Nigeria international, Ahmed Musa says the Saudi Professional League, SPL, is one of the toughest to play in, ACLSports can report.
Ahmed Musa was responding to several suggestions that the former Leicester City forward left the English Premier League for an ‘easy’ league.
“(The) SPL is one of the hardest leagues, ” Musa said. “The people may look at it as very easy, but I don’t think so.”
Following his switch from the PL to Al Nassr in the Saudi League in 2018, many questioned the 27-year-old decision to leave mainstream Europe for Saudi.
But according to the Super Eagles star, the SPL is not as easy as many people would think.
“Many people think the league is easy, but when you play here you know it’s not that easy,” the World Cup hero said.
Prior to Musa joining the club more than a year ago, Al Nassr had gone without the SPL crown since their back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015as they struggled to establish themselves back on top of Saudi football and in the Asian Champions League.
However, since bringing Musa to the club, Al Nassr have been competing for the different domestic titles, reaching the finals of the King’s Cup, Crown Prince’s Cup and Saudi Super Cup.
But it wasn’t until the 2018-19 season that the club, known among its supporters as The Global, embarked on another title-winning campaign in the SPL.
Musa played a key role in their return to the summit of Saudi football, scoring seven times and registering as many assists as Al Nassr cruised to the title, beating their arch-rivals Al Hilal in the process.
But, it wasn’t all rosy, Ahmed Musa was quick to add that it was not easy settling in Saudi where they have ‘football-mad’ fans.
“When I first came here, it was difficult for me because of how much fans love football – they don’t want to lose, ” Musa added.
“Over here, fans are always crazy when you lose a game. One of the best moments here is whenever I go out [and] everyone wants to take a picture with you. I give the Saudi fans credit for this.”
Apart from Musa, SPL is home to other Nigerian players, with more playing in the second division. Left-back Imran Ilyas Bakur represented Damac and Najran before settling now with Al Shabab, while Reuben Gabriel plays as a defensive midfielder for Abha, and Musa could not be happier to have more compatriots in the league.
“We now have some four Nigerian players playing in the Saudi Professional League. I would love for more Nigerian players to come and play here.”