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Saudi League kicks off and the world watches

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Saudi League kicks off and the world watches

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The world waits in anticipation for the kick-off of the new season of the Saudi league 2023 / 2024. Over the summer, many big-name signings moved to the Saudi league in moves that shocked the football world.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to the Al-Nassar in January 2023 created a buzz around the world and sparked an influx of big-name players from Europe during the summer. Joining Ronaldo at Al-Nassar, is Sadio Mane. The Senegalese joins Al-Nassar after leaving Bayern Munich after both parties agreed to mutually part ways after just one season. Al-Nassar fans will be hoping that both Ronaldo and Mane will be able to push Al-Nassar to the title this coming season.

One of the biggest names to move to the Saudi league is the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. Benzema’s move to Al-Ittihad was greeted by much fanfare with an elaborate unveiling ceremony held at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium.

Joining Benzema at Al-Ittihad is French national teammate N’Golo Kante and Brazillian, Fabinho. Kante joins Al-Ittihad from Chelsea on a free transfer while Fabinho cost Al-Ittihad approximately 40 million pounds from Liverpool. These 3 new signings will no doubt make Al-Ittihad one of the favourites for the title.


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Another club that is predicted to challenge for the league title is Al Ahli. Over the summer, Al Ahli signed several star players from Europe. Amongst them are Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City, Edouard Mendy from Chelsea, Roberto Firmino from Liverpool, Allan Saint-Maximim from Newcastle, Franck Kessie from Barcelona and Roger Ibanez from AS Roma.

Already considered as one of the most successful clubs in the Saudi league, Al Ahli have signalled their intent in becoming the most successful club in Saudi with these new signings which include 3 Champions League winners.

Al-Ettifaq also went into the transfer market and targeted both a former Liverpool captain and a current Liverpool captain. Former Liverpool captain and club legend, Steven Gerrard was announced as manager of Al-Ettifaq on July 3rd, and this was followed by the signing of current Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson on July 27th. The former teammates will attempt to end the trophy draught for Al-Ettifaq that goes back to 2006 when they won the GCC Champions League.

Al-Hilal, the most decorated club in Asia with 66 official trophies also dipped into the transfer market and signed Ruben Neves from Wolverhampton Wanderers for 47 million pounds, Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea for a fee around 20 million pounds and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio for a fee around 35 million pounds.

The signings of these players who with an average age of 28 brings experience and leadership to an already strong Al-Hilal team. They will certainly look to better the 3rd place finish of last season.

With this many big-name signings, fans will be expecting much more from their teams and can be forgiven if they are hopeful for the title. The season kicks off on 11th August with Al-Ahli taking on Al Hazem and the world will be watching.


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