Cristiano Ronaldo believes the Saudi Professional League is on the rise and could soon be among the top five leagues in the world. The Portuguese superstar made the comments after scoring the winning goal in Al Nassr's 3-2 comeback victory over Al Shabab on Tuesday.
Ronaldo's goal, which came in the 59th minute, was a stunning strike from outside the box that gave his team the lead for good. Speaking after the match, Ronaldo said: "We are so happy, the team do a fantastic game. 2-0 is very, very difficult but we believe until the end and we score three goals so congratulations to the whole team and the supporters were amazing today, so we are very happy." Ronaldo, who joined Al Nassr in January, has been in fine form since his arrival in Saudi Arabia.
He has scored 14 goals in 18 appearances for the club, including a hat-trick in his debut match. The 38-year-old's comments about the SPL are sure to raise eyebrows, given that the league is currently ranked 16th in the world by FIFA.
However, Ronaldo is not the first high-profile player to express his belief in the league's potential. In 2020, former Real Madrid and Barcelona star Ronaldinho said that he believed the League could become one of the best leagues in the world within a few years.
"We are much better. In my opinion, the Saudi League is getting better. Next year will be even better. Step by step I think this league will be in the top five leagues in the world but they need time, they need players, they need infrastructure but I believe that this country has amazing potential.
They have amazing people and the league will be great in my opinion."
The league is already home to some of the biggest names in world football, such as Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar.
With continued investment and development, the could well become one of the most competitive leagues in the world in the years to come.
Title Race Still on
Al Nassr's victory over Al Shabab kept their title hopes alive. The club is currently second, three points behind leaders Al Ittihad with two games remaining.
Ronaldo's arrival has been a major boost for Al Nassr, and the club has been one of the most entertaining teams in the SPL this season. Al Nassr has scored the most goals in the league, with 64, and has only conceded 21 goals.