“Financial Goals.. Are Not Important” – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Teammate Says Competition in Saudi Clubs Is Higher Than European Teams

Published 08/18/2023, 3:35 AM EDT

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via Reuters

It’s not all about the money, or the glitz and glamor, or is it? The SPL has come under the microscope of the world’s top soccer pundits, journalists, experts, and fans alike. Most of them reckon that the biggest players from Europe and across the world are only enticed to move to Saudi Arabia by the money on offer. However, a teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo seems to think otherwise and has vociferously spoken out about the subject.

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The Saudi Pro League started a domino effect of several transfers of Europe’s top players after signing CR7 in early 2023 and hasn’t looked back.

A teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo claimed a move to Saudi is not for the ‘money’

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It’s no secret that the SPL has been in the firing line and has been berated in several reports in the media and on podcasts, where top media persons and podcasters have criticized players for moving to the country and its new league. The majority of them suggest that monetary motives are at the forefront of the transfers.

But, Al Nassr midfielder and Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate Anderson Talisca, or simply Talisca, has suggested that the SPL is the best league in Asia and that the competition is as fierce as it is in Europe. According to this statement by Talisca on 9NFCBALL, he seems hungry to play in Asia and also suggests that not all players are flocking to the league to deepen their pockets.

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When asked in an interview by the club’s announcer about whether playing in Asia is only for “money”, Talisca said, It is not true. The financial goals for many players are not important. Football here is the same as in Europe, and vice versa, it has become more difficult here. You know, there are many Asian clubs, and the competition is also stronger than European clubs.”

Talisca’s words seem to echo that people are unnecessarily generalizing players who’ve moved to the SPL and are forgetting that they’re there to play soccer. Recently, a report suggested that the SPL could possibly have a team in the UEFA Champions League. Here’s how.

The Saudi Pro League looks to venture into Europe

This statement from the Brazilian Al Nassr player comes shortly after news broke out that the SPL and the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the PIF, have approached UEFA with the idea of possibly having a Saudi Pro League team in the UEFA Champions League. With Brazilian superstar Neymar joining Al Hilal earlier this week, the SPL is currently making some serious waves, and perhaps changing the notions of Asian soccer all over the world, despite the criticism.

via Imago

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UEFA could agree to allow a team from the Saudi Pro League to feature in the Champions League. But that decision aside, this is certainly a huge win for Asian soccer & its fans. Furthermore, it will go a long way in improving the level of soccer and competition amongst clubs in the continent.

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What do you think about Talisca’s comments on the players that opted for a move to Saudi Arabia rather than staying in Europe? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Gaurav Krishnan

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With extensive knowledge & over 8+ years of experience as a soccer journalist, Gaurav knows the intricacies of the beautiful game inside out and is now working with EssentiallySports. He played as a No.10 on the pitch during his younger years, modeling his game around his idol Zinedine Zidane.
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