Saudi Pro League: Neymar, Benzema, Mahrez - which players have joined Saudi teams this summer?

Neymar holds up an Al-Hilal shirt after signing
Neymar's move to Al-Hilal is worth about 90m euros (£77.6m) plus add-ons

With the transfer window in Saudi Arabia now closed we take a look at who has made the switch this summer.

Saudi Pro League teams have made many headlines this summer, with stars like Neymar, Karim Benzema and Riyad Mahrez joining Cristiano Ronaldo in the country.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund recently took over four of the country's top teams - Al-Ittihad, Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal and Al-Ahli - while the other 14 top-flight clubs have some big-name players too.

So many players - and managers - have recently moved to Saudi Arabia, that it's hard to keep up.

Here's an easy guide to which stars are playing for which clubs.


Abha, from the city of the same name, were playing in the third tier as recently as 2017-18 before winning back-to-back promotions. They have never won a major trophy.

They are managed by Czeslaw Michniewicz, who was Poland's boss at last winter's World Cup in Qatar, and their biggest name is 30-year-old striker Karl Toko Ekambi, who signed from Lyon in August.

Former Paris St-Germain and West Brom midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak and ex-AC Milan goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu have also signed this summer.


Edouard Mendy
Edouard Mendy left Chelsea for Al-Ahli this summer

Al-Ahli are one of the country's biggest teams, and one of the four taken over by the PIF recently. The three-time champions were in the second tier last season but went up as champions. The Jeddah side, who share a ground with Al-Ittihad, are still looking for a manager.

Al-Ahli have been busy attracting talent from the Premier League this summer, having signed French winger Allan Saint-Maximin from Newcastle for an undisclosed fee and paid £30m deal to bring Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez to the club.

Ex-Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino and former Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy are their other two biggest signings this summer. Ezgjan Alioski played in the Premier League for Leeds.

Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie arrived from Barcelona, Turkey defender Merih Demiral has joined from Atalanta and Brazil defender Roger Ibanez agreed a move from Roma.


Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard is managing in his third country after success at Rangers and the opposite at Aston Villa

Former Rangers and Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard will manage Al-Ettifaq this season, with England and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson joining him after completing a deal worth £12m plus add-ons.

Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum also reunites with ex-Liverpool team-mate Henderson after agreeing a switch from Paris St-Germain, while former Lyon striker Moussa Dembele is set to lead the line.

Scotland defender Jack Hendry has signed from Club Bruges, the 28-year-old having also spent a period last season on loan in Italy with Cremonese.

Forward Robin Quaison is a Sweden international.

Their last silverware was in the 1980s.


Al-Fateh's only title came back in 2013. They are managed by former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, who was appointed in July to replace former Blackburn Rovers midfielder Georgios Donis, who has taken over Al-Wehda.

Their most notable player is ex-Barcelona winger Cristian Tello, who won one cap for Spain, and former Lyon centre-back Jason Denayer has joined from Shabab Al-Ahli.


Al-Fayha won the Saudi title in 2017 and the King Cup in 2022. Their manager is former Yugoslavia international Vuk Rasovic. Their Al Majma'ah Sports City stadium, with a 7,000 capacity, is the smallest in the league.

Zambia forward Fashion Sakala, who scored 24 goals for Rangers, and ex-Everton winger Henry Onyekuru both signed in August.

Veteran goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic is a former Serbia international and has played for Wigan and Nottingham Forest. Striker Milan Pavkov also played for Serbia, although he was sent off against Germany in his only cap.


Al-Hazem, who were promoted last season, have never won a major trophy. Boss Filipe Gouveia played for an managed a host of Portuguese teams.

They are one of the few teams in the league without any well-known players. Goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen has played for Tunisia.


Kalidou Koulibaly
Kalidou Koulibaly left Chelsea after just one season

Al-Hilal have won a record four Asian Champions Leagues and 18 Saudi titles. Ex-Benfica boss Jorge Jesus replaced former Oxford manager Ramon Diaz this summer.

They made a splash on 15 August when they signed Brazilian superstar Neymar from Paris St-Germain for a reported 90m euros (£77.6m), while also acquiring Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic from Fulham in a reported £50m deal.

Another PIF-owned club, they also spent £47m this summer to sign Wolves captain Ruben Neves and also brought in Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea, former Barcelona player Malcom from Zenit St Petersburg and Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic for big fees.

Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou is also in the team.


Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema is the current Ballon d'Or holder

Al-Ittihad - also owned by PIF - are Al-Hilal's big rivals in a derby known as Saudi's Clasico. They are the defending champions, with ex-Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo leading them to last season's title. Scot Ian Cathro is one of Nuno's first-team coaches.

Formed in 1927, they are Saudi Arabia's oldest football club.

They were one of the biggest movers this summer, signing Real Madrid's Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante, formerly of Chelsea, plus £25m Celtic forward Jota.

They join ex-Brazil keeper Marcelo Grohe, former West Brom defender Ahmed Hegazi and Brazilian midfielder Igor Coronado, who played for Banbury United in 2012 after coming through the MK Dons youth set-up.

The club has also completed a deal for Brazil midfielder Fabinho from Liverpool.


Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the only household names in the league last season

Nine-time champions Al-Nassr beat their league rivals to worldwide headlines by several months when they signed five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in January after his Manchester United exit. He scored 14 goals as they finished second in the Pro League.

Ronaldo's fellow Portuguese Luis Castro replaced Rudi Garcia as boss this summer, and they are another PIF-owned club.

Bayern Munich winger Sadio Mane, Inter Milan captain Marcelo Brozovic, Man Utd full-back Alex Telles and Lens midfielder Seko Fofana also made the move recently, as well as Ronaldo's Portugal team-mate Otavio, who joined from Porto.

Spain defender Aymeric Laporte then followed from Man City, joining ex-Arsenal keeper David Ospina and ex-Benfica forward Talisca. Saudi international Mukhtar Ali played for England at Under-16 and U17 level.


Al-Okhdood, who have never won a major trophy, were in the third tier just five years ago. Their manager Jorge Mendonca was Reading's assistant boss from 2018 to 2019.

The Najran-based team have no household names, with veteran Brazilian goalkeeper Paulo Vitor joining from Portuguese side Chaves this summer.


Another one of the smaller teams in the top flight, Al-Raed have no significant silverware and are managed by ex-Shakhtar Donetsk boss Igor Jovicevic. They share a ground with Buraidah rivals Al-Taawoun.

Their Brazilian defender Pablo Santos has played in the top flights in Portugal, Russia and Turkey.


Al-Riyadh's best season was in 1993-94, when they finished second in the league and won the Crown Prince Cup. They were promoted last season and have just hired Belgian manager Yannick Ferrera.

Goalkeeper Martin Campana has won nine caps for Uruguay, while former Southampton forward Juanmi is on loan from Real Betis.


Former Ajax and Sporting Lisbon boss Marcel Keizer was appointed as the new manager of six-time champions Al-Shabab in July.

Former Valencia and Argentina midfielder Ever Banega andex-Atletico Madrid and Belgium winger Yannick Carrasco are their most famous players.

Colombia international Gustavo Cuellar and goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu, who has gone to three World Cups with South Korea, are also in the squad.


Al-Taawoun, the 2019 King Cup winners, are managed by Brazilian Pericles Chamusca, his 30th managerial job despite only being 57.

Spanish midfielder Alvaro Medran made five appearances for Real Madrid in 2015-16.


Al-Tai, who have yet to win a major trophy, appointed Croat Kresimir Rezic as their manager this summer.

Guinea-Bissau midfielder Alfa Semedo had loan spells in the English Championship with Nottingham Forest and Reading between 2019 and 2021.


Al-Wehda, who were formed 88 years ago, last won a trophy in 1966 with the King Cup. Former Greece midfielder Georgios Donis is their manager, having moved from Al-Fateh this summer to replace Jose Luis Sierra.

Former Manchester United and Watford striker Odion Ighalo joined from fellow Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal this summer.

Costa Rica defender Oscar Duarte scored at the 2014 World Cup against Uruguay, while midfielder Faycal Fajr and goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi both featured at the 2018 World Cup for Morocco.


Former AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, West Brom and Romania player Cosmin Contra was named Damac manager earlier this year. The club have no major silverware.

Domagoj Antolic won six caps for Croatia and Adam Maher played for the Netherlands, while winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou played in the Premier League at Tottenham and Burnley.


Khaleej narrowly avoided relegation last season, having been promoted the previous season. They are managed by Portuguese Pedro Emanuel.

Veteran defender Lisandro Lopez won four caps for Argentina and played for Benfica and Inter Milan. Fabio Martins is one of four former Portugal youth internationals in the team.