Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — International soccer giant Cristiano Ronaldo believes the Saudi Professional League he joined this season could in time become one of the top five leagues in the world,
In remarks to Saudi Sports Company (SSC) channel, the official broadcaster of Saudi Pro League, after Tuesday’s match with Al-Shabab, The Portuguese legend, who joined Al-Nassr Club of Riyadh in January this year, said that the quality of the Saudi competition had improved even in his short time in it.
Ronaldo scored a stunning winner on Tuesday as his Al Nassr fought back to beat visitors Al Shabab 3-2 and put Al Ittihad’s Saudi Pro League title celebrations on hold. Al Shabab looked to have dented Al Nassr’s faint hopes of winning the title early on, with Argentinian forward Cristian Guanca putting the Riyadh-based side up two goals in the first half. Al Nassr clawed his way back into contention with goals from Talisca and Abdulrahman Ghareeb either side of half time. Ronaldo then put Al Nassr 3-2 up with a brilliant solo strike.
Ronaldo told SSC: “It is not easy to come back after falling behind by two clean goals… but we came back and scored three goals and we are happy with the victory, and I congratulate my squad members for the amazing performance.”
Ronaldo said: “In my opinion, the Saudi League is strong. We are much better and the Saudi league is getting better and the next year will be even better. Step-by-step, I think this league will be among the top five leagues in the world but they need time, players and infrastructure. But I believe that this country has amazing potential, they have amazing people and the league will be great in my opinion.”
It is noteworthy that the Portugal Skipper signed a contract with Al Nassr, estimated by some media reports to be worth more than $220.16 million. Ronaldo has played in three of the world’s top leagues with stints at Real Madrid in Spain’s La Liga, Manchester United in the English Premier League and Juventus in Italy’s Serie A.