Saudis close league season with record sets of stats in a game-changing season

May 31 – The Saudi Pro league (officially called the Roshn Saudi League) may have its critics in western Europe, but the 2023/24 season has undoubtedly been a game changer in the country and for the league internationally.

Headlines have inevitably focussed on the big name, big money players like Karim Benzema, Neymar, Riyad Mahrez, Sadio Mane, N’Golo Kante, Georgino Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Ruben Neves who signed for Saudi clubs.

But there is much more international depth, with 156 players from 54 countries playing in the league.

Omar Mugharbel, Saudi Pro League CEO, said: “The 2023/24 Roshn Saudi League season will be remembered as a milestone moment in the growth of elite football in Saudi Arabia. Some of the best players in the world chose the Roshn Saudi League to showcase their incredible talents alongside the next generation of young Saudi talent. Their arrival amplified even further the huge interest in the league from fans, broadcasters and sponsors. It is impossible to overstate how much of a game-changing season 2023/24 has been.”

Al Hilal, Club World Cup finalists in 2022, won the league winning 34 consecutive games (a world record for a major league) in a season that saw them go unbeaten.

Off the pitch, the league reports major milestones achieved across broadcast coverage globally, sponsorship agreements, and social media reach.

“As we progress to full preparations for next season, there is no doubt that the league will continue to grow from strength to strength. What is crucial now is enhancing the offering for all stakeholders across the Roshn Saudi League to ensure that we deliver a product on and off the field that is truly and consistently world class across all metrics,” said Mugharbel.

Illustrating how far the league has come over the past season, it has issued a set of 2023/24 league numbers:

Players

  • There were 156 players from 54 countries
  • The age eligibility for young players was reduced from 18 to 16 years old
  • The average age of players this season fell by 1.5 years from 29 to 27.5 years old

Goals

  • A total of 909 goals were scored this season from 306 games – an increase of 40% from last season
  • By netting 35 goals, Al Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo set a new record for goals scored in a top-flight Saudi league season. The Portuguese legend’s achievement overtook Abderrazak Hamdallah’s mark of 34 in 2018/19. Ronaldo has scored 64 goals in 69 games for Al Nassr in all competitions since joining the club in late December 2022
  • A record was set for the most the hat-tricks in a season, with a total of 17 hat-tricks scored

Stadiums

  • Eight Roshn Saudi League clubs moved into new stadiums this year: Al Hilal, Al Shabab, Al Ettifaq, Al Fateh, Al Taawoun, Al Raed, Al Hazem, and Damac

Top five attendances 

  • Week 2: Al Hilal v Al Fayha, 59,600
  • Week 9: Al Ittihad v Al Ahli, 55,764
  • Week 24: Al Ahli v Al Nassr, 52,037
  • Week 11: Al Hilal v Al Ahli, 50,986
  • Week 26: Al Ahli v Al Ittihad, 50,633

Broadcast

  • More than 160 countries broadcast the Roshn Saudi League on 38 global platforms, representing an increase of around 30% on the more than 125 countries who secured the rights to broadcast the league last campaign

Sponsorship

  • Sponsors increased from three last season to 11 this season – a 267% increase
  • The number of international sponsors trebled to three this season from one last season, a 200% increase

Social Media and Fantasy Football

  • Roshn Saudi League social media channels grew by 6.72 million new followers, representing a 141% increase from the start of the season
  • There are now over 11 million followers combined on all Roshn Saudi League social media channels
  • League pages were also launched on Chinese social media platforms Weibo and Douyin
  • There are over 2 million followers on each of the league’s X (Twitter) Arabic, Instagram Arabic and TikTok accounts
  • The number of impressions across all social media channels totalled 1.5billion, a 315% increase from last season
  • RSL Fantasy League launched on November 12 and gained 100,000 users within the first week. Currently at 181,000 users from 50 countries, the top five RSL fantasy players come from the following nations: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Sudan

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721221609labto1721221609ofdlr1721221609owedi1721221609sni@n1721221609osloh1721221609cin.l1721221609uap1721221609


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