Saudi Arabian Clubs

The Saudi Arabia Pro League has been making waves in the football world in recent memory. This league has become known for their big name signings, ambitious clubs and money splashing. In this blog, we’ll explore what has fueled the league’s rise, focusing on where the money comes from and the exciting players they’ve brought in.

Time to read< 1 min
Saudi Arabian Clubs

Money Talks: Backing the Growth

The Saudi Arabia Pro League owes much of its rapid rise to substantial financial investments. The main source of this funding is the Saudi Arabian government.They have a vision that aims to diversify the country’s economy and boost its global standing, with sports playing a significant role in achieving these goals.

To support the league, the government has allocated significant funds for infrastructure development, improved training facilities, and grassroots football programs. Additionally, private investors and sponsors have also jumped on board, injecting capital into the league. This financial backing has given Saudi clubs the means to attract top talent from all corners of the world.

Making a Splash

Saudi teams have been able to make bold transfers, bringing in some of the most brilliant players on the world arena, thanks to an inflow of financial resources. Let’s take a look at some notable Saudi club acquisitions:

Cristiano Ronaldo

Age: 38

Position: Striker

Market value: €15.000.000

Club: Al Nassr

The Saudi Pro League created the greatest news in football when it signed an out-of-favour Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in January 2023. That deal sent shockwaves through the football world, as none of the traditional large leagues signed a quality player from an European powerhouse.

Despite the fact that his move to Al Nassr was on a free transfer in January 2023, the league’s financial power could not be ignored, with a 200 million euro bumper deal being offered.

Karim Benzema

Age: 35

Position: Striker

Market value: €25.000.000

Club: Al Ittihad

Karim Benzema, the current Ballon D’or winner, made headlines when he stated he would be joining Saudi Pro club Al Ittihad once his current Real Madrid contract expired.

The Saudi Pro League made a splash in the summer transfer window of 2023, announcing their ambitions to entice football’s top players with the prospect of enormous money. The 35-year-old French international joined the club on a free transfer from Real Madrid, signing a two-year contract for €400 million.

N’golo Kanté

Age: 32

Position: Midfielder

Market value: €15.000.000

Club: Al Ittihad

World Cup champion N’Golo Kante is another player who has decided to go from Europe to Saudi Arabia.The 32-year-old midfielder left Chelsea on a free transfer to join the Saudi club after seven years. During his four-year deal with Jeddah, Kante is expected to earn €86 million each year.

Rúben Neves

Age: 26

Position: Midfielder

Market value: €40.000.000

Club: Al Hilal

Wolverhampton Wanderers received a club-record transfer offer for their captain Ruben Neves from Asia’s most successful club team. The Portuguese midfielder signed to Al Hilal on a three-year deal worth €55 million.

Roberto Firmino

Age: 31

Position: Striker

Market value: €18.000.000

Club: Al Ahli

The latest big player signing to make their way to the Saudi Arabian pro league is Liverpool and Brazil, striker. The Brazilian signed a three-year contract with the Saudi club side Al Ahli.

Al Ahli confirmed the signing of the 31-year-old on July 4. Firmino played a crucial part in Liverpool’s success during his eight years at the club. Since joining Liverpool in 2015 Firmino netted 111 goals in 362 appearances.

Marcelo Brozovic

Age: 30

Position: Midfielder

Market value: €25.000.000

Club: Al Ahli

Croatian international Brozovic is another European star opting to move away from the European leagues to join the Saudi money train. The 30-year-old completed a move from Italian side Inter Milan to play for Al Nassr alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

The midfielder had gathered interest from many of Europe’s top teams including Barcelona but Brozovic decided to join Al Nassr instead. His three-year contract is believed to be worth €25 million a year.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Age: 32

Position: Defender

Market value: €15.000.000

Club: Al Hilal

Chelsea are keen to clear out the closet of their world-class players who have failed to truly find their footing in the Premier League side, to make up for the big-money signings they have brought in over the past few years.

Koulibaly, who signed to Chelsea last summer from Napoli for €40 million, has already parted ways with the London club. He has signed a three-year deal worth around €20 million.

Edouard Mendy

Age: 31

Position: Goalkeeper

Market value: €12.000.000

Club: Al Ahli

Another Chelsea player departing the club this summer in favour of joining the Saudi Pro League is UEFA Men’s Best Goalkeeper 2021 Edouard Mendy. The Senegal international signed to Jeddah side Al Ahli on a three-year deal worth around €20 million.

What’s next?

These signings have demonstrated the league’s ability to compete with traditional football powerhouses, as top players from Europe and around the world are enticed by the prospect of significant financial rewards. The Saudi Pro League is reshaping the football landscape, offering an alternative destination for players looking to experience new challenges and capitalise on lucrative opportunities.

With the continued investment and attraction of top talent, the Saudi Arabia Pro League is poised to solidify its position as a prominent player in the global football arena. Fans can anticipate more exciting transfers and thrilling competition as the league’s ambitions continue to soar.

Written by Marik Bosch

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