Saudi Arabia is looking to elevate its soccer league to the global stage, and it seems they are not holding back in their pursuit of top-tier talent. In a move that has sent shockwaves through the football world, veteran manager Jose Mourinho has joined the board of directors of Saudi Arabia’s Mahd Sports Academy. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself approved the move.
With such high-profile appointments, the country is making a clear statement about its intentions to establish itself as a major player in the sport.
Saudi’s Crown Prince has given the green light for appointments to the Mahd Sports Academy’s board of directors. The board will have a duration of three years. The academy will be chaired by Saudi Minister of Sports Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal.
According to a report by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the board will also include representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Education.
Along with Jose Mourinho, the board of directors of Saudi’s Mahd Sports Academy will feature several prominent figures in the world of sports. Other members include Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar, former soccer player Ioan Lupescu, Abdulaziz Ahmad Baeshen, and Dr. Maha bint Ahmed Al-Juffali.
Latest soccer transfers to Saudi
The Saudi Pro League transfer window has become the talk of the football world this summer. This is because players with high profiles are making moves to Saudi clubs.
Liverpool’s Fabinho is the latest to join the trend, with his move to Al-Ittihad for £40 million ($51 million).
He will be in good company with Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, and Edouard Mendy who have also signed for Saudi Pro League clubs this summer. Moreover, Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota are among the other players who have made the move.
Furthermore, the league’s ambitions are clear, having also secured the services of Cristiano Ronaldo, among others, in recent years. Lately, Algerian international Riyad Mahrez has completed his transfer from Manchester City to Al Ahli, a Saudi Arabian club. City reportedly agreed to the fee, which was worth up to £30 million ($38.25 million) for the deal.
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