• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Cristiano Ronaldo rates Saudi Pro League above French Ligue 1


Anthony Nlebem

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo said the Saudi Pro League is better and more competitive than French Ligue 1.

Ronaldo, who joined Al Nassr after leaving Manchester United just over a year ago, was speaking at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai after being honoured as the Best Goalscorer and Fans’ Favourite Player of the Year.

The Saudi Pro League got a massive influx of cash after the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) took control of the league’s four biggest clubs last year.

Since Ronaldo moved to Al Nassr, several other big names have joined him in Saudi Arabia, including former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and Brazilian star Neymar among other top players.

Speaking at the Globe Soccer Awards, Ronaldo said the Saudi Pro League is more competitive than the French Ligue 1 at the moment.

“To be honest I think the Saudi League is not worse than the French League, in my opinion, ” Ronaldo said.

“In the French League, I think you have two, three teams with a good level. In Saudi now I think it’s more competitive. They can say whatever they want, it’s just my opinion and I played there one year so I know what I’m talking about.

“But I think right now we are better than [the] French league, we still improve.”

Ronaldo, 38, has enjoyed more success, scoring 54 goals for Al Nassr and Portugal in 2023 to finish the year as the world’s top male goalscorer.

The tally meant he finished above Manchester City’s treble-winner Erling Haaland, who won Best Men’s Player and Spain’s World Cup winner Aitana Bonmatí took home the Best Women’s Player Award.

“I was the best goalscorer this season, imagine beating young animals like Haaland. I’m proud. And I’ll be 39 soon!” Ronaldo said.

“I like it when people doubt me and then I’m successful. I don’t get affected by the criticism.”

The former Juventus forward was also asked about his future and when he might consider retirement.

“At the moment when I finish I don’t know to be honest,” he said. “Of course, it will be soon. By soon I mean 10 years more. I’m joking! I don’t know, let’s see.”