Cristiano Ronaldo reckons former Celt Jota is proof of Saudi Pro League’s appeal

Cristiano Ronaldo reckons that former Celtic star Jota is proof that the Saudi Pro League is a growing industry. The Portuguese winger departed Celtic Park to seek pastures new in the Middle East with Al-Ittihad, after the club received an offer they couldn’t refuse for the winger. A record-breaking £27 million plus add-ons was agreed and now the 24-year-old is plying his trade beside Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante.

There has been much said because of this recent influx of European stars into the Saudi Arabian footballing hemisphere, and some are very unhappy that the Saudi’s are throwing the cash around with exorbitant salaries that even the Premier League would struggle to compete with. However, footballing legend CR7 reckons it’s merely sour grapes.

As reported by Football Scotland, Ronaldo said: “The Saudi league is better than MLS. Now all the players are coming here. In one year, more top players will come to Saudi Arabia. I opened the way to the Saudi league, and now all the players are coming here. I’m 100% sure I won’t return to any European club. I’m 38 years old.

“European football has lost a lot of quality. The only valid one and still doing good is the (English) Premier League. They’re way ahead of all the other leagues. My decision to join Saudi clubs was 100% crucial to bring in new top players. It’s a fact. When I joined Juventus, Serie A was dead and then after I signed… it was revived. Wherever Cristiano goes he generates higher interest.

“They criticised me for coming to Saudi League, but what happened now? In a year Saudi league will overtake the Turkish league and Dutch league. Players who arrived aren’t like what the president of the European Union said. Jota and Ruben Neves are young players.”

Ronaldo’s move to the relative footballing backwater has certainly changed the landscape moving forward. With a whole host of recognised names and up-and-coming stars like Jota, it is fast-becoming a league which is growing in appeal. If more young players start to go, it could spell trouble for the Top Five European leagues as well.

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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