, Sepahan SC, Air Force club, AGMK FC
Group D - Al Hilal SFC, Nassaji Masandaran FC, Mumbai City, Navbahor FC
Group E - Persepolis FC, Al Duhail SC, FC Istiklol, Al Nassr
The anticipation mounts as Mumbai City FC's first game is scheduled for September 19, adopting a home-and-away format this year after the pandemic hiatus. With the prospect of witnessing one of the world's finest players grace Indian soil, the excitement among Indian football aficionados knows no bounds. Koulibaly, Mitrovic, Neves, Malcom, and Milinkovic Savic will be the other superstars to visit India along with Neymar.