Cristiano Ronaldo told the media on Monday that the Saudi Professional League is superior to the Major League Soccer. Here’s what you need to know:
- Ronaldo, who plays with Al-Nassr in the Saudi Professional League, was asked about the possibility of him joining Lionel Messi in the NBA. “no,” to reply After defeating his team 5-0 in a friendly match against La Liga club Celta Vigo. “I think the Arab League is much better than the United States.”
- Ronaldo, the highest-paid player in the world, earns 175 million pounds ($217.4 million) a year. According to sources close to Al-Nasr, who wish to remain anonymous in order to protect their positions, the club will pay a tenth of this wage, and the rest is covered by the Saudi state.
- Messi signed a deal with Inter Miami through 2025 with the option to stay through the 2026 season. He will be paid around $50-60 million annually, though that includes his stock value in the franchise.
- Saudi Football League Commissioner Don Garber said on Sunday that he is “not threatened” by the growing influence of the Saudi Professional League on the global soccer scene.
the athleteInstant Analysis:
Understand Ronaldo’s comments
What was the hand-picked pioneer of the Saudi sports revolution supposed to say? That he backed Cincinnati to win the NBA as well?
While these comments were spontaneous, they were also an unavoidable question. Ronaldo and Messi have remained inseparable in the conversation for two decades, with the two teams dominating football in Europe year after year. We may never see a stretch quite like 2008-17, which saw complete custodianship of the infamous Ballon d’Or trophy without allowing a third player to win the award. While Messi won two more titles after Luka Modric hit a streak in 2018 to bring his total tally to seven, Ronaldo won his fifth and almost certain Ballon d’Or final in 2017. There’s also a chance Messi could go eighth in the tournament. Again from his World Cup winning turn in December.
While the stories of their careers will almost certainly be told through their European and international exploits, the similarities have continued over the past seven months. Both decided to attach their legacy to two ambitious tournaments from outside the continent that are the most lucrative in the sport. While Ronaldo was the first of many superstars to gain residency in Saudi Arabia, Messi arrived on MLS in part to cement American interest in soccer as part of his legacy, just like Pele before him.
Given their unparalleled global popularity, the quality of new leagues for players is bound to be a recurring topic of discussion even after they inevitably close their boots. At a roundtable over the weekend, Garber said he did not feel the league would be threatened by the new investment in the Saudi Professional League.
“I remember we were in that league and everyone was like, ‘What’s going on in America with Major League Soccer?'” “And then what is the impact of that on the rest of the world,” Garber said. The rest of the world said, ‘Well, it’s just the crazy Americans, right? You don’t have to worry about them. I am the co-chair of the World League Forum and the Saudi League was part of the World League Forum, and there was only a meeting in London last week. They are contributing members of the global professional football community and their league will continue to grow and evolve and see how they can achieve what they want to achieve for their fans, and whatever it is they are looking to achieve with the league in general.
“I’ve seen it happen with China and I’ve never been more worried about that than I am about what’s happening in Saudi Arabia. It’s quite the opposite. The fact that we can spread the power and influence of professional football around the world, I think gives us all or the markets Emerging, an opportunity to believe that it’s not just about Europe. Right?”
In January, sports intelligence agency Twenty First Group ranked the SPL as the 59th domestic league in the world. At the same time, MLS is rated 29th. Its star-based approach to growth (forgoing more patient investment in local player development) has drawn comparisons to the recently downsized Chinese Super League. It should be noted that Ronaldo faced a potential lawsuit over an alleged sexual assault in Las Vegas in 2009; While this proposal was rejected in June 2022, years of speculation could affect his view of anything related to the United States of America.
At the end of the day, the great players will never admit that they are playing against an underrated competition. This doubles when their competitor makes a similar headlining move. However, their overseas moves have forever added a new wrinkle to the story of Messi and Ronaldo. – Reuters
(Photo: Mohamed Saad/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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