Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has been playing in the Saudi Pro League for some years before Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo made his arrival in the league.
Since Ighalo joined the league, he has gone on to score lots of goals to become a household name in the country and a role model for other Nigerians playing in the league that has now attracted footballers all over the globe.
The Super Eagles player was the league's top scorer in the 2021/22 season with 24 goals in his first season with Al Hilal as his goals earned his side the Saudi Pro League title.
Odion Ighalo Saudi Pro League goals
Odion Ighalo has extended his stay in the enticing Saudi Pro League after agreeing to a deal with another SPL club, Al Wehda in a free transfer on 15 August 2023.
Ighalo has been playing in Saudi Arabia since February 2021, when he first joined Al-Shabab in a sensational move before later making a switch to Al-Hilal on 29 January 2022.
The Nigerian striker scored 21 goals in 31 SPL appearances for Al Shabab, and a further 31 goals in 40 SPL appearances for Al Hilal.
Overall, Ighalo has netted 52 goals in 71 matches in the Saudi Pro League and is now ready to continue his good run with Al Wehda.
Al Wehda finished last campaign in 13th place and secured the services of Ighalo to help them have a comfortable end to the 2023/24 season.
Cristiano Ronaldo Saudi Pro League goals
Portugal and Al Nassr captain, Ronaldo, is the most prolific goal-scorer the world has ever seen and the five-time Ballon D'or winner has only consolidated his reputation since joining the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr FC.
The former Real Madrid player joined Al Nassr in January 2023, becoming the world’s highest-paid athlete in the process.
After his arrival in Saudi Arabia, Ronaldo scored his first goal in a friendly against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) while playing for a team featuring players from Al Nassr and Al Hilal.
Cristiano Ronaldo made his Saudi Pro League debut with Al Nasssr in a 1-0 win over Al-Ettifaq on 22 January. He notched up his first goal in a draw against Al-Fateh before going on to score his first hat-trick for Al Nassr in a 4-0 win over Al Wehda. The Portuguese ace scored his second hat-trick for the club in a 3-0 win over Damac.
Cristiano Ronaldo won the Saudi Pro League Player of the Month award for February after scoring eight goals and assisting twice.
At the time of writing, Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in 16 appearances for Al Nassr FC in the Saudi Pro League. Overall he has scored 20 goals in 25 games for the 2023 Arab Club Champions.
Two of those goals earned the team a trophy. Al Nassr won their first Arab Club Champions Cup courtesy of a Ronaldo brace in the final against rivals Al Hilal on 12 August.
Ighalo leads Ronaldo in Saudi Pro League goals
The Nigerian striker has played three seasons in the SPL, scoring 52 goals so far. Meanwhile, Ronaldo, who only joined Al Nassr in January 2023, has scored 14 goals.
It will take Ronaldo some time to get the number of goals Odion Ighalo has scored in the Saudi top-flight, but with dedication and determination, the all-time leading scorer in international football can equal and even surpass Ighalo's Saudi Pro League goals.
With the arrival of many stars from mainstream Europe to Saudi Arabia this summer, it will be interesting to see how Ighalo and Ronaldo perform with the increased intensity that is anticipated in the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League.
This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago