The Saudi Pro League has garnered significant attention this summer due to its notable transfer activities, drawing superstar players to the Middle East. Notably, Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr earlier in 2023 set the stage for a flurry of transfer investments across state-supported clubs, including Al Nassr, Al Ittihad, Al Hilal, and Al Ahli. This transfer spree included stars like Karim Benzema and Neymar, adding to the league’s allure.
Despite these high-profile moves, the Saudi Pro League still faces a journey to match the stature of established football leagues. According to OPTA’s 2023 Power Rankings, the league ranks 36th globally among domestic leagues, trailing the likes of the MLS and European leagues that dominate the top rankings. While the Saudi Pro League aspires to global recognition, it currently sits outside the elite echelons of football leagues.
The English Premier League continues to lead the Opta Power Rankings, setting a benchmark with an average Opta Power Rating of 87.1, while other leagues like the German Bundesliga also maintain competitive positions. As the Saudi Pro League seeks to raise its international profile, it must contend with strong competition in its quest to climb the Opta Power Rankings and compete with the world’s most renowned football leagues.