The Saudi Pro League highest earners will return to action in full next week as the second half of the campaign. With Saudi’s superstars returning, we look at some of the Saudi Pro League highest earners in the league and the markets to back them in.
Saudi Pro League highest earners: Who can make their mark?
Cristiano Ronaldo – 2 or more goals
Cristiano Ronaldo has consistently demonstrated his goalscoring ability in the Saudi Pro League. The Portuguese veteran is the competition’s leading goalscorer with 20 goals in just 18 appearances.
Ronaldo also struck in four consecutive matches before the winter break. The 39-year-old was also on the scoresheet twice in Al Nassr’s 5-2 win over Al Ittihad on Boxing Day.
It was the eighth time this season for club and country where Ronaldo has scored two or more goals in a single match.
Despite being one of the Sadio Pro League’s highest earners, Brazilian superstar Neymar has made just three appearances for Al Hilal.
The 32-year-old scored three goals in his three matches. However, Neymar suffered a severe cruciate ligament injury while on international duty in October. He now remains sidelined for the foreseeable future
Riyad Mahrez – Score or assist
Riyad Mahrez has been a consistent all-rounder in the Saudi Pro League. The Al Ahli forward has eight goals and seven assists in 19 appearances this season.
Before the winter break, Mahrez was in top form, registering eight goal contributions in 10 matches.
An early Algeria exit at the AFCON finals also means the former Man City man will have had additional rest before the Pro League starts again. This could lead to more Mahrez goal contributions against Al Akhdoud.
Sadio Mané – Score or assist
Sadio Mané was another Saudi Pro League player whose AFCON campaign was cut short. The Senegal captain, however, carried his strong club form into the tournament, with three assists and a goal.
The AFCON goal contributions mirrored Mané’s Al Nassr role this season. With four assists and eight goals, Mané has taken the mantle as provider and scorer.
After AFCON disappointment, Mané will want to pick up his league form again, which led to four goal contributions in four matches before the winter break.
Kalidou Koulibaly – Al Hilal win to nil
Defender Kalidou Koulibaly has been central to Al Hilal’s title push this season. The 32-year-old missed the first three matches of the campaign but has featured in every minute since.
Koulibaly’s defensive contributions and composure have provided a backline foundation for Al Hilal. The league leaders had won 11 matches to nil when Koulibaly started.
In addition, the Senegalese helped his side keep three consecutive clean sheets before the break – a record he will be eager to extend.
Aleksandar Mitrović – To score a penalty
Trailing Ronaldo in the Pro League goalscorer charts is Aleksandar Mitrović. Since moving to Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2023, Mitrović has hit the ground running with 17 goals in as many appearances.
The former Fulham forward has added consistency to his game recently after scoring in 10 consecutive league matches. However, his touch for converting penalties has been particularly noticeable. Three of Mitrović’s last four Pro League goals have come from the penalty spot.
With six penalties scored, and another missed, the Serbian powerhouse could be on for another spot-kick conversion against Al Raed.
Sergej Milinković-Savić – Anytime Goalscorer
Sergej Milinković-Savić made a slow start to his Saudi Arabia career. In his first six appearances, the Serbian midfielder failed to hit the net.
A brace in Al Hilal’s 3-0 win over Al Akhdoud in October seemed to spark a Sergej Milinković-Savić resurgence. Since then, the midfielder has notched 10 goals in all competitions for the season, so his confidence will be positively flowing.
Aymeric Laporte – To score a header
Aymeric Laporte is an inconsistent goalscorer, but the defender has shown a knack for headed goals throughout his career.
The Argentinian centre-back scored a header in Al Nassr’s 4-1 win over Al Taawoun last time out. It was his 12th headed goal from his last 15 goalscoring appearances.
Set-piece situations for Al Nassr could lead to another Laporte headed goal in the upcoming clash against Al Fateh.