Cristiano Ronaldo went to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the year, where he is paid like a king. He was lured with a salary of 200 million euros per year, plus other bonuses. A Gulf Championship official spoke about the impact the Portuguese star’s transfer to Al-Nassr had.
What does the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo mean to Gulf
Cristiano Ronaldo was the first big name from Europe to choose to play in the Saudi Arabian league after breaking away from Manchester United. After him, other stars arrived in the Gulf area this summer, such as Karim Benzema, at Al-Ittihad, or Neymar, at Al-Hilal.
But Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr, both on and off the pitch, broke several records and had a huge impact on the competition, leading to a massive increase in revenue. One of the officials of the Saudi Arabian championship revealed how much the interest of football fans around the world has increased in this league after the arrival of CR7.
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to a team in Saudi Arabia helped broadcast the championship to 140 countries and increased the league’s revenue by 650%”revealed Carlo Nohra, representative of the Saudi Pro League.
🇸🇦 Carlo Nohra, Head of Saudi Pro League Operations:
🗣️ “Signing Cristiano Ronaldo to play in Saudi Arabia has helped broadcast the championship to 140 countries and increased the league revenue by 650%.” 😳😳
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗻𝗼 𝗲𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁. 🐐🇵🇹
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) August 28, 2023
The Saudi Arabian Championship, the biggest growth in world football
The Saudi Arabian Championship has the highest growth in world football in terms of market value. One of the competition’s officials, Peter Hutton, spoke about the transfer campaign by Arab teams and stated that he does not believe that European football will suffer due to the growth of Gulf football.
“I think the budgets have been in place for a number of years and I don’t see when that will slow down. I have worked in sport for 40 years and I have never seen a project so big, so ambitious and so determined to be a success.
The investment from Saudi Arabia is remarkable. It was definitely a big boost. This does not necessarily mean that Europe will not be as strong in world football in the future. I would say it’s not necessarily a bad thing what’s going on. It’s good that football has power all over the world”Peter Hutton told the BBC earlier this month.
Saudi Arabia has only one more target for this mercato period. Mohamed Salah (31), the star of Liverpool, is strongly wanted by Al-Ittihad and is being lured with a huge salary. 175 million euros are prepared for Liverpool, while the player would receive a five-season contract and an income of 990 million euros.
Clubs in Saudi Arabia have so far paid almost €800 million to sign big-name players from Europe, plus €1.7 billion for their huge salaries. Al Hilal is surpassed only by Chelsea in this mercato, while Al-Ittihad spent 76 million euros on acquisitions.