Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, who has started a new challenge in Saudi Arabia, has expressed his pride and love for the league.
Speaking after his team’s match against Al Shabab in the 28th round of the Saudi Pro League on Friday, he said he believes the league will be among the top five leagues in the world in the future.
“The league is improving, and it will be even better next year,” Ronaldo said, “I think it will be in the top five leagues in the world (one day), although it will be gradual.” This contradicts the recent suggestion from some European media that Ronaldo wants to return to Europe.
In March, Ronaldo said, “The Saudi League is a very competitive league. I’m not lying. It’s not the Premier League, but it’s a league that really surprised me,” he said, adding that he was confident that “if things go according to plan, the Saudi Arabian league will be the fourth or fifth best league in the world in five, six, seven years”. Currently, the top five leagues in the world are the English Premier League, Italian Serie A, Spanish Primera Liga, German Bundesliga, and French Ligue 1, which means pushing one of them out.
Ronaldo joined Al Nasr in January after being released from his contract with Manchester United last November ahead of the World Cup 토토사이트.
Joining Al Nasr was not Ronaldo’s original plan. He wanted to play for a team that competed in the UEFA Champions League, but no one was calling. With no other options, Al Nasr lured Ronaldo with the promise of a “money pit” worth €200 million per year. Along with wages, the deal included revenue from commercial rights such as advertising and endorsement deals.
There are analysts who believe that Al-Hilal’s signing of Ronaldo is part of a larger project in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is planning a series of economic and social reforms called Vision 2030, one of which is to host the 2030 World Cup. The kingdom hopes to win votes by co-hosting the tournament with Egypt and Greece. To that end, Saudi Arabia has purchased Newcastle United and is sponsoring the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and Club World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
It’s also about making their domestic leagues more competitive. Clubs in their own leagues are using their “oil money” to pursue world stars, like Al Nasr, who signed Ronaldo. Al Hilal, which is chasing Lionel Messi, is a prime example, and several former stars have been linked to Saudi teams, including former Spain internationals Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, who have been linked with Barcelona.
Ronaldo scored a come-from-behind goal in the 14th minute of a 2-2 draw against Al Shabab to secure a 3-2 win. It was his 14th goal in the league, which puts him fifth on the scoring list.
With the win, Al Nasr moved to 63 points, three points clear of first-place Al Ittihad. Al Nasr is looking to win the title for the first time in four seasons after the 2018-19 season.