The Saudi Pro League (SPL), also known as the Roshn Saudi League (RSL) for sponsorship reasons, is the highest division of Saudi football. Since its inception in 1976, the league has been sponsored by various organizations, including Zain Group, Abdul Latif Jameel, and Roshn.
The Saudi Pro League is one of the wealthiest leagues in the world, and its clubs’ spending prowess was on full display during the summer transfer window of 2023.
This has sparked criticism from European club supporters, who claim that the Saudi teams are distorting the market by paying such high wages. The Saudi Pro League, on the other hand, is keen to become a major force in world football, and these big-money signings are seen as a means to that end.
14. Edouard Mendy (Al Ahli)
The Senegalese goalkeeper signed Al Ahli from Chelsea in July 2023. He is a Champions League winner and one of the top goalkeepers in the world. Edouard Mendy‘s annual salary at Al Ahli is £9.4 million (about $12 million), plus bonuses.
13. Seko Fofana (Al Nassr)
From Lens, the French midfielder moved to Al Nassr in August 2023. He is a skilled midfielder who has drawn interest from some of Europe’s top teams. Seko Fofana earns €15 million yearly, roughly £13.5 million or $16.5 million.
12. Marcelo Brozovic (Al Nassr)
The Croatian midfielder joined Al Nassr from Inter Milan in August 2023. He is a World Cup finalist and one of the best midfielders in the world. Marcelo Brozovic‘s salary at Al Nassr is €35 million per year. This is equivalent to $38 million, or £30 million.
The Portuguese midfielder joined Al Hilal from Wolves in July 2023. He is a gifted midfielder linked with several of Europe’s top clubs. Ruben Neves‘ pay at Al Hilal is rumored to be £300,000 weekly. This equates to $420,000 per week or $19.5 million per year.
10. Kalidou Koulibaly (Al Hilal)
The Senegalese defender joined Al Hilal from Chelsea in July 2023. He is a former Napoli captain and one of the top defenders in the world. Kalidou Koulibaly earns €30 million per year at Al Hilal. This equates to £25.6 million, or $31.5 million.
The Serbian midfielder joined Al Hilal from Lazio in July 2023. He is a gifted midfielder linked with several of Europe’s top clubs. Sergej Milinkovi-Savi is paid €20 million per year.
8. Jordan Henderson (Al-Ettifaq)
The English midfielder signed for Al-Ettifaq from Liverpool in July 2023. He is Liverpool’s captain and Premier League winner. Jordan Henderson‘s weekly salary at Al-Ettifaq is £700,000, or £36.4 million annually.
7. Riyad Mahrez (Al Ahli)
The Algerian winger joined Al Ahli from Manchester City in July 2023. He is a two-time Premier League winner and one of the best wingers in the world. His salary at Al Ahli is reportedly in the region of £750,000 to £865,000 weekly.
6. Roberto Firmino (Al Ahli)
Roberto Firmino, a highly skilled forward from Brazil, moved from Liverpool to Al Ahli in July 2023. During his time with Liverpool, Firmino achieved great success by winning both the Uefa Champions League and the Premier League titles. In recognition of his exceptional talents, Al Ahli has offered Firmino an impressive annual salary of £17 million.
5. N’Golo Kante (Al Ittihad)
The French midfielder signed for Al Ittihad from Chelsea in July 2023. He has two Premier League titles and a World Cup title. During a four-year contract, N’Golo Kante’s salary with Al Ittihad is €100 million (£86.2 million). It equates to a yearly salary of almost £21.5 million.
4. Sadio Mané (Al Nassr)
The Senegalese forward joined Al Nassr from Bayern Munich in August 2023. He is a two-time African Player of the Year and one of the top forwards in the world. Sadio Mane‘s wage at Al Nassr is £650,000 per week or £34 million per year.
3. Karim Benzema (Al Ittihad)
The French striker signed for Al Ittihad from Real Madrid in July 2023. He is one of the best attackers in the world, having won the Champions League five times. Karim Benzema‘s compensation with Al Ittihad is €100 million per season, plus a €20 million incentive to work as an ambassador for the 2030 World Cup, which Saudi Arabia hopes to host.
2. Neymar (Al Hilal)
The Brazilian forward joined Al Hilal from Paris Saint-Germain in July 2023. He is one of the most famous footballers in the world and has won the Champions League with Barcelona. Neymar‘s annual wage with Al Hilal is £138 million, or around $150 million.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr)
The Portuguese superstar signed Al Nassr from Manchester United in January 2023. He is the most expensive player in Saudi Pro League history. Cristiano Ronaldo‘s annual wage at Al Nassr is £177 million.
The Saudi Pro League has seen some of the biggest football stars in the world join its ranks. Neymar’s transfer to Al Hilal in 2023 marked a significant move for the league, with his popularity and previous success in the Champions League adding to its prestige.
Similarly, Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Al Nassr from Manchester United showcased the league’s ability to attract top talent and make record-breaking signings. With wages reaching astronomical figures, it is clear that the Saudi Pro League is becoming a destination of choice for global football superstars.