July 15, 2023
When Ronaldo joined the Saudi Pro League back in January, all the spotlight was on him. However and after seeing the quality of the signings several clubs in the league have gone for, it's safe to say Ronaldo will be facing a stronger competition this season...
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr FC of Saudi Arabia earlier this year, in the beginning of January. The FIFA World Cup didn't go the way the Portuguese international was expecting and it didn't take long for him to look for a different challenge in his career. However, he could not help the club to win the Saudi Pro League title at the first time of asking. Cristiano Ronaldo's new club finished in second place, as Al Ittihad, who recently signed Karim Benzema, claimed the top spot in the standings.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Warming up for 2023-24:
Ronaldo's move to Saudi Arabia has sparked the mass movement of a wide range of world-class players to the Arab nation.
Al-Nassr FC have signed Marcelo Brozovic from Inter Milan to improve their starting eleven. Brozovic left the UEFA Champions League finalists for a fresh challenge in the Gulf. The Croatian made huge sacrifices, as his former club are the favourites to win the Serie A title in 2023/24. They are offered at 9/4 in betting on football. Brozovic and many others have left top European clubs for a fresh adventure in the Middle East.
Many top talents have taken huge risks in beginning fresh ventures in the Saudi League. This is incredibly positive for the league, but it is set to make Ronaldo's task of adding the Saudi Pro League to his collection more difficult.
While his club Al-Nassr FC have added a quality midfield option to the ranks, other title challengers have strengthened greatly too.
The reigning champions are not taking any chances when it comes to retaining their Saudi League crown. After preventing Ronaldo from winning the title in his debut season, they have added a couple of Frenchman, one of which has a history with the Portuguese star.
Karim Benzema opted to join the Saudi club from Real Madrid, as the reigning Ballon d'Or winner is the greatest signing that any team in the league has made this summer. He once had a solid understanding with Ronaldo for Los Blancos, which helped the club to win several UCL trophies. But now the pair will go head-to-head.
N'Golo Kante followed Benzema in the door at Al Ittihad. He has struggled with injuries in recent years for Chelsea, but if he can stay fit will be arguably the standout midfielder in the entire Saudi League. Al Ittihad now has a stunning midfield and forward combo, but Ronaldo upfront with Brozovic and Anderson Talisca in midfield is quite impressive for Al-Nassr FC too.
Al Hilal finished third last season with players such as former West Brom star Matheus Pereira and physical frontman Moussa Marega already in their squad.
The club have strengthened greatly in the summer transfer window so far; Kalidou Koulibaly joined from Chelsea to lead the defence and deep-lying playmaker Ruben Neves joined in a lucrative move from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Al Hilal now have an extremely well-rounded squad to compete for the Saudi League crown. Al-Nassr FC and Al Ittihad may be stronger suited to secure the prize as they both possess world-class forward options. Nevertheless, the league is set to be more competitive than ever next campaign.
Al Ittihad will likely provide the greatest threat to league success for Ronaldo, but the league has widely improved and no opposition will be a walkover from now on.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Al Nassr is a pre-season friendly on July 25, against PSG. You can watch PSG vs Al Nassr, Real Madrid vs Milan, Tottenham vs West Ham, Man United vs Lyon, MLS All Stars vs Arsenal and Karlsruher vs Liverpool, all matches provided from our sports soccer game pages.
Al Nassr next game:
PSG vs Al Nassr kick-off time (25-07-2023):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 16:20
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