The transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to victory in a huge deal may be the first step to other big deals for Saudi clubs, after Anmar Al-Haili, president of Al-Ittihad Club, admitted that there was no longer any excuse for trying to sign players less than Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah.
Al-Haili said in an interview with MBC TV, “We are now in a phase of building and developing Saudi football inclusively. The team qualified (for the World Cup)… and won against Argentina. I expect it to be in huge support next summer.”
In response to a question about the existence of speculation to try to include players such as Salah, Messi and Angel Di Maria, Al-Haili said, “The least we think about at this level.”
“As a follower, fan and lover, I will not accept any club administration to come up with names less than that,” added the club’s president, who won the Saudi Super Cup title on Sunday, after ousting Al-Nasr and its star, Ronaldo, in the semi-finals.
He continued, “Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence in the league added a great deal to the league, and we, as clubs, will not have difficulty attracting some of the aforementioned names, and there is no excuse.”
And the Saudi Professional League teams will be able to use eight foreign players on the field, starting next season, while the current regulations stipulate that there are a maximum of seven players in the match list.
Messi, who won the World Cup with Argentina last month, has a contract with Paris Saint-Germain until the end of the current season, while Salah, the Egyptian captain, extended his contract with Liverpool until 2025.
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