The Top Clubs in the Saudi Professional League
In the past few years—and especially the current football season—all eyes have turned to the Saudi Pro League. Blame Cristiano Ronaldo and the Arab oil money for it. The iconic players made a move to the Saudi league a year ago, sparking interest from many other players nearing the end of their careers. While not many followed Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia the first year, the second was a shock to everyone in Europe.
The summer of 2023 saw many football stars move to the Saudi Pro League. We’re not talking washed players or those nearing the end of their careers anymore. Saudi clubs have attracted the interest of young players too, as well as those well in their prime. With several clubs attracting major stars such as Riyad Mahrez, Karim Benzema, and even Neymar, we rank the best Saudi Pro Clubs with the best shot at the title.
Let’s start with Al Nassr Riyadh, the club that shockingly convinced legendary player Cristiano Ronaldo to join last year. It wasn’t just a gimmick – Ronaldo is dedicated to his new club, even looking to extend his stay. There’s no question that his signing for Al Nassr has inspired others to join the Saudi Pro League which is star-studded from start to finish after Ronaldo’s signing last year.
Finishing runner-up last term, this year, Al Nassr is a big favorite for the trophy. Ronaldo’s star power has managed to attract the likes of Sadio Mane, Seko Fofana, Marcelo Brozovic (who reportedly turned down Barcelona for Al Nassr), and Anderson Talisca. Al Nassr is a great threat for the title this year, and led by Ronaldo—who doesn’t like to lose—the club should have a much better finish than last season.
Here’s a club that bettors might find the best frontrunner for the title. Al Ahli is currently third behind Ronaldo’s Al Nassr as a trophy candidate. The odds are far from Al Nassr’s, but that makes the club a great pick at the Betway casino and sportsbook. It certainly has the firepower this year.
The club signed ex-Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino, one of Manchester City’s best wingers Riyad Mahrez, and Newcastle’s strike Allan Saint-Maximin. Those are all players with vast experience in the Premier League, and they’ve been leading Al Ahli’s attack great so far. Paired with former Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Franck Kessie, and the talent of Gabri Veiga, Al Ahli will be a force to be reckoned.
Defending champions Al Ittihad are leaps and bounds over last year’s squad. At least on paper. The club brought in Karim Benzema from Real Madrid, the player who won the Ballon d’Or last year. On top of that, it also signed Fabinho from Liverpool and ex-Chelsea midfielder maestro N’Golo Kante.
Let’s not forget that Al Ittihad already had a great squad to begin with. Things haven’t been going great so far halfway through the season, but with a new manager, Benzema and co. will surely step up. After all, the quality is there.
Al Hilal wasn’t a major favorite for the Saudi Pro League trophy in early summer until it made major moves. Probably the biggest moves on the market so far. The club has made a star-studded squad with the additions of Ruben Neves, Sergej Milinkovic-Savid, Malcom, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Brazilian star Neymar as the cherry on top of the cake.
It instantly propelled them up the list of favorites and up the table too. The team is flying right now even with Neymar’s injury that will keep him out of the field for the foreseeable future.
Coached by Steven Gerrard, Al Ettifaq is trying to enter the trophy race in the Saudi Pro League. Stevie G’s first move was to sign former Liverpool teammate and captain Jordan Henderson. Other additions include Jack Hendry and Moussa Dembele in order to rise head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.
The general opinion is that the club just isn’t there yet to be included in the title talk. But, there’s a full season ahead to deny the naysayers and rise to the top of the charts.
Cover Credits: PeakPX