Football stars are fleeing Europe. Saudi Arabia Becomes Sports Mecca No. 1?

The Saudi Arabian authorities have decided to seriously invest in the national football league to increase its prestige. They have bought stakes in major Pro League clubs and are ready to invest billions of dollars to develop them. This is largely done to improve Saudi Arabia’s chances of winning the right to host the World Cup. But precisely for the country’s image, the presence of world football stars in local clubs will be a great advantage.

The loudest transition to the Pro League was last winter, when Cristiano Ronaldo came to play at Al-Nasr. He will earn 500 million euros in two and a half seasons. But even before the Portuguese, many famous footballers played in the Saudi Arabian league. And now there are more and more football stars in the Pro League almost every day.


The main star after Ronaldo in the championship of Saudi Arabia was Karim Benzema. After winning the Ballon d’Or last year playing for Real Madrid and the French national team, the striker decided that now he could make good money. As a free agent he moved to Al-Ittihad club, with whom he signed a 3-year contract. Furthermore, Karim’s annual salary will be 100 million euros.

Photo source: Getty Images

N’Golo Kante and Kalidou Koulibaly move from Chelsea to Pro League. Kante will partner Benzema in Al Ittihad and has signed a contract with the club for 4 seasons, for each of which he will receive 25 million euros. He also moves to his new team as a free agent.

Photo source: Al-Ittihad FC

Coulibaly will pay 20 million euros for the transfer. The salary of the Algerian defender in the new team, according to various sources, will range from 18 to 32 million euros a year. In any case, Kalidou attributes his transfer to a lucrative financial offer.

Photo source: Al-Hilal FC

“I have decided to move to Al-Hilal to help my family live in prosperity and thanks to this contract, I will also have free funds for charity. I want to build hospitals in Senegal and help with many other projects in my country,” Koulibaly said quoting Depor.

Portuguese footballer Ruben Neves has been bought by Al-Hilal for 55 million euros. The move was a record for Wolverhampton, the English club having never received such a large fee for selling a player before. Neves will earn around 18 million euros a year.

Photo source: Al-Hilal FC

Insiders believe that the transfer of Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Inter Milan midfielder Marcelo Brozovic to Saudi Pro League teams has already been practically resolved. The goalkeeper wants to sign the Al-Ahly club, ready to pay him 13 million euros per season. Brozovic is interested in Al-Nasr, who offers a salary of 20 million per season. Additionally, you’ll also need to pay transfer money for both players, since their contracts with current clubs don’t expire this summer.

There were also rumors about a possible transition to the championship of Saudi Arabia Neymar, Griezmann, Messi, Bernardo Silva, Modric, Firmino and other stars. Many of these players have chosen other options to continue their careers, despite the fabulous sums on contracts proposed by the Saudi sheikhs.


Even before Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Al-Nasr, many famous football players already played in this club. For example, the goalkeeper of the Colombian national team David Ospina, who moved from the Italian Napoli. You can also note the ex-Bayern and Brazilian national team player Luis Gustavo, who won the Champions League with the Munich club.

Argentine midfielder Ever Banega has been playing for Al Shabab since 2021, having moved to this club from Sevilla. Together with the Spanish team he won the Europa League three times. Also, Polish international player Grzegorz Krychowiak, who had Sevilla and PSG in his club career, moved to Al-Shabab from Krasnodar.

Photo source: Grzegorz Krychowiak’s social network

In January 2023, Barcelona graduate Christian Tello moved to Al Fateh. He performed well at Real Betis and made several appearances for the Spanish national team. Former CSKA player Vitinho from Brazil plays for Al-Ittifaq. Felipe Caicedo, former Ecuadorian striker of Lokomotiv Moscow and Manchester City, plays for the Abha team. And in general there are a lot of foreign players in the clubs of the Saudi Arabian championship. And why not agree to play here, when they pay many times more than the average salary on the market?


Add a Comment