Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Al Nassr seemed like a fad. Of the Portuguese star, who loves to be in the center of attention, but also of the sheikhs who wanted to get their hands on such a gem. Things are very serious, however, and after this summer’s massive strikes, eight of the top 10 highest-paid players in the world are in Saudi Arabia’s top flight. Lionel Messi and, for now, Kylian Mbappe are missing.
The sheikhs of Saudi Arabia have turned the world of football upside down
Cristiano Ronaldo led the way earlier this year when he signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Al Nassr that will see him receive half a billion dollars. Half of the money is the salary from the formation in Saudi Arabia, and another 250 million will reach his accounts from various advertising contracts. And he took the money even though the performances were delayed. At the end of the season, the Portuguese gave an interview in which he said that he has no plans to leave Saudi Arabia and talked about the fact that there will be many high-profile transfers.
Again he was not believed, but a frenzied buying campaign followed, with Europe’s biggest clubs splashing out on huge sums. This is how many big-name players have arrived in Saudi Arabia, especially Karim Benzema and Neymar. And now eight of the best paid footballers in the world are playing in this championship.
Missing from this ranking, compiled by Le Parisien journalists, is Lionel Messi, but his transfer to Inter Miami has been backed by Adidas and Apple, while Kylian Mbappe has a fabulous offer on the table from Al Hilal but wants to he plays in Europe and in addition has a contract with PSG and for now he is “locked” in the team from the capital of France.
The ranking of the highest salaries in world football. The top is for one year
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Al-Nassr) 200 million euros
2. Karim Benzema (France/Al-Ittihad) 120 million euros
3. Neymar Jr (Brazil/Al-Hilal) 100 million euros
4. Ngolo Kante (France/Al-Ittihad) 100 million euros
5. Kylian Mbappe (France/PSG) 70 million euros
6. Lionel Messi (Argentina/Inter Miami) 45 million euros
7. Sadio Mane (Senegal/Al-Nassr) 40 million euros
8. Jordan Henderson (England/Al-Ettifaq) 40 million euros
9. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria/Al-Ahli) 35 million euros
10. Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal/Al-Hilal) €30m
Journalists from The Sun write that this year is just the beginning of a period in which the sheikhs will “throw” money at important players. British journalists have learned that Saudi Arabia’s clubs have a budget of £17 billion by 2030 just for star transfers.