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Saudi Pro League round-up: Messi still welcome, reveals league chief
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Lionel Messi won his eighth Ballon d'Or in October
Lionel Messi won his eighth Ballon d'Or in October

The spending by Saudi Pro League clubs was one of the major talking points of the summer transfer window, with the likes of Neymar, Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Riyad Mahrez joining Cristiano Ronaldo in the Middle East.

With so many stars now plying their trade there, LiveScore is the place to be for all the big talking points.

Happy to welcome him

Saudi Pro League sporting director Michael Emenalo would be delighted to welcome Lionel Messi to the competition, despite being snubbed for Major League Soccer earlier this year.

Emenalo said: "The reasons that he ended up in MLS is something that I don’t have answers to.

"If he decides next season that he wants to come here, we will be happy to welcome him."

Serious consideration

Inter Miami star Lionel Messi claims he "thought a lot" about a move to Saudi Arabia before his switch to Major League Soccer.

The 36-year-old told TIME: "It is true that later I was thinking a lot about going to the Saudi league, where I know the country and they have created a very powerful competition that can become an important league in the near future.

"It was Saudi Arabia or MLS, and both options seemed very interesting to me."

Ron a roll

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning 40-yard lob as part of a quick-fire second-half double to help Al-Nassr beat Al-Akhdoud 3-0.

The Portugal star chested down a loose ball and expertly lofted home from distance in the 80th minute after opposition goalkeeper Paulo Vitor raced out to clear the initial danger.

Ronaldo's eye-catching finish was his 15th goal of the season and came just three minutes after he had doubled his side's lead.

Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr last January
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr last January

Thought about it

Bernardo Silva says he considered a move to Saudi Arabia in the summer but chose to remain at Manchester City after experiencing their thrilling Champions League triumph last term.

He told RTP: "I would lie if I said I didn't think [about the big-money offers from Saudi Arabia].

"What interested me was the heat of playing a Champions League semi-final, listening to the [Etihad] stadium going wild after scoring against Real Madrid in the semi-finals or when we won the final against Inter [Milan]. I didn't want to give up on that."

Not Inter it

Cristiano Ronaldo and  Lionel Messi were repotedly set to lock horns next year
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were repotedly set to lock horns next year

Old foes Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were believed to be on course for a final showdown in 2024.

Saudi entertainment minister Turki Alalshikh announced that Inter Miami would face off against Al-Nassr and Neymar's Al-Hilal in February.

But the MLS outfit released a statement denying the claims — which has since been deleted.


Saudi Pro League (SPL)Al Nassr FCAl-EttifaqAl-HilalAl IttihadAl AhliDamac FCAbhaAl-TaawounAl Fateh FCAl FeihaAl-WehdaAl KhaleejAl AkhdoudAl-RaedAl RiyadhAl ShababCristiano RonaldoBernardo Silva
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