Saudi League thread

phenry

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Just read that Al-Hilal drew yesterday in the Asia CL against Namangan Navbahor, some Uzbekistan side 1:1 (scored in the 90+10th minute). Al-Hilal played with Neymar, Malcom, Mitrovic and Neves :lol:
Love to see it :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: I don't see how this will be a long term success even if it does prove to be disruptive for a while. Comparing it with the LIV takeover of golf is apples and oranges. They're not making the golfers play most of their tourneys in Saudi Arabia, they just own and expanded the franchise. The weather doesn't support it, there's not enough crowds in their stadiums, good players will decline, and if anything the publicity will just highlight what's wrong there. Like the Neom city it's an ego project for MbS that's destined to fail. If they can't beat Namangan Navbahor with Neymar, Malcom, Mitrovic and Neves, they should just give up now. That being said UEFA should try something to limit the damage. For footballs sake
 
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morisjee

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@phenry
UEFA's flagship lost at home in the UCL against a Moldovan (!) team. With the best eleven! Luckily they didn't stop operations after that, otherwise they wouldn't have won the tournament in the end. I believe it would be in Europe's interest for the Saudi clubs to be successful. Otherwise UEFA will suffer the full frustration. Instead of the limited Mitrovic and Michael (who aren't actually bad) they want Osimhen and Salah. :lol:


There could soon be a threat of deflation in football. You will get a lot of money for the players. But at some point the time comes and the clubs sit there with their suitcases full of money and ask themselves “Wait a minute! Who should we actually get now”? And then the fight for Wood, Füllkrug and Origi begins. :lol:


Interesting: Jordan Henderson in the Saudi TV interview:
"Many players in Europe, especially from the England national team, have asked me about the Rushen League and Saudi Arabia,
and there may be players joining the Saudi League.
" Source: Twitter/TV-SSC/BH18
 

Sly

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Incredible to see that full stadium to cheer for Neymar, Neves and Mitrovic in the Asia Champions League. My guess it will take less than 6 months for Neymar to get bored and ask to move to Barcelona.
 

Elon's Musk

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Love to see it :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: I don't see how this will be a long term success even if it does prove to be disruptive for a while. Comparing it with the LIV takeover of golf is apples and oranges. They're not making the golfers play most of their tourneys in Saudi Arabia, they just own and expanded the franchise. The weather doesn't support it, there's not enough crowds in their stadiums, good players will decline, and if anything the publicity will just highlight what's wrong there. Like the Neom city it's an ego project for MbS that's destined to fail. If they can't beat Namangan Navbahor with Neymar, Malcom, Mitrovic and Neves, they should just give up now. That being said UEFA should try something to limit the damage. For footballs sake
Almost as if upsets never happen in football!
 

Ragnar123

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My guess it will take less than 6 months for Neymar to get bored and ask to move to Barcelona.
I'm sure he is already bored, but he will stay there because no one else will pay him 150m/y. My feeling is the game against that Uzbekistan side was just the beginning. They will see what it means if players only come for the money, not for the sport. If they start relaxing in training, if they don't care about the competition, all you have is their names, not the football you associate with their names.
Neymar has the skills to win you the game against such an opponent, like Messi does for Miami. But he just doesn't care, while Messi actually enjoys football again. That's the big difference.
 

Sly

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I'm sure he is already bored, but he will stay there because no one else will pay him 150m/y. My feeling is the game against that Uzbekistan side was just the beginning. They will see what it means if players only come for the money, not for the sport. If they start relaxing in training, if they don't care about the competition, all you have is their names, not the football you associate with their names.
Neymar has the skills to win you the game against such an opponent, like Messi does for Miami. But he just doesn't care, while Messi actually enjoys football again. That's the big difference.
I've changed my mind. The Saudi league is the best in the world along with the Premier league. Their passion for the game is unmatched. Who wouldn't want to watch Al Etiffaq vs Al Tawoon in a stadium with AC? Asian Champions League with exotic teams like Persepolis, Wuhan Three Towns and Lion City Sailors. Sick of watching City or Real Madrid winning the CL and Sporting never winning anything.

I for one welcome our new Saudi Overlords and looking forward to traveling to Riyadh and staying in the Le Méridien Riyadh to meet my good friend and Mönchengladbach supporter @morisjee and to get a signed Henderson jersey without armband.
 

morisjee

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I've changed my mind. The Saudi league is the best in the world along with the Premier league. Their passion for the game is unmatched. Who wouldn't want to watch Al Etiffaq vs Al Tawoon in a stadium with AC? Asian Champions League with exotic teams like Persepolis, Wuhan Three Towns and Lion City Sailors. Sick of watching City or Real Madrid winning the CL and Sporting never winning anything.

I for one welcome our new Saudi Overlords and looking forward to traveling to Riyadh and staying in the Le Méridien Riyadh to meet my good friend and Mönchengladbach supporter @morisjee and to get a signed Henderson jersey without armband.
I can understand the hatred towards all players who moved to the Middle East. And that people wish them everything bad and call them mercenaries, too. I can understand that. Do you think I wouldn't be pissed if my super pretty girlfriend left me for a younger and more aspiring super-rich prince charming who reads her every wish and lets her live in palaces? Do you think I would still want to watch her twerk for him? How disgusting is that? But at some point all the wounds will go away and then I won't throw things like *itch at her anymore.
 

Sly

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I can understand the hatred towards all players who moved to the Middle East. And that people wish them everything bad and call them mercenaries, too. I can understand that. Do you think I wouldn't be pissed if my super pretty girlfriend left me for a younger and more aspiring super-rich prince charming who reads her every wish and lets her live in palaces? Do you think I would still want to watch her twerk for him? How disgusting is that? But at some point all the wounds will go away and then I won't throw things like *itch at her anymore.
I understand it perfectly and agree. Saudi League number 1.
 

horsechoker

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https://www.bbc.com/sport/66874723

Mohammed bin Salman: 'I don't care' about 'sportswashing' accusations

Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman says he does not care about accusations of 'sportswashing'.

The Gulf kingdom has been accused of investing in sport and using high-profile events to improve its international reputation.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) led the takeover of Newcastle United last year and launched LIV Golf.

"If sportswashing is going to increase my GDP by 1%, then we'll continue doing

 

tomaldinho1

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I can understand the hatred towards all players who moved to the Middle East. And that people wish them everything bad and call them mercenaries, too. I can understand that. Do you think I wouldn't be pissed if my super pretty girlfriend left me for a younger and more aspiring super-rich prince charming who reads her every wish and lets her live in palaces? Do you think I would still want to watch her twerk for him? How disgusting is that? But at some point all the wounds will go away and then I won't throw things like *itch at her anymore.
This is such a weird analogy :lol:

I don’t see that much hate for the players, it’s only a group of posters who hate Ronaldo and then the recent Henderson bashing that’s got any traction on here. Most players going there are mercenaries (most football players are) but any country has the right to try and upset the current order of things.
 

Plastic Evra

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So apparently, foreign player limits in the Asian Champion's League are somewhat strict : 6 is you include at least one with a passport for an AFC member.

In the SPL it's 8 foreigners, IIRC ?
 

jadaba

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I recall a certain poster claiming that the SPL growth had ended the eternal feud between Saudi and Iran by bringing the countries together through football.

Anyway the latest on that front, Al Ittihad's Asian Champions League match against Iranian club Sepahan was cancelled today after the Saudi team wouldn't leave their dressing room due to a bust of assassinated Iranian general Soleimani being present by the entrance to the pitch.

I'm sure the likes of Jota, Fabinho & Kante would've felt strongly about the need to make a stand about the bust and it wasn't some order from the Saudi government at all.
 

Cantonagotmehere

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I recall a certain poster claiming that the SPL growth had ended the eternal feud between Saudi and Iran by bringing the countries together through football.

Anyway the latest on that front, Al Ittihad's Asian Champions League match against Iranian club Sepahan was cancelled today after the Saudi team wouldn't leave their dressing room due to a bust of assassinated Iranian general Soleimani being present by the entrance to the pitch.

I'm sure the likes of Jota, Fabinho & Kante would've felt strongly about the need to make a stand about the bust and it wasn't some order from the Saudi government at all.
What a wild story. Have fun down there guys!
 

tomaldinho1

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Headline today that 'Newcastle consider shock move for ex Wolves midfielder Neves' after Tonali's ban.

Is it a shock though, really?
 

Chipper

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Anyone on here watching this league who didn't previously?

I'm not, just wondering if the influx of players has led to more interest?

Speaking of fan interest or lack of it, saw that Henderson, Wijnaldum and Demari Gray lost an away match in front of a crowd of 696 last weekend.
 
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Alex99

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God I hope this isnt true:-

1) they clearly aren't the third most popular club in the world
2) UEFA have literally just avoided the actual most popular clubs in the world (and Tottenham) from forming their own competition precisely because said clubs aren't guaranteed spots in the competition. If Real Madrid aren't guaranteed a spot, why would a random Saudi club be given one?
3) what is that source?
 

Chesterlestreet

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This is obviously what they're aiming for.

They aren't spending all that money to please Ronaldo's Instagram followers.

Their end game is either this - or a "super league" that will effectively replace the CL as the most prestigious club competition.

(What they actually dream about is probably something like a US style model, with "conferences" and whatnot, and a Super Bowl style game at the end of each season. The rest of the world provides farmer teams/leagues. The US model applied to the world's biggest sport, on a global scale. What's not to like?)
 

redshaw

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Not heard much about this league since the summer, actually forgot about it. How's it all going with Benzema and co?
 

Alex99

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Source: Random guy from Saudi Arabia
There's an excellent tweet where he claims that "major European clubs" refused to participate in a pre-season tournament next summer until Al-Nassr were invited “to increase the number of views and attract the attention of all football fans.”

There's also this one:

News: The most frequently mentioned club in the world during the year 2023 AD is Al-Nasr Saudi Club. “Everyone chanted its name and everyone sang it.” There is no athlete on Earth who does not know Al-Nassr. “The name Al-Nasr has become first in the world and cannot be compared to any other club.”
 

Rnd898

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There's an excellent tweet where he claims that "major European clubs" refused to participate in a pre-season tournament next summer until Al-Nassr were invited “to increase the number of views and attract the attention of all football fans.”
:lol:

If they're so fecking popular themselves, why not just stay in the desert instead of trying to somehow weasel their way into the European comps?
 

RedPed

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I'm giving this experiment another 12-18 months before the big names start scurrying back to Europe!

Jordan Henderson hits brutal new low as Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino loses captaincy - Liverpool Echo

£700K a week just to be playing in front of 610 fans, drawing 0-0 away to Al-Fayha and losing 1-0 at home to Al-Riyadh in front of 696 fans. This is the top division of the Saudi football pyramid!

To put it into context English clubs in the SEVENTH TIER get better attendances. The only way to make that league relevant is through money and even that won't work. Most of the players & managers that have moved seem to be having a bit of mare over there.
 

Acrobat7

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I'm giving this experiment another 12-18 months before the big names start scurrying back to Europe!

Jordan Henderson hits brutal new low as Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino loses captaincy - Liverpool Echo

£700K a week just to be playing in front of 610 fans, drawing 0-0 away to Al-Fayha and losing 1-0 at home to Al-Riyadh in front of 696 fans. This is the top division of the Saudi football pyramid!

To put it into context English clubs in the SEVENTH TIER get better attendances. The only way to make that league relevant is through money and even that won't work. Most of the players & managers that have moved seem to be having a bit of mare over there.
They went for the money and not the fantastic atmosphere. As long as they’re getting payed they will stay.
 

RedPed

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They went for the money and not the fantastic atmosphere. As long as they’re getting payed they will stay.
Firmino's already been dropped, Espirito Santo's been given his marching orders and I wouldn't be surprised if Slippy G gets the boot soon too. It's just a Chinese Super League lite that will pass once the novelty has worn off.
 

SilentWitness

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I'm getting emails about the Riyadh Season Cup from DAZN. Free to watch Messi vs Ronaldo.