Can Saudi Pro League Become a Top-5 Football League in the World? Ronaldo Thinks So
In a recent interview, Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his belief that if more big-name players sign up, the Saudi Pro League could become one of the top-five football leagues globally. The Portugal forward welcomed Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric joining him in Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo completed his first season with Al Nassr last year, having joined them in December. He has already committed to playing for them until 2025 and will be there next season too.
Messi recently left Paris St-Germain and has taken on a role as tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid teammates Benzema and Modric are also believed to be looking for lucrative moves towards the end of their careers.
Ronaldo thinks that if these top-class players join Al Nassr or other teams in the league, it would improve their standing dramatically:
“If they are coming…young players…’old players’…they are very welcome because if that happens, the league will improve a little bit,”
While he believes that there is room for growth within infrastructure and technology (such as VAR), he praised both Arab teams’ competitiveness level amongst each other but was keen on seeing an improvement from referees so that games can continue without delay.
“But they need to improve a little bit more [on] infrastructure…. Even referees should be quicker.”
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner holds records for most international goals scored along with most appearances made by any professional football player ever. Last season at Riyadh-based Al Nassr saw Ronaldo scoring 14 goals across 16 games which helped secure second place, trailing behind Al Hilal.
Concluding the interview, Ronaldo expressed his joy playing for Al Nassr and insisted he will continue to be with them in the foreseeable future:
“…if they [Saudi Pro League] continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years or so, I think that it can be a top-five league in the world.”