Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed his move to Saudi Arabia earlier this year has opened ‘a box’ for other players to make the switch.
The Portuguese superstar left Manchester United before signing a mega-money £175million-a-year deal to join Al-Nassr.
Since then, Saudi Pro League clubs have been active in the European transfer market, searching for football’s biggest talents.
Karim Benzema, the reigning Ballon d’Or winner joined Al-Ittihad from Real Madrid, becoming the biggest coup for the Saudi Pro League since Ronaldo’s arrival.
N’Golo Kante is also on the verge of completing a move to Al-Ittihad, signing a £172m deal at the club over two years.
Lionel Messi was long linked with a move to Al-Hilal before joining Inter Miami.
‘I knew that me going to Saudi Arabia would open a box and I wasn’t wrong,’ admitted Ronaldo.
‘I’m sure in a couple of years or three, this league is going to be one of the most important leagues in the world.
‘Karim left already and I am 1000 per cent sure that many more players will.’
🗣️ “I knew that me going to Saudi Arabia would open a box and I wasn’t wrong. I’m sure in a couple of years or three, this league is going to be one of the most important leagues in the world.”
Cristiano Ronaldo says his move to Saudi Arabia was the start of a movement. 🇸🇦 pic.twitter.com/vxTAWdA7WV
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 8, 2023
Al-Hilal, who finished third last season are also rumoured to be keen on Jordi Alba, potentially reuniting the pair leaving the Nou Camp.
Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez, who is chasing a Treble this season, has also been linked with a deal, this time at Al Ahli.