- Jul 24, 2018
Kauli hiyo inafuatia Winga kutoka Algeria, Riyad Mahrez kujiunga na Al-Ahli ambapo Pep ameeleza kuwa uwekezaji wa Matajiri hao wa Mafuta unaolenga kujenga Ligi ya kipekee huko Uarabuni unaleta changamoto mpya na ngumu katika Soka la Ulaya.
Pep amesema "Saudi Arabia imebadilisha soko, wakati Cristiano Ronaldo anaondoka hakuna aliyefikiria kuwa wachezaji wengi wa juu zaidi wangecheza ligi ya Saudia, Vilabu vyetu vinapaswa kujiandaa sana kama hali hii itaendelea".
Hivi karibuni Ligi ya Saudi Pro imekuwa kivutio kwa wachezaji wa Ulaya tangu Ronaldo alipohamia Al Nassr, Januari 2023, akifuatiwa na mastaa wengine wakubwa kama Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante na Jordan Henderson waliotimkia Nchini humo.
Saudi Arabia has changed football's transfer market in their bid to "create a strong league", Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Saturday after Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez left the Premier League club to join Al-Ahli.
Mahrez, who scored 78 goals and made 59 assists for City in a trophy-laden spell at the club, on Friday joined the Saudi Pro League side for a reported sum of 35 million euros ($38.55 million) plus five million in add-ons.
Asked if he had wanted Mahrez to remain at City, Guardiola told reporters: "Definitely. I enjoyed as a manager to be with him. I had a special relationship with him.
"Saudi Arabia has changed the market. A few months ago when Cristiano (Ronaldo) was the only one to go, no one thought this many top, top players would play in the Saudi league," the Spanish manager added, speaking before Sunday's pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid.
"In the future there will be more and that's why clubs need to be aware of what is happening. Riyad got an incredible offer and that's why we could not say don't do it."
The Saudi Pro league has become an attractive destination for Europe-based players since Ronaldo moved to Al Nassr in January, with Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema, World Cup winner N'Golo Kante and ex-Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson also moving to Saudi.