Ronaldo will continue in Saudi victory, the streak of successes big in the submerged leagues?

BERLIN: Although Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr has ended his long saga of transfers of club, the move is likely to bring the curtain down on one of the biggest marches in European football history. There is no doubt that Ronaldo, winner of five Ballon d’Ors, will become the most famous player to participate in the Saudi Professional League when he plays his first match, but he is not the first player to take this step. Many elite players have spent the last days of their careers in unknown leagues, both to raise more money and to raise the bar. Pelé (New York Cosmos) When Pelé joined the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League in 1975, the Brazilian player solidified his place among the greatest players to ever play soccer, winning three Cup titles of the World, the first as a junior, the second was in one of the best Brazilian teams ever. Despite his age, Pelé behaved admirably in America, scoring 37 goals and passing 30 assists in three years with the Cosmos, who won the North American Soccer Championship final in 1977. Franz Beckenbauer (New York Cosmos) after signing a World Cup legend Pele The Cosmos repeated the same trick in 1977, signing Beckenbauer, who played four seasons for the club, with a brief return to playing for German side Hamburg. Beckenbauer, one of Bayern Munich’s greats, can certainly count his time in the North American soccer league as a success, winning the final three times, the last two times without Pelé. Johan Cruyff (Los Angeles Aztecs and Washington Diplomats) Another popular player who moved to the North American Soccer League in the late 1970s, Cruyff played for the Los Angeles Aztecs and Washington Diplomats shortly after his retirement in 1978. The star Dutch complained about playing on artificial floors in the United States, before bucking the trend of most players in this list, Cruyff is back in Europe in the final days of his career, guiding Ajax to two Eredivisie titles in addition to the one shared with Feyenoord. Samuel Eto’o (Anji Makhachkala) While all transfers in this list are considered strange, only a few have caused the same shock as Samuel Eto’o when he moved in 2011 from Inter Milan to Russian side Anji Makhachkala. Reports at the time stated that Eto’o became the highest paid player by moving to Anji, who scored 25 goals in championship for him before the billionaire Suleiman Karimov, president of clublimited its ambitions with the club, which no longer exists, which led to Eto’o’s departure to Chelsea. David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy) The North American Soccer League has established a tradition of bringing the superstars of the game to the United States, but Beckham’s 2007 move to the Los Angeles Galaxy helped break new ground for Major League Soccer. Beckham has won two FA Cups and two Supporters’ Shields, but the biggest impact on his transfer – which has inspired many other big names to move in America and prompted the former England captain to start Inter Miami – it was huge. Xavi (Al-Sadd) Xavi ended his playing career at Barcelona after winning the Champions League in 2015, and preferred to spend the next four years as a player at Qatari side Al-Sadd before starting his coaching career with the same club . 2010 World Cup winner Xavi won the Qatari league title once as a player and once as a manager before returning to training at Barcelona last year, where he played and coached Al Sadd in more than 100 matches. Andres Iniesta (Vissel Kobe) Barcelona star Iniesta has left the game in Europe in 2018, when he joined the Japanese team Vissel Kobe in a shock transfer. Since he’s still the team captain at 38, Iniesta must be enjoying himself in Japan, where he is joined by compatriots Bojan Kricic and Serge Samper. V Rodriguez (Al Rayyan) When he takes the via the World Cup, the idea of ​​rising stars is proposed. Few players deserved it more than Colombian Rodriguez, who was crowned top scorer at the 2014 edition. Having enjoyed successes with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and less successful spells with Everton, Rodriguez currently plays for Al Rayyan, who he is in eighth place in the Qatar championship. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Los Angeles Galaxy) Most players in this list has achieved success, both on and off the pitch, following surprise transfers, but few can match Ibrahimovic’s successes. Ibrahimovic was 37 – like Ronaldo – when he left Manchester United in 2018, and has scored 53 American League goals for the Galaxy in two very successful seasons before returning in Europe to help AC Milan win the Italian championship early last year. And while it currently seems unlikely that Ronaldo will return to the top of European football, had Ibrahimovic done so sooner, few would bet that Ronaldo couldn’t do the same. (dpa)