Saudi Arabia and the United States, new sunset destinations

Many players over the age of 30 have found a new destination to continue enjoying the sport on a lower media level

In Europe, without it being a secret and the numbers show it, there are the best leagues on the planet.

The media world often obsesses over what is seen on the pitch and regularly ends up weakening the player both physically and mentally.

Proof of this is the decision made by Lionel Messi to go to a calmer environment and without much stress. Although he did not want to wait until the last minute for FC Barcelona, ​​the Argentine was pleased with the decision to go to the United States and play for Inter Miami, in order to find greater family stability.

“I’m in a moment where I want to defocus a bit, think more about my family. As I’ve been saying lately, I’ve had two years in which the family was so bad that I didn’t enjoy it,” the 35-year-old Argentine striker recalled in an interview with El Mundo. Deportivo, weeks ago.

Messi was not the only one who made this decision. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the doors to Saudi Arabia and since then many clubs have tried to secure important contracts thanks to its astronomical financial offers. The Portuguese will receive in his two-year contract about $ 200 million per season. Well above the $60 million the Argentine is likely to earn in the United States.

Both countries are in a quarrel to be able to get players with a long history in order to boost their leagues, improve television contracts and achieve greater exposure of the image in the world. Throughout history, the United States has led the way in terms of signing superstars.

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A large number of players who have passed through the top teams in Europe have managed to play at least one match in Major League Soccer (MLS). Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Los Angeles Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York City), Ricardo Kaka dos Santos (Orlando City), Andrea Pirlo (New York City), Steven Gerrard (Los Angeles Galaxy), David Villa (NYC), Wayne Rooney (DC United) ), Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact), Carlos Vela (LA FC), Javier ‘Chcharito’ Hernández (LA Galaxy), Gareth Bale (LA FC), Lorenzo Insigne (Toronto FC) or Giorgio Chiellini (LA FC) are just some. One of the newest names to come to the United States.

Compared to Saudi Arabia, the list is just beginning. The last to join this departure was French Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante, who will play next season with Al-Ittihad. Kante, 32, signed a contract just two days ago and will play in Jeddah until 2027, with an approximate salary of $25 million per season.

They weren’t the only ones lured by the big economic offers from Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have shown particular interest in the English Premier League and have their eyes set on as many as four Chelsea players. The former Kante was associated with Kalidou Coulibaly, Hakim Ziyech and Edward Mendy with Al-Hilal, Al-Nasr and Al-Ahly, respectively.

It is worth noting that the England national team is looking to get rid of several players, including Kai Havertz, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount on the starting ramp.

Not only have players in the final stages of their careers been linked to clubs in Saudi Arabia or the United States. Ruben Neves, the 26-year-old Portuguese, has been in Barcelona’s orbit since January, however, according to various media outlets, he has already promised to sign with Al-Hilal for approximately $55 million that Wolverhampton will receive. Currently he has his permit.

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At the beginning of the year, Neves entered into an agreement with Barcelona, ​​\u200b\u200bbut due to the financial problems of the Spanish club, the midfielder chose the offer from the Middle East.

Another feature is that within MLS there is a control for signing important players, called franchise player. Each team in the league can have up to three players in its ranks who are paid outside the salary cap, while the other team must referee a salary of less than $5.2 million.

This is a barrier for MLS when it comes to signing some players, as they won’t be able to offer them a $1 million contract like the ones the Saudis are offering. But some footballers don’t take money into account and prefer another experience, as in the cases of Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

The two players will both be free on June 30 after not continuing with Barcelona. Saudi clubs offered great contracts to both Spaniards, but according to the media and journalist specializing in the matter, Fabrizio Romano, Busquets will be a player for Inter Miami in the coming days, while Alba is in talks with David Beckham and Jorge Club. Diamonds.

With the approaching date of the 2026 World Cup in the United States and the selection of the venue for the 2030 edition in which Saudi Arabia is a candidate, both countries intend to bring the largest number of personalities to their respective leagues so that in the face of a fair World Cup, it has greater visibility and is more attractive to the fans.

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