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Saudi Pro League announce major rule changes after Cristiano Ronaldo's comments

Saudi Pro League announce major rule changes after Cristiano Ronaldo's comments

The Saudi Pro League has confirmed two new rule changes will be introduced in order to develop the league.

The Saudi Pro League have announced two major rule changes as they look to continue their splash in football.

The Saudi top flight are currently causing utter chaos in the transfer market after splashing out huge money on some of the biggest names in European football.

Cristiano Ronaldo came in as the poster boy when he signed for Al Nassr on an outrageous £173 million-a-year contract in December 2022 and has been joined by a plethora of top players.

Karim Benzema, Ruben Neves, N'Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly, Marcelo Brozovic, Edouard Mendy, Jota, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Roberto Firmino have all signed on the dotted line, with plenty more set to follow.

The majority of players are signing for clubs controlled by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, who are investing serious cash in order to grow the game in the country.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

They are showing their intent with a series of statement signings but the goal is to inspire the next generation of players in Saudi.

And in line with their strategy, the Saudi Pro League have confirmed regulations which will be in place for the integration of young players.

Starting from the upcoming 2023/24 campaign, players aged 16 will be eligible to play in the division. Previously players had to be 18 in order to play in the first-team but the alteration is being made in order to adjust the age range considerably.

In addition, from the 2025/26 season, teams will only be allowed 25 senior players and the remaining 10 members of the squad must be under the age of 21.

Currently there is a cap on how many foreign players teams are allowed in their ranks, with eight the maximum number of overseas stars allowed.

There has also been an increase in teams in the league, rising from 16 to 18.

The developments come after Ronaldo claimed the league will soon be better than the Turkish Super Lig and Eredivisie while explaining why he will not be returning to Europe.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

"I'm 38-years-old, also European football has lost lot of quality," he told reporters after Al Nassr were beaten 5-0 by Celta Vigo.

"The only league that for me has a lot of quality and is at a higher level than all the others is the Premier League.

"The Spanish league does not have that great quality. The Portuguese league is a good league, but it is not a top, top league.

"The German league I think has also lost a lot. I'm sure I won't play in Europe again. I want to play in Saudi Arabia.

"In one year, more and more top players will come to Saudi. In a year the Saudi league will overtake the Turkish league and Dutch league."

Featured Image Credit: Getty & Saudi Pro League

Topics: Saudi Pro League, Cristiano Ronaldo, Saudi Arabia