Cristiano Ronaldo: Saudi Pro League ‘much better’ than Major League Soccer

Cristiano Ronaldo told members of the media on Monday that the Saudi Professional League is superior to Major League Soccer. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ronaldo, who plays for Al Nasser of the Saudi Pro League, was asked about joining Lionel Messi in MLS. “No,” He answered After his side lost 5-0 in a friendly against La Liga club Celta Vigo. “I think Arabia is a better league than America.”
  • Ronaldo, the world’s highest-paid player, earns £175 million ($217.4 million) a year. According to sources close to Al Nasser, who wish to remain anonymous to protect their positions, the club will pay a tenth of those wages, with the rest covered by the Saudi government.
  • Messi signed a contract with Inter Miami until 2025 with an option to stay until the 2026 season. He earns around $50-60 million annually, though that includes the value of his stake in the franchise.
  • Major League Soccer commissioner Dan Garber said Sunday he is “not threatened” by the Saudi professional league’s growing influence on the global soccer landscape.

AthleticInstant Analysis:

Makes sense of Ronaldo’s comments

What does the pioneer of Saudi’s sporting revolution have to say? Would he like to beat FC Cincinnati in the Pro League as well?

Although these comments were arbitrary, it was also an inevitable question. Ronaldo and Messi have been inseparable in conversation for two decades, as the two dominate club soccer in Europe. We may never see a stretch like 2008-2017, in which the duo shared the storied Ballon d’Or trophy entirely without letting a third player win the prize. Messi won two more trophies after Luka Modric’s streak-buster in 2018, Ronaldo secured his fifth and is almost certain to claim the final Ballon d’Or in 2017. His turn won the World Cup in December.

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While the stories of their careers are often told by their European and international exploits, parallels continue over the past seven months. Both have decided to combine their legacies in two ambitious leagues from outside the sport’s most lucrative continent. While Ronaldo is the first of many superstars to take up residence in Saudi Arabia, Messi has come to MLS as part of his legacy to boost American interest in soccer, as did Pele before him.

Given their unparalleled global fame, the quality of players’ new leagues is often a topic of discussion even after they inevitably hang up their boots. At a roundtable over the weekend, Garber said he did not think the league would be threatened by the Saudi Pro League’s new investment.

“I remember we were in that league and we were like, ‘What’s going on with Major League Soccer in America?’ And then what impact did that have on the rest of the world,” Garber said. “The rest of the world said, ‘Well, it’s crazy Americans, right? We don’t have to worry about them.’ I am the co-chairman of the World League Forum, and the Saudi League has been part of the World League Forum, and there was a meeting in London last week. They are a contributing member of the global professional soccer community and their league will continue to grow and evolve and figure out how they can achieve what they want to achieve for their fans. Achieve through their league overall.

“I’ve seen it happen in China, and I’m less worried about it than I am about what’s happening in Saudi Arabia. It’s quite the opposite. I think the fact that we can spread the power and influence of professional football around the world gives us an opportunity to think not just about Europe or emerging markets. .right?”

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In January, Sports Intelligence Agency Twenty First Group ranked the SPL as the 59th best domestic league in the world; At the same time, MLS was ranked 29th. A star-driven approach to development (rather than investing more patiently in the development of domestic players) has led to comparisons with the recently demonetized Chinese Super League. Also, in 2009, Ronaldo faced a potential lawsuit for sexual assault in Las Vegas. When that motion is rejected in June 2022, years of speculation could affect his views on anything U.S.-related.

At the end of the day, the best players won’t admit they’re playing less competitive. That goes double when their rival makes a similar title-grabbing move. Nevertheless, their overseas moves have always added a new twist to the Messi and Ronaldo story. – Router

Required reading

(Photo: Mohammad Saad/Getty Images via Anadolu Agency)

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