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Saudi Pro League Transfers: Stars Who Have Joined Cristiano Ronaldo in 2023-24 Summer Window – News18

Last Updated: August 11, 2023, 08:17 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo (AP Image)

The Saudi Pro League have lured global stars, with Karim Benzema, Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane among those following in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps.

The Saudi Pro League kicks off on Friday amid unprecedented attention on Saudi football following a year of high-profile transfers and growing accusations of “sportswashing”.

Clubs in the oil-rich Gulf state have lured global stars, with Karim Benzema, Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane among those following in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps.

Ronaldo’s arrival in January to play for the Riyadh-based Al-Nassr club is what first drew global attention to ongoing efforts to boost the Saudi Pro League. The kingdom is offering eye-watering salaries that have lured celebrity players, rising stars and top coaches.

The influx has taken place despite frequent criticism that Saudi Arabia’s lavish spending amounts to an attempt to shift the focus from its record on human rights. It is all part of grand plans by the de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to modernise the Saudi economy and remove its reliance on oil before the world moves on to other fuels.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund – Public Investment Fund (PIF) – overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, took over four of the biggest clubs, Riyadh-based Al Nassr and Al Hilal, and the Jeddah-based Al Ittihad and Al Ahli.

Eighteen clubs will take part in the league, with each allowed eight foreign players.

Saudi Pro League’s big signings:

Al-Ittihad (manager: Nuno Espirito Santo since 2022)

N’Golo Kante from Chelsea. (free)

Karim Benzema from Real Madrid. (free)

Jota from Celtic. (25 million pounds)

Fabinho from Liverpool. (40 million pounds)

Al-Ahli (manager: Matthias Jaissle since 2023)

Edouard Mendy from Chelsea. (16 million pounds)

Roberto Firmino from Liverpool. (free)

Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City. (35 million euros)

Allan Saint-Maximin from Newcastle. (27.2 million euros)

Franck Kessie from Barcelona. (12.5 million euros)

Roger Ibanez from AS Roma. (28.5 million euros)

Al-Nassr (manager: Luis Castro since 2023)

Marcelo Brozovic from Inter Milan. (18 million euros)

Alex Telles from Manchester United. (6 million pounds)

Seko Fofana from RC Lens. (25 million euros)

Sadio Mane from Bayern Munich. (40 million euros)

Al-Hilal (manager: Jorge Jesus since 2023)

Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea. (17 million pounds)

Ruben Neves from Wolverhampton Wanderers. (55 million euros)

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio. (40 million euros)

Malcom from Zenit Saint Petersburg. (60 million euros)

Al-Ettifaq (manager: Steven Gerrard since 2023)

Moussa Dembele from Olympique Lyonnais. (free)

Jack Hendry from Club Brugge. (6.9 million euros)

Jordan Henderson from Liverpool. (12 million pounds)

(With inputs from Agencies)

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