Saudi clubs spent $957 million on transfers during the summer transfer window, more than four of Europe's top leagues. Only the Premier League spent more than the Saudi Pro League. With the Saudi Pro League's transfer window done and closed — Salah is staying in Liverpool after all — let's look at the Saudi Pro League's highest-earning players to date.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nassr, $216 million per year
It's no surprise Cristiano Ronaldo is first on the list. After all, the Portuguese striker is the reason why so many high-profile players have left Europe's top five leagues to play in the Middle East.
Al Nassr pays Ronaldo approximately $213 million per year. And he's already paid them back by winning the Arab Club Champions Cup final — he scored two goals.
Karim Benzema, Al Ittihad, $213 million per year
The 35-year-old now makes $213 million annually, roughly $4.1 million weekly. Just another W for the Benz.
Neymar, Al Hilal, $161 million per year
Already the world's highest-paid transfer when he left Barcelona for PSG in 2017, it's no surprise the Brazilian playmaker wanted to try his talents elsewhere. Of course, it helped that CR7 paved the path.
“I believe Cristiano Ronaldo started all of this and everybody called him ‘crazy,' and this and that. Today, you see the league grow more and more,” said Neymar on his decision to sign for Al Hilal in the summer of 2023.
The 31-year-old takes home $161 million per season in the Middle East, not to mention the extra $500k per Instagram post he rakes in for promoting the Arab country.
N'Golo Kante, Al Ittihad, $108 million per year
Finally, one of the good guys! World Cup winner N'Golo Kante headed to Al Ittihad on a three-year deal in June 2023. The midfielder now takes home $108 million per year.
Kante bought Belgian third-division side Royal Excelsior Virton with the new funds. No wonder he's always smiling.
Fabinho, Al Ittihad, $45.3 million per year
It's no surprise three of the five best-paid players in Saudi club suit up for Al Ittihad. The club wants to maintain its primacy as the most successful club in Saudi Arabia. Former Liverpool ace Fabinho joins the list at number five.
The Brazilian gets paid $45.3 million per season at Al Ittihad. His most ardent supporter even gave him a new Rolex after his debut match for the side. 🤷♂️
Highest-earning players in the Saudi Pro League for 2023
|Salary Per Year