Former Manchester United player Odion Ighalo (34) has confessed that he plays soccer for money, not passion.
‘Ighalo has criticized Cristiano Ronaldo (Alnasr) and said he is playing for money, not passion,’ British media outlet ‘The Sun’ reported on Aug. 28 (KST). Ighalo joined United on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua in the 2020-2021 season.
“When I was younger, of course I played with passion. I didn’t care about money then. Now I’m at the end of my career. I don’t know if it will be one year, two years, or when God will tell me to stop. I know it won’t be more than three years,” he said.
With retirement looming, he has to earn it.
“I’ve been playing for passion all my life. Now I’m playing for money. I don’t say I play for passion. I play for money. At the end of the day, it’s all about the money.”
Ighalo cites the example of Ronaldo, who left Europe for the Saudi Arabian Premier League.
“Does Ronaldo play for passion? He made 100 times more money than I’ve ever made in my life and he went to Saudi Arabia. Is it passion? No, it’s about money.”
Ronaldo signed a contract with Al-Nasr in January worth £177 million a year. According to CBS Sports, his base salary is £62 million, with the rest made up of likeness rights and advertising. 안전놀이터
This summer’s transfer window has seen a number of European stars sign for Saudi clubs. Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Roberto Firmino are just a few of the big names, and Steven Gerrard is the head coach.
The reason for their departure from the top European leagues to Saudi Arabia is speculated to be money. Backed by oil money, clubs in Saudi Arabia offer very high salaries, up to three or four times their previous salaries.
Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) and Lionel Messi (Inter Miami) were among those who turned down offers from Saudi Arabia. Recently, Kylian Mbappe (PSG) was reportedly offered 1 trillion won per year.