Top five biggest transfers in the Saudi Pro League

Yahya Al-Shehri cost Al-Nassr €9.8m in 2013. (AFP)
Updated 03 August 2018
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Top five biggest transfers in the Saudi Pro League

LONDON: Al-Nassr broke new ground in the Saudi Pro League by setting a new transfer record by signing Ahmed Musa from Leicester City. We look at the top five most expensive signings in the history of the league, according to transfermarkt.com.

€16.5m Ahmed Musa — Leicester City to Al-Nassr


Leicester City will be delighted to have commanded such a high fee for a player surplus to requirements at the Premier League club. He scored just twice in 21 appearances for Leicester, but did score twice at the World Cup.

€10.24m Djaniny Tavares — Santos Laguna to Al-Ahli

Not too many outside of Africa had heard of Tavares, but the decision makers at Al-Ahli saw enough in the 27-year-old striker for them to break their own transfer record and sign him from Santos Laguna. He scored 40 goals in 124 games for the Mexican club.

€9.8m Yahya Al-Shehri — Ettifaq to Al-Nassr

Green Falcons international Al-Shehri is the costliest Saudi Arabian player after Al-Nassr signed him from Ettifaq in 2013. He was loaned to Leganes last season and played in two of Saudi Arabia’s three World Cup games in Russia. At 28, he should be approaching his peak years.

€8.5m Nordin Amrabat — Watford to Al-Nassr


The winger was out of favor at Premier League club Watford, but he put himself in the shop window with some energetic performances at the World Cup and Al-Nassr made their move, signing the Moroccan on a three-year deal.

€8.2m Diego Souza — Vasco da Gama to Al-Ittihad


Al-Ittihad made a bold statement by signing the Brazilian in 2012, but he made just four appearances, scoring one goal and returned to Brazil the following summer.


Naomi Osaka shocked as Kristina Mladenovic downs world No. 1 in Dubai

Updated 19 February 2019
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Naomi Osaka shocked as Kristina Mladenovic downs world No. 1 in Dubai

  • It was Osaka's first match since she won the Australian Open — her second consecutive Grand Slam title.
  • World No. 67 Mladenovic lost for words after surprise win.

DUBAI: Naomi Osaka stumbled badly in her first match since winning the Australian Open as the world number one went down in a flurry of errors to exit the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.
Dubai-based Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory to reach the third round as Osaka made 25 unforced errors.
The rout, which featured seven breaks of the Osaka serve, took barely an hour, sending Mladenovic into a Wednesday contest with Carla Suarez Navarro.
“This is my home tournament, I live here,” world No. 67 Mladenovic said. “It’s great to get a win like this in front of a big crowd.
“Beating the number one is always special.”
The second set was riddled with seven consecutive breaks of serve before Mladenovic finished off the job with a winner to the empty court on match point.
Osaka stunned the tennis world last week by announcing her split from coach Sascha Bajin despite winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the US and Australian Opens.
She said earlier this week that she would not prioritize “success over happiness” when asked about the sacking, and she never looked like winning in Dubai as she also served five double faults.
Earlier on Tuesday, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova both won their opening matches, while Elina Svitolina made a strong start to her bid for a third straight title.
Kvitova, the 2013 winner, recovered from losing a first-set tiebreak to defeat Katerina Siniakova 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-4 and squeeze into the third round.
Halep, Dubai champion in 2015, saw off 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
The Romanian said she is still feeling the effects of her weekend final defeat in Doha by Elize Mertens.
“It was a good match because I won it. I tried to finish the points faster because I’m a little bit tired,” Halep said.
“She played well, the level was pretty good. At some points I really ran very well. I’m confident. I feel good on court even if I’m tired.”
A third former world number one also advanced as Angelique Kerber beat Dalila Jakupovic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.
Kvitova, Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, said she was unfazed about the early midday start to her match.
“I don’t really care if I play the first match,” the Australian Open runner-up said. “Now I’m done, so I have a free afternoon.
“I’m not sure what I’m pleased with... maybe with my comeback at the end.”