The huge salary paid by Saudi Arabia did not bring happiness.
Spain’s reported on the 8th (Korea Standard Time) under the title of “Saudi Arabia: Money Does Not Bring Happiness” about a top player who regrets going to Saudi Arabia six months after his transfer.
Last year, many of the top players in Europe headed to Saudi Arabia, which guarantees a large salary. Starting with Cristiano Ronaldo, players who are about to finish their careers, such as Karim Benzema, Jordan Henderson, and Roberto Firmino, to players who have just risen in their heyday, such as Sergei Milinkovic-Savic and Huweng Neves.
One player is sick and tired of living in Saudi Arabia. According to British media, Henderson receives an annual salary of 40 million euros (about 57.4 billion won) from Al Etihad, but he wants to return to England. He explained that he has to stay in Saudi Arabia for two years to get tax benefits, but he has decided to give up his taxes and remaining salary.
The reasons for his decision were the very hot and humid climate, the lack of opportunities to play, and the complex conditions the team experienced.
Firmino, who left Liverpool and signed an annual salary of 20 million euros (about 28.7 billion won) until 2026, is also seeking to return to England. He wanted to adjust smoothly by scoring a hat-trick in his debut match, but has had no goal since then. He has played as a substitute for eight times in the past nine games, losing his chance.
Firmino suffered the tragedy of losing his father to a heart attack during a family trip to Dubai in November last year. This incident is also one of the reasons why he failed to adjust to Saudi Arabia.
According to French media, Ballon d’Or winner Kareem Benzema also regrets moving to Saudi Arabia. In the match between Al-Itihad-Al-Nasr, which was held in the 18th round of the 2023-2024 Saudi professional league held at the end of last year, Benzema’s team, Al-Itihad, lost 2-5. Benzema, who started full time while Al-Nasr’s Ronaldo and Mane each scored two goals, was silent.
Benzema has been somewhat sluggish with nine goals in 15 games this season, and he even closed his Instagram account after losing the game badly. Local media reported that Benzema could leave. Benzema will receive an annual salary of 200 million euros through a contract until 2026.