Lionel Messi Most Welcome in Saudi Pro League: Emenalo
Before signing Inter Miami CF, Lionel Messi was set to move to Saudi Arabia and reportedly play for Al-Hilal. Speculations became rift when he snubbed the kingdom’s $400 million –a-year offer and opted to play for the Miami franchise, which is co-owned by David Beckham.
Michael Emenalo, Saudi Pro League’s sporting director, said the Saudi Pro League is open for business to any superstar that wants to come. “If there is an indication that there is an opening and any of the superstars that you know and I know says ‘We are interested in coming to this league’, we will work very, very hard to bring them in.”
In regards to Messi, Emenalo said he doesn’t have answers to why the Argentine footballer ended up in MLS. “If he decides next season that he wants to come here, we will be happy to welcome him. If he wants to stay in MLS, we will be very, very happy for him.”
Lionel Messi Saudi League
Lionel Messi is one of the most popular athletes in the world, and Saudi Arabia was very much keen on having him play in the country. The superstar footballer continues to play his role as a tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia.
Messi recently revealed that had had the option of returning to Barcelona or signing for a Saudi Arabian side. “My first option was to return to Barcelona, but it was not possible. I tried to return, and it did not happen. It is also true that later I was thinking a lot about going to the Saudi league, where I know the country and they have created a very powerful competition that can become an important league in the near future. It was Saudi Arabia or MLS, and both options seemed very interesting to me.”
And the Argentine ace opted for MLS. He has marked a very significant year 2023 with the prestigious Time’s Athlete of the Year 2023 and his eighth Ballon d’Or.
Saudi Pro League Players
Saudi Pro League players are being most sought after with the likes of Neymar, Riyad Mahrez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ahmed Abu Rasen, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Karim Benzema, and others. Saudi Arabia’s Pro League was second only to the English Premier League in spending on soccer transfer fees. It spent $1 billion to bring players in on fees.
According to Transfermarkt, a transfer data website, Saudi clubs outspent four of the big five soccer leagues, The dominating Saudi clubs are Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr, and Al-Hilal.