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Roberto Firmino played his first game for Al-Ahli and fans were stunned by the "sunday league” conditions

Chris Byfield

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Roberto Firmino played his first game for Al-Ahli and fans were stunned by the "sunday league” conditions

Roberto Firmino’s first game for Al-Ahli has gone viral with fans marvelling at the state of the pitch.

After a hefty summer spend, Saudi Pro League side Al-Ahli boasts one of the most talented forward lines in world football.

Last week it was announced that Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin had signed for the club on a three-year deal, to complete a front three that also includes Riyad Mahrez and Firmino.

Al-Ahli, who are among four leading Saudi Arabian clubs to were taken over by the country's Public Investment Fund this summer, also boast Chelsea’s Champions League winning keeper Edouard Mendy in their ranks.

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With a spate of Europe’s top talent having moved to the Saudi Pro League in the past six months, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante, interest in the division from European audiences has grown.

And last month, as Al-Ahli were gearing up for the new season, they took on Austrian second tier side USV Stuhlfelden, where Firmino made his debut.

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The Brazilian scored twice in the game as Al-Ahli claimed an 18-0 win, with footage having since emerged. Fans are now marvelling at the state of the pitch and the size of the stadium, which is the home of USV.

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One fan wrote: “Played on better pitches on a Sunday morning,” while another said: “Looks like a year 11 away day pitch.”

Another wrote: “I’ve been to teams in the 10th tier with bigger grounds than that.”

Meanwhile, a fourth person said: “[He] is playing Sunday League football.”

Of course, once the season starts Al-Ahli will play their home games at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium, which has a capacity of 62٬345, some 8,000 more than Anfield.

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However, last season the club managed an average attendance of just 9,113, as per Transfermarkt. That should increase dramatically with the arrival of some of Europe’s brightest talent.

Featured Image Credit: @_wvxs Via Twitter

Topics: Roberto Firmino, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Pro League, Fan Reactions

Chris Byfield
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