Benzema is a start…Messi, Yoriscante and others join Saudi rush

Cristiano Ronaldo is out, and so is Karim Benzema. Now the focus is on who will be the next player to head to Saudi Arabia.

Last season’s Saudi champions Al Ittihad officially announced the signing of Benzema on Sunday, with a whopping €400 million for a two-year contract. That’s about 56 billion won in Korean money.

Benzema won the Ballon d’Or, awarded to the world’s best footballer, just last year and has been a consistent performer, finishing in the top three in Spanish La Liga scoring in each of the last five seasons.

Benzema followed Ronaldo to Al Nasr in December last year. Saudi Arabia now has two former Ballon d’Or winners.먹튀검증

The rush for European stars to move to Saudi Arabia is also in full swing. Saudi Arabia is pouring a lot of money into football, with the government taking matters into its own hands.

As well as signing big names like Ronaldo and Benzema, the kingdom has won the right to host the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup, the 2027 Asian Cup, and is bidding for the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup.

Already, names are being thrown around in Europe that are predicted to go to Saudi Arabia. Lionel Messi is one of them. He is rumoured to be signing a two-year, €1.2 billion deal with Al-Hilal.

Other players on the shortlist include Luka Modric, Roberto Firmino, N’Golo Kante, Ilkay Gundogan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, and countless others. Even Son’s Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris has been offered three times his existing weekly wage by a Saudi Arabian team.

Most of these players are past their prime, but the list is as good as any in the world, and there are cautious predictions that sooner or later Saudi Arabia will be at the centre of world football.

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