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Saudi Pro League: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Questions Players’ Moves To ‘Lower Stage’1 min read

Saudi Pro League: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Questions Players’ Moves To ‘Lower Stage’<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">1</span> min read</span>

Zlatan Ibrahimovic applauds the crowd

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 511 club career goals before his retirement earlier this year

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says footballers who move to Saudi Arabia risk their legacies becoming about money rather than talent.

The Swede, 42, retired in June at AC Milan after a trophy-laden career.

The former Manchester United and Paris St-Germain striker says he received offers from China and Saudi Arabia.

“I think players that reach a certain level, they have to stop at a certain stage – the big stage,” he said.

High profile players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Riyad Mahrez, Karim Benzema and England midfielder Jordan Henderson have moved to Saudi Arabia in the last 12 months.

The Saudi Pro League has been on a mass recruitment drive since the start of 2023 and four of its top clubs – Al-Ahli, Al-Ittihad, Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr – were taken over by the state Public Investment Fund (PIF) which also owns Newcastle United earlier this year.

Having spent time playing for an array of Europe’s most prestigious clubs, Ibrahimovic joined MLS side LA Galaxy from United in 2018 before returning for a second spell with AC Milan, helping them win the title in 2021-22.

In his final season he only played four times and started one match, scoring one goal, following a series of injuries.