Brazilian footballer Roberto Firmino has been signed by Saudi Arabian side, Al-Ahli, following the expiration of his contract with English side, Liverpool.
The Brazilian striker left Liverpool at the end of last season after a trophy-filled eight-year spell, which saw him lift every major club title. He scored 111 goals in 362 appearances and won the Premier League, Champions League, and Club World Cup during his time at Anfield.
Now, at the age of 31, he will join a host of other top soccer stars in Saudi Arabia as the oil-rich kingdom embarks on a spectacular attempt to raise the profile of its league.
His arrival at Al-Ahli was revealed by the club in a video posted to social media and comes less than a week after the team concluded a deal to sign Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Chelsea.
It is speculated that the contract between Al-Ahli and Firmino will run till 2026. The club won the Saudi First Division League title last season to achieve promotion back to the Saudi Pro League for the 2023-24 campaign.
— النادي الأهلي السعودي (@ALAHLI_FC) July 4, 2023
Al-Ahli is one of four teams that recently came under the ownership of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth Public Investment Fund.
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard took over as coach at Al-Ettifaq earlier in the week, while Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante have also made the move to the Gulf state since Cristiano Ronaldo’s switch to Al-Nassr in January started the trend. Kalidou Koulibaly and Marcelo Brozovic have also made a switch to Saudi clubs.
On leaving Liverpool, Firmino said;
‘My last match in Anfield was incredible! And my whole time in Liverpool has been nothing but wonderful. I will never forget the roar of the Kop and the passion from all of you. The family and myself will forever carry this great club in our hearts.
‘We are so grateful for everything we were allowed to experience with you in these 8 years – the wins, the losses, the titles, the heartbreaks – this all helped me to become the man I am today. I can truly say that Liverpool has become a part of my family. Thank you all! #YNWA
‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.’