Saudi Pro League players celebrate Saudi National Day

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On September 23, the Saudi Arabian Kingdom celebrated its 93rd National Day. Prominent footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Karim Benzema dressed in traditional Saudi attire. [1]

Saudi Arabia’s National Day also known as Al-Yaom-ul-Watany, commemorates the Kingdom’s unification.

Neymar and other Al-Hilal players performed the traditional dance known as Ardha while dressed in the Saudi attire of a “thobe” (traditional robe), “shemagh” (headscarf), and “aqal” (headband).

Team Al Hilal celebrates Saudi National Day

Steven Gerrard celebrates Saudi National Day

Players celebrate National Day

It was a busy day in Saudi Arabia, particularly for the Saudi Pro League players who were participating in their inaugural national day celebration.

The Brazilian footballer wasn’t the only SPL celebrity who attended the event. Strikers Karim Benzema of Al-Ittihad and Cristiano Ronaldo of Al-Nassr, along with his teammate Sadio Mane, also wore traditional garb.

Benzema shared a selfie of himself wearing the full look, garnering 2.3 million likes. Ronaldo’s photo posted by Al-Nassr while wearing the thobe received 1.7 million likes. 4.2 million users liked Neymar’s post.

Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi traditional attire

Ronaldo and Neymar in Saudi traditional attire

The rapid growth of the Saudi Pro League

Numerous players from Europe’s top clubs have rushed to the Middle Eastern nation, winning rich contracts, ever since Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr earlier this year.

The popularity of the league among football fans has increased thanks to players like Neymar, Benzema, Riyad Mahrez, and Mane.

Benzema’s Al-Ittihad now leads the SPL with 18 points after winning six of their first seven games of the 2023–24 season. Ronaldo’s Al-Nasr are in fifth place with 15 points, while Neymar’s Al-Hilal are in second place with 17 points.

After scoring twice for Al-Nasr in their Saudi Pro League match against Al-Shabab, Ronaldo showed his respect for Saudi culture by engaging in a traditional dance.

The veteran and club captain from Portugal, who has been on a goal-scoring tear since the new year, was a key factor in the Knights of Najd’s resounding victory at home in Al-Awwal Park.

After being awarded a penalty, Ronaldo briefly abandoned his traditional “Siuuu” celebration and other more modern moves instead of demonstrating the culture of Saudi Arabia by dancing.

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