Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that the Saudi Pro League can eventually become a top-five soccer league in the world. The Portugal superstar joined Al-Nassr in January after departing Manchester United by mutual consent. He is reportedly earning around $75 million per season to play in the Middle East.
“Step by step, I think this league will be in the top five leagues in the world,” proclaimed Ronaldo. “But they need time, they need players and infrastructure. I believe that this country has amazing potential, amazing people and the league will be great.”
Premier League dominates soccer list of richest clubs
Nevertheless, there are not currently any Saudi Pro League clubs in Deloitte’s Football Money chart. The financial company compiled its list of the richest teams in the world, which is based on revenue. This includes television rights, endorsements, transfers, and matchday ticket sales.
The Premier League predictably dominated the money charts. In fact, more than half of the 20-team chart consisted of English teams. Every ‘Big Six” Premier League side featured in the top 10 of Deloitte’s list. Perhaps most interesting though is the fact that three teams trying to avoid relegation made the top 20. Leicester City, Leeds, and Everton mirrored their Premier League table positions as they all sit in 17th, 18th, and 19th place on the list.
Italian, Portuguese champs fail to make list
Along with the Premier League’s dominance, there were also some compelling omissions. Italian duo Napoli and Roma failed to make the money chart. Both clubs were previously listed in Forbes’ money list in recent years. Napoli collected their first Serie A title this season for the first time since 1990. Other notable exclusions also include Portuguese clubs Benfica and Porto, as well as Dutch side Ajax.
20 richest soccer clubs based on revenue
- Manchester City (Premier League) – $764 million
- Real Madrid (LaLiga)- $746 million
- Liverpool (Premier League) – $733 million
- Manchester United (Premier League) – $719 million
- Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue 1) – $683 million
- Bayern Munich (Bundesliga) – $682 million
- Barcelona (LaLiga) – $666 million
- Chelsea (Premier League) – $593 million
- Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League) – $545 million
- Arsenal (Premier League) – $453 million
- Juventus (Serie A) – $418 million
- Atletico Madrid (LaLiga) – $411 million
- Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga) – $372 million
- Inter Milan (Serie A) – $322 million
- West Ham (Premier League) – $314 million
- AC Milan (Serie A) – $276 million
- Leicester City (Premier League) – $262 million
- Leeds United (Premier League) – $233 million
- Everton (Premier League) – $223 million
- Newcastle United (Premier League) – $220 million
PHOTO: IMAGO / Xinhua