Odion Ighalo Claims Cristiano Ronaldo and Other Stars in Saudi League Play For Money, Not Passion

Odion Ighalo Claims Cristiano Ronaldo and Other Stars in Saudi League Play For Money, Not Passion

Robert Abong'o
updated at April 23, 2024 at 5:17 PM
In this article:
Odion Ighalo logo
O. Ighalo
Al Wehda Mecca logoFNigeria logo
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Saudi Professional League logo
KSA Professional League
Saudi Arabia
  • The Saudi Professional League has attracted several star players in the last two years
  • Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, is among those who have been lured from Europe
  • The Al-Wehda star claims even Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo does not play for passion

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Former Nigeria forward, Odion Ighalo, has claimed that he, along with other star players, including Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Saudi Pro League primarily for financial reasons.

The Al Wehda striker moved from Europe to Chang Chung Yatai in 2017, after donning the colours of Udinese, Lyn, Cesena, Watford and Granada.

His time at English club Watford was particularly noteworthy, as he helped them earn promotion to the Premier League from the Championship.

Al Wehda striker, Odion Ighalo (right) and Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo. Photos: Yasser Bakhsh.
Odion Ighalo (right) says players who move to the Saudi League, including Cristiano Ronaldo, go for the money. Photos: Yasser Bakhsh.
Source: Getty Images

The striker admitted to the driving force behind his move to Saudi Arabia, saying he played passionately for most of his career and is now making money.

"I’ve played for passion all my life, I have to play for money now. See the people going to Saudi Arabia; they are big players. Is Ronaldo still playing for passion? He has made over 100 times what I have in my life, but he still went to Saudi. Do you want to tell me that it is passion? No, it’s for money," he said in a recent interview with Oma TV, as reported by Soccernet.

During his time at the Hornets, Ighalo registered 40 goals and eleven assists in 100 appearances, commanding a weekly salary of €200,000.

As reported by Sky Sports, the 34-year-old moved to Manchester United on a six-month loan deal after spending a year in Shanghai. He then sealed a move to Al Shabaab, where he started earning €170,000.

Ighalo spends holiday in the Maldives

Sports Brief reported that Ighalo spent the international break in the Maldives, enjoying a well-deserved vacation after a few days off.

The forward has wowed fans with pictures of his lifestyle while holidaying in one of the world's most prominent tourism destinations.

Ighalo retired from the national team in 2019 after emerging as the top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Robert Abong'o photo
Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team