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SAUDI PRO LEAGUE

REVEALED! Ighalo forced out of Saudi’s Al Hilal to pave way for Messi in aborted transfer deal

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Inside the luxury £173m jet Saudi stars use to travel as ex-Man Utd star Ighalo shows incoming stars what to expectr Credit: Instagram/@alhilal

Former Super Eagles’ hitman, Odion Ighalo has revealed that he was forced out of his Saudi Arabia’s club, Al Hilal to make space for Lionel Messi.

As it turned out eventually, Messi opted for the America’s Major League Soccer, MLS. Ighalo who scored 42 goals in 58 games for Al Hilal across two seasons made the revelation to UK tabloid, The Sun.

It was in similar situation that Cameroon’s captain, Vincent Aboubakar was offloaded by Al Nassr to make room for Cristiano Ronaldo earlier. Had Messi joined Al Hilal, the lingering but now nascent rivalry with Ronaldo would have been renewed.

Now without a club, Ighalo had previously played for Al Shabab where he scored 22 goals in 32 games. The race for Messi’s  signature was one of the biggest transfers this summer, as his PSG contract ran down.

According to another publication, Foot Mercato, Messi was offered a staggering £1billion over two years by Al-Hilal.

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“I’m shocked [Lionel] Messi didn’t go to Saudi Arabia because it was part of why my contract was not being extended,” The Sun of UK reported that he told Germany-based Nigerian journalist, Oma Akatugba.

“I thought it was a done deal. The money they were offering him in Saudi [Arabia] was crazy.

“He was going to earn twice what [Cristiano] Ronaldo was earning. I was shocked he didn’t go there. He chose Miami.”

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

SAUDI PRO LEAGUE

Peseiro set to return to Saudi Arabia for petro-dollar job

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Know The Nigerian Coach Jose Peseiro -

Former Super Eagles’ coach, Jose Peseiro is on the line to coach Saudi Arabia Pro League first tier team, Al Riyadh.

Information from the oil rich country indicate that Peseiro who had previously coached the Saudi Arabia national team is one of the two being considered to replace Odair Hellmann at the Saudi club which placed 14th at the end of last season.

It is gathered that Peseiro has a competitor in Spanish cooach, Javier Pereira who is also lineup for the job.  

Peseiro had previously managed Al Hilal in 2006 and later coached the Saudi national team during their 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

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SAUDI PRO LEAGUE

Ronaldo breaks Saudi League’s single-season scoring record

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Saudi Pro League - Al Nassr v Al Ittihad - Al-Awwal Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - May 27, 2024 Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Stringer

Al Nasr’s Cristiano Ronaldo capped his first full Saudi Pro League season in style as he broke the record for the most goals scored in one campaign on Monday.

The Portuguese 39-year-old scored a brace in his side’s 4-2 win over Al Ittihad on the final matchday to bring his league tally this season to 35 goals.

The previous record was held by former Al Nasr forward and Moroccan international Abderrazak Hamdallah, who scored 34 goals in 2018-19.

Ronaldo, who played for Sporting, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, joined Al Nasr in January 2023.

-Reuters

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SAUDI PRO LEAGUE

Ighalo’s former club, Al-Hilal secure Saudi League title

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Saudi Pro League - Al Hilal v Al Hazem - Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - May 11, 2024 Al Hilal fans display banners in the stands as the celebrate after winning the Saudi Pro League REUTERS/Stringer

Undefeated Al-Hilal won a record-extending 19th Saudi Pro League title on Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Al-Hazem to reclaim the trophy from Al-Ittihad who won it last season.

Jorge Jesus’ side hold a 12-point advantage over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr in second with three matches remaining.

Aleksandar Mitrovic gave Al-Hilal the lead from the penalty spot after 15 minutes but Faiz Selemani netted the equaliser for Al-Hazem in the 34th minute.

However, Jesus’s side took the lead again with an own goal from Ahmed Al-Juwaid in the 39th minute.

Mitrovic scored again in first-half stoppage time and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored three minutes later to make it 4-1.

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Al-Hilal are chasing the treble having clinched the Saudi Super Cup title in April, and having reached the Saudi King’s Cup final where they will play Al-Nassr.

-Reuters

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