Cristiano Ronaldo makes bold claim about Saudi league

Ronaldo is set to become the most capped male international footballer of all-time

Aadi Nair
Thursday 23 March 2023 10:10 GMT
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al Nassr after leaving Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al Nassr after leaving Manchester United (Getty Images)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Cristiano Ronaldo said he has been surprised by the level of competitiveness in the Saudi Pro League since joining Al Nassr in January and is adamant it can become a top-five league in the world.

“I think you should look at the (Saudi Pro League) in a different way,” he told reporters. “I’m not going to say that the league is a Premier League, that would be a lie.

“But it’s a very competitive league that I’m positively surprised by, a very balanced league and good teams.

“I am sure that in the coming years the league will be ... the fourth, fifth or sixth most competitive league in the world,” added Ronaldo, who moved to Al-Nassr on a two-and-a-half-year contract worth a reported 200m euros (£177m).

Ronaldo is part of the Portugal squad for their Euro 2024 qualifiers against Liechtenstein on Thursday and Luxembourg on Sunday.

The 38-year-old, who was benched by former coach Fernando Santos for their last two games at the World Cup, would make his 197th appearance for Portugal if he plays against Liechtenstein, surpassing Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa as the most capped player in men’s football.

“I like to break records, I have broken lot of records,” said Ronaldo, who debuted for Portugal in 2003.

“In addition to being the best scorer ever for national teams, I was also looking to be the international player with the most caps.”

Portugal, who are now coached by former Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, are in the same qualifying group as Bosnia & Herzegovina, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Liechtenstein.


Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in