According to Cristiano Ronaldo, the Saudi Pro League has the potential to become one of the “top-five leagues in the world” if it can attract renowned players.
The Portuguese star is open to the idea of Lionel Messi, Karim Benzema, and Luka Modric joining him in Saudi Arabia.’
38-year-old Ronaldo recently completed his first season with Al Nassr after his arrival in December. With a contract that extends until 2025, he expressed his commitment to continue playing for the club in the upcoming season.
As for Lionel Messi, Paris St-Germain has confirmed his departure from the club this summer. The 35-year-old Argentine forward has taken on a role as a tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia, indicating a potential interest in exploring new opportunities in the region.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s former teammates at Real Madrid, Benzema, and Modric, are also rumored to be seeking lucrative moves as they approach the later stages of their careers.
The addition of such high-profile players would undoubtedly enhance the reputation and competitiveness of the Saudi Pro League, potentially elevating it to the ranks of the world’s elite football leagues.
“If they are coming, big players and big names, young players, ‘old players’, they are very welcome because if that happens, the league will improve a little bit,” Ronaldo said in an interview with the SPL.
“The league is very good but I think we have many opportunities to still grow. The league is competitive. We have very good teams, very good Arab players.
“But they need to improve a little bit more the infrastructure. Even the referees, the VAR system, should be a little quicker.”
Ronaldo’s second stint with Manchester United ended last November when his contract was canceled by mutual consent.
After becoming the only player to score in five different World Cup tournaments, he scored 14 goals in 16 games to help Riyadh-based Al Nassr finish second behind champions Al Hilal.
“I think other small things they need to improve,” added Ronaldo, who holds the records for most international goals and appearances.
“But I am happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top-five league in the world.“