In the aftermath of Lionel Messi’s highly anticipated transfer to Inter Miami, Cristiano Ronaldo has weighed in on the contrasting quality of soccer leagues. Ronaldo, who currently plays for Al Nassr in the Saudi Arabian league, boldly stated that the Saudi league surpasses Major League Soccer (MLS) in terms of competitiveness and allure. This statement comes amidst a wave of high-profile transfers to the Saudi Pro League, further solidifying Ronaldo’s belief in its growing prominence. Let’s delve into Ronaldo’s comments and the evolving landscape of global soccer.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Comparison:
During a post-match interview following Al Nassr’s 5-0 pre-season friendly defeat against Celta Vigo, Ronaldo expressed his conviction that the Saudi league outshines the MLS. Referring to Messi’s decision to move to the US instead of a Saudi club, Ronaldo affirmed, “The Saudi league is better than MLS.” He further predicted that more esteemed players would flock to Saudi Arabia in the near future, bolstering the league’s stature even further.
Ronaldo’s Involvement in the Saudi League:
Having joined Al Nassr in December, Ronaldo’s influence and experience have contributed significantly to the growth of the Saudi Pro League. The Portuguese star’s two-and-a-half year contract, valued at over €200 million ($220.16 million) according to media estimations, highlights the league’s financial clout. Notably, Ronaldo had expressed his enthusiasm for additional top-tier signings, welcoming other players to join him in the burgeoning Saudi soccer scene.
Rise of Star Players in the Saudi League:
Ronaldo’s claims regarding the Saudi league gain credence when considering the recent influx of high-profile players. Notable figures like Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, and Roberto Firmino have made the switch to the Saudi Pro League, further elevating its profile. Such transfers underscore the league’s ambition and ability to attract talent from around the world.
Ronaldo’s View on European Soccer:
Interestingly, Ronaldo also expressed his reluctance to return to European soccer, citing a perceived decline in quality across the continent. At 38 years old, the Portuguese icon believes that European football has witnessed a significant drop in standards, with the exception of the English Premier League. He lauded the Premier League as the only remaining dominant force among the European leagues, asserting their superiority over their continental counterparts.
Ronaldo’s Performance in the Saudi League:
Since joining Al Nassr, Ronaldo has showcased his enduring talent, netting an impressive 14 goals in 16 games. However, despite his individual success, his efforts were not sufficient to secure the SPL title, with Al Nassr finishing as runners-up to Al Ittihad. Nevertheless, Ronaldo’s presence has undeniably contributed to the league’s growth and increased its visibility on the global stage.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s declaration that the Saudi league surpasses the MLS carries significant weight, particularly in light of Lionel Messi’s recent move to Inter Miami. Ronaldo’s belief in the growing allure and competitiveness of the Saudi Pro League is further supported by the influx of renowned players choosing to ply their trade in Saudi Arabia. As the landscape of global soccer continues to evolve, the rise of the Saudi league adds a new dynamic to the sport, captivating fans and players alike.