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Why Saudi-based European footballers opt to live in Bahrain

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saudi arabia footballer bahrain
The CUT, a five-star restaurant in Bahrain. Photo/Four Seasons
  • Footballers from Europe playing in the Saudi Arabian Pro League are opting to spend quality time in Bahrain
  • Former Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Saudi last year
  • N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy have joined Ronaldo

Footballers from Europe playing in the Saudi Arabian Pro League are opting to spend quality time in Bahrain where partying is not as restrictive as Saudi.

Former Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Saudi last year after falling out with Old Trafford. The Gulf nation has better perks for footballers and the like of Ruben Neves, Roberto Firmino, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante and Edouard Mendy have joined Ronaldo.

Jordan Henderson and Fabinho of Liverpool are reportedly linked with a move to Saudi.  While these footballers are bringing their skills to the Saudi Pro League, their wives and relatives choose Bahrain.


bahrain footballers

Ruben Neves pictured with wife Debora Lourenco. Photo/Daily Mail

This country is easy-going on alcohol lovers and players and agents are considering moving their family members and close friends there.  Mails Sports also adds that alcohol is permitted in Bahrain, unlike in Saudi Arabia, although public intoxication is against the law.

Given that Bahrain’s capital, Manama is only 43 miles from Dammam; Bahrain is well-positioned as the best destination for Saudi emigrants. Furthermore, it is in Manama where Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq are headquartered.

Even those who have chosen to remain in Saudi, like Ronaldo and fiancée Georgina Rodriguez, can visit Bahrain easily because Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, is just about 300 miles from Manama.

People from the more conservative Saudi Arabia flock to the tiny nation of Bahrain on weekends, making it a popular weekend getaway.  What’s more is that with the Saudi Pro League getting top talent from Europe; football wags are lighting up Bahrain in a big way.


Bahrain has several upscale eateries and stylish pubs fitting the bill and one of the most famous is CUT owned by Wolfgang Puck. It is located at the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay whose proprietor is a Michellin-starred celebrity chef.

This American steakhouse is located in a luxurious setting with 180-degree views of Manama’s skyline. CUT has other subsidiaries in Hollywood, Las Vegas, London, and New York. Moreover, those who want a cocktail and a Mediterranean menu with a Japanese touch can get it at The PLAY Restaurant and Lounge which is popular.

Football Bahrain

Cantina Kahlo. Photo/Explain More/

Other well-known locations in Bahrain include the Cantina Kahlo and the Royal Thai at the Gulf Hotel, which also offers breathtaking panoramic views of Manama’s city lights. Additionally, there are many shopping options available in Bahrain, so it’s not only about the food and alcohol.

However, WAGS may be more likely to visit the Bahrain World Trade Center, which houses over 80 high-end designer brands, including Versace, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. Another favourite spot for them is A the Avenues, a waterfront shopping complex with over 130 shopping brands and more than 60 restaurants and cafes.

Lastly, there is the Seef Mall, housing 360 stores and is a top shopping destination for family vacations. It features a kid-friendly play area, nurseries, and an indoor Magic Island theme park.

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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