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3 reasons why Saudi is poaching EPL footballers

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saudi arabian football league
Karim Benzema Photo/Eurosport
  • The Saudi Arabian Football League is the latest football signing craze for top players from the English Premier League
  • This Gulf country is betting on the strong financial incentives offered by the Saudi League
  • The huge sums of money on offer are enough persuasion for players to look the other way

The Saudi Arabian Football League is the latest football signing craze for top players from the English Premier League.

This Gulf country is betting on its strong financial incentives offered by the Saudi League, along with the developing football infrastructure in the country. The huge sums of money on offer are enough persuasion for players to switch from the prestigious English Premier League to the Saudi League.

All this is part of Saudi’s ambitious plan to improve its internal league, raise its profile abroad, and increase the quality of its football league. Looking at it critically, here are the reasons why Saudi Arabia is the new harbour


The alluring financial packages provided by the clubs are among the main causes of the influx of Premier League talents to the Saudi Arabian Football League. Saudi Arabian clubs can afford to pay huge salaries and bonuses to persuade players to switch because of the significant financial support from affluent investors and sponsors. The possibility to ensure their financial future while also taking on a new cultural and footballing challenge is one that many players view favourably

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo unvieling ceremony for Al Nassr.|PHOTO: CBS|




Saudi Arabia’s tax-free status is another factor that attracts Premier League talents to the Saudi Arabian Football League. It provides international players with a chance to keep more of their profits in contrast to the high tax rates in Europe. A major draw for athletes and their families is the luxury accommodations, state-of-the-art amenities, and other perks of the Middle Eastern country’s wealthy lifestyle.


Beyond monetary concerns, a number of players have highlighted the opportunity to participate in a league’s development as a major driver. The Saudi Arabian Football League has made significant expenditures in infrastructure and academies to support its aim to become a footballing superpower. Some players find it exhilarating to consider the possibility of being pioneers in a young league and helping it advance.



Ronaldo is currently playing for Saudi club Al Nassr. His deal with the Saudi club has him earning $200 million every year. His take-home monthly is $16.6 million.


Yannick Carrasco, a former Atletico Madrid and Belgium winger, made the move to Saudi Arabia to join Al-Nassr FC. His decision to leave European football at the peak of his career raised eyebrows, but the prospect of becoming the face of the ambitious Al Nassr project, along with the substantial financial package offered, lured Carrasco to the Middle East.


Sevilla’s former prolific striker, Wissam Ben Yedder, opted for a new challenge in the Saudi Arabian Football League with Al-Hilal FC. The French international believed that playing in the competitive environment of Saudi Arabia could open new doors for his career, including exposure to other top leagues and clubs in the future.


saudi arabian football league

GIULIANO VICTOR DE PAULA at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia. Photo/Twitter

The Brazilian midfielder, Giuliano, made a surprise move from Fenerbahce in Turkey to Al-Nassr FC. Despite receiving interest from various European clubs, he was attracted to the vision of Al-Nassr and the chance to be a part of the league’s development. His decision showcased the growing appeal of the Saudi Arabian Football League to players from different continents.


Al-Shabab FC secured the services of Nabil Bentaleb, a talented Algerian midfielder formerly associated with Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. Bentaleb’s signing was seen as a significant coup for the Saudi club, as he brought valuable experience and skills to the team’s midfield.


While some may still view the move to the Saudi league as unorthodox, it gives players a special chance to take part in a football revolution and help the sport develop in the area. The Saudi Arabian Football League is set to become an even more alluring destination for stars looking for fresh challenges and lucrative contracts outside the boundaries of the traditional European footballing powerhouses as the league continues to develop and more well-known players relocate there.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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