13 players you had no idea were in Saudi Arabia after Cristiano Ronaldo rumours
Cristiano Ronaldo will be welcomed by familiar company if he completes a mega-money move to Saudi Arabia.
The ex- Manchester United ace is now a free agent after his contract was torn up, in the wake of his explosive interview with Piers Morgan. Reports from MARCA understand he has been offered a two year contract worth £430m to move Saudi Arabian giants Al Nassr.
The Portugal captain rejected rumours that this whopping deal had been agreed, stating he would think long and hard about his future after the W orld Cup. Nevertheless, Daily Star Sport considers the huge names he will join in Saudi Arabia, should he make the move over to the Middle East.
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The silky smooth Argentina joined Al Shabab when his contract with Sevilla ran down. Ronaldo will certainly be very familiar with the midfielder, having played against him on multiple occasions during his meetings against the likes of Atletico Madrid, Valencia, and Sevilla.
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If you tuned into Poland’s matches during the World Cup, you would have likely heard many gasps of breath when Grzegorz Krychowiak’s name was read out. The ex-Paris Saint-Germain forward did not disappear off the face of the earth when his disastrous loan spell with West Bromwich Albion ended. Instead, he has since played for Lokomotiv Moscow, Kuban Krasnodar, and AEK Athens, before moving to Al-Shabab on loan.
Santi Mina was tipped for great things when Valencia snapped him up from Celta Vigo. However, things have not quite work out for the precocious striker, hence the reason he is currently on loan at Al-Shabab despite only being 27-years-old.
When it comes to back-up goalkeepers, David Ospina may have been the best shot-stopper in the world during the five years he spent at Arsenal. After departing the north Londoners and becoming the first choice goalkeeper at Napoli in 2019, Ospina left Naples to play out the final years of his career with Al Nassr.
Ronaldo future strike partner and one of the very few players whose ego is comparable with that of the Portuguese legend. Vincent Aboubakar has previously said he believes he is as good as Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah. If Ronaldo is to join Al Nassr, prepare for the inevitable fireworks that will explode between the two proud forwards.
The Egyptian defender is a proper throwback to a time when all central defenders were human goliaths who would kick all defenders and footballs into touch. West Brom supporters fell in love with the Egyptian defensive colossus during the four years he spent at the club. Hegazi now plies his trade with Al-Ittihad Club having departed the Baggies in the summer of 2021.
The ex-Wolves midfielder was reunited with former manager Nuno Espirito-Santo when he arrived at Al-Ittihad from Leeds United. Despite the best efforts of Santo and Marcelo Bielsa, Costa did not really take well to the Premier League at Wolves or Leeds United.
Moussa Marega was one of the most feared centre forwards in the Champions League throughout his time with Porto. However, the physically imposing centre forward is now terrorising defences in Saudi Arabia, having departed the Portuguese giants to join Al-Hilal in the summer of 2021.
Considering he joined the Chinese Premier League when their coffers were at their deepest and the fact he joined Manchester United on loan for one season, very few footballers in world football have earned as much money as Odion Ighalo. Having jumped ship from China in February 2021, Ighalo initially led the frontline for Al-Shabab, before departing the club to join Al-Hilal instead.
Another Argentine striker who could not quite fulfill their unquestionable potential, Vietto jumped around some of Europe’s giants, playing for the likes of Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Sevilla, Fulham, and Sporting Lisbon. However, he could not quite nail down a regular place in either of those sides, so he eventually departed Europe in October 2020 to join Al-Hilal.
Felipe Caicedo was one of the first players to arrive when Sheikh Mansour and his many billions arrived at Manchester City. However, nearly 15 years and spells at Sporting Lisbon, Levante, Lokomotiv Moscow, Al-Jazira, Espanyol, Lazio, Genoa, and Inter Milan later, Caicedo joined Saudi side Abha last summer.
For a brief period, many of Europe’s top clubs were scouting Vitinho after many impressive displayed for CSKA Moscow. However, he could not quite maintain his momentum, as he was loaned to Brazilian side Internacional, before joining Flamengo on a permanent basis. As of last summer, he is now playing for Saudi aces Ettifaq FC.
One of Costa Rica’s heroes during the 2014 World Cup, Oscar Duarte scored the second goal in their 3-1 demolition of Uruguay in their opening match. He also played all three matches of Costa Rica’s recent World Cup campaign, playing a huge role in their 1-0 shutout of Japan in their second match. Having departed Levante last summer, he now turns out for Al-Wehda FC in Saudi.
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