Global stars like Benzema, Henderson, and Mane have joined clubs in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Hilal made a massive 300-million-euro offer for Mbappe.
Players joining despite criticism of “sportswashing” accusations.
A top executive of the Saudi Pro League expressed strong determination to make the league a success by attracting top names in football with significant financial offers. Global stars like Karim Benzema, Jordan Henderson, and Sadio Mane have joined clubs in Saudi Arabia, following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo. Recently, Al-Hilal made a massive 300-million-euro offer to Kylian Mbappe, although the Paris Saint-Germain star reportedly declined to meet with club officials.
Despite criticism that Saudi Arabia’s lavish spending amounts to “sportswashing” to divert attention from human rights concerns, players continue to join the league. Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the legendary footballers, signed for Al Nassr in a deal worth over 200 million euros. Ronaldo expressed his enjoyment of his time in Saudi Arabia and predicted that other top players would also join the league.
During his debut season with Al Nassr, Ronaldo scored 14 goals in 16 games but couldn’t help his team secure the Saudi Pro League title, with Al Nassr finishing second behind Al Ittihad. While acknowledging the presence of good teams and Arab players, Ronaldo mentioned that the league’s infrastructure, including referees and the VAR system, needs improvement.
Despite the areas that require refinement, Ronaldo expressed his happiness in the league and expressed his commitment to continue playing there. His contract with Al Nassr extends until June 2025, indicating his dedication to contributing to the league’s success.
The Saudi Pro League’s ambition to attract top football talent through substantial financial offers has already seen several global stars join its ranks. However, the league faces ongoing scrutiny for its spending practices and the need for improvements in various aspects of its infrastructure. Ronaldo’s endorsement of the league and his commitment to continuing there suggest that the league’s efforts to establish itself as a prominent football destination are set to continue.
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