Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival on the shores of Saudi Arabia has brought imminent attention to the country’s football league, the Saudi Pro League. Al Nassr, Ronaldo’s new employers, have been on the lips of football fans all across the globe, having made the biggest acquisition in Asian football history. 

Although it is well known that Gulf nations are willing to pump enormous wealth into European football, the money involved in bringing on the biggest global sporting icons to Saudi Arabia continues to raise eyebrows. 

Ronaldo is all set to earn £173 million per year at Al Nassr and has signed a contract until 2025. The footballer is also expected to remain the ambassador of the country, who are aiming to host the FIFA World Cup 2030. 

Besides welcoming Ronaldo, the country also made news in the world of football after acquiring the ownership of English Premier League club Newcastle United in October 2021. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, currently owns the Magpies. 

So who are the individuals backing Al Nassr, allowing them to make such massive investments in the world of football?

Al Nassr owners

Al Nassr has close ties with the royal family of the country. Prince Khalid bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz is reportedly the main man behind Al Nassr’s major funding in football over the last few years, which saw them acquire some prominent names in European football. 

Musalli Al-Muammar is the president of the club and was elected by Al Nassr board members in 2021 having previously been president of the Saudi Pro League for nearly two years. He was also the preferred choice of Prince Khalid to take up this responsibility.

The club’s history dates back to 1955 when it was co-founded by brothers Hussein Al-Jabaa and Zaid Al-Jabaa. After operating as an amateur club for six years, former Saudi Prince Abdul Rahman bin Saud Al Saud got involved and the club turned professional.

They began playing in the second division of the Saudi Professional League and were promoted to the top tier in 1963. They won their first league title in 1974-75 and went on to win two more in the next six seasons, making them a formidable team in the country. 

Al Nassr has won 27 professional trophies overall, which includes nine league titles. Ronaldo’s arrival will strengthen their chances of adding more silverware to their cabinet, who are already in contention for a domestic treble in the 2022-23 season. 

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