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January 13, 2024

Will more players join Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia in January?

Cristiano Ronaldo raising his hand in Al Nassr

Ronaldo shocked the world when he moved to Saudi Arabia. As we approach the January transfer window, could we see more of the world’s biggest football stars leave Europe to join him in the Middle East?

Ronaldo joined Al Nassr as a free agent after his contract was terminated by Manchester United in November 2022. To do the move in teams Ronaldo signed a 2.5-year deal worth an estimated $200 million per year, the most lucrative contract ever awarded to a soccer player. What was his motivation? The huge salary and chance to grow his brand in a new market were likely key factors behind Ronaldo's move. At 37, it allowed him to continue playing regularly into his late 30s. This can be difficult for football stars to have a successful career for such a long time which makes Ronaldo lucky and stand out from other players.

Cristiano Ronaldo - Simply fantastic:

Ronaldo and His Move to Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Pro League is not near the elite level of Europe's top leagues. The league lacks depth but has a few standout teams. One downside for Ronaldo is Al Nassr do not play in the Champions League and this ends Ronaldo's record run of playing in Europe's top club competition.

The Saudi league has invested heavily in recent years to attract stars and improve quality and Ronaldo represents their biggest statement and could inspire other stars to follow. While the move ends Ronaldo's career in elite European leagues, the massive salary and chance to expand his brand were likely decisive factors at this late stage of his legendary career.

Who Else Has Gone to Saudi Arabia?

Ronaldo was the first high-profile player to make the switch to the Saudi league, but he was by no means the last. He was joined by stars including N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema and Riyad Mahrez, none of whom could resist the temptations offered by what must be one of the richest leagues in the world.

With these stars joining, the league has attracted much more attention both in viewing figures and activity on igaming and sports betting sites such as bet 32red. This has likely been the league's plan all along, to attract the world's biggest stars and raise the tournament’s profile on the global stage.

These moves have been met with some criticism, but they could simply be an example of the evolution of football, and demonstrates how important money has become in the modern game.

Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League

Will More Players Join Ronaldo in January?

The January transfer window is rapidly approaching, and we could well see more stars opt for the riches of the Saudi league over the prestige of Europe.

One of the biggest names tipped to make the switch is Mo Salah. The legendary Liverpool forward has been the subject of much rumour and speculation about his future, with huge bids put forward by Saudi teams to tempt him away from Anfield.

Other names that are expected to be top targets for Saudi clubs include Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes from Manchester United, Kylian Mbappe, Luka Modric, Richarlison and Thomas Partey. Whether any of these players decide to make the move remains to be seen, but it's likely we'll see at least a few join the Saudi league, as they have more financial muscle than the majority of Europe's top clubs.

Final look

Will we see more players join Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia over the January transfer window? The answer is likely yes. Money talks in football these days, and the Saudi league has more than enough to tempt the world's biggest stars. It will certainly be a league to watch in the future and could tip the balance of the football world.

Cristiano Ronaldo getting helped to stand up

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Al Nassr is on February 12 for the AFC Asian Champions League, against Al Feiha. You can watch Al Feiha vs Al Nassr, Everton vs Aston Villa, Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Newcastle vs Manchester City, Chelsea vs Fulham and AC Milan vs AS Roma, all matches provided from our soccer live game pages.

Al Nassr next game:
Al Feiha vs Al Nassr
kick-off time (12-02-2023):

Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+7: 01:00
India (New Delhi) |
UTC/GMT+4.30: 22:30
Saudi Arabia
(Riyadh) | UTC/GMT+2: 20:00
(Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 19:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 18:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 15:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 14:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 11:00

Sources: / /

Cristiano Ronaldo running for Al Nassr




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