Odion Ighalo joins Al-Wehda – Here’s when he plays Ronaldo

Odion Ighalo joins Al-Wehda – Here’s when he plays Ronaldo
Credit: Icon Sport

AFCON 2019 top scorer Odion Ighalo has moved on to another Saudi Arabian side just as the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League season kicks off.

The Nigeria national football team striker is now signed to Al-Wehda after he left Al-Hilal by mutual consent at the end of last season. The former Granada forward continues his journeyman career in Saudi Arabia with his third club in three seasons since leaving Manchester United, where he spent the second half of the 2020/21 season on loan.

Odion Ighalo is now set to do battle with Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League.

Odion Ighalo looking to continue goalscoring run in superstar laden Saudi Pro League

Odion Ighalo endeared himself to a number of Nigerian fans for his goals while representing the Super Eagles in a number of official matches. He is not officially retired from the international scene but he has gone down the pecking order thanks to players like Victor Osimhen and Super Eagles prospect, Tottenham Hotspur-linked Gift Orban.

His club career, meanwhile, continues to flourish and yield financial rewards thanks to the lucrative contracts he signs. After playing in some of Europe’s top leagues and getting a run with Manchester United, the club he supported as a young boy, he moved to Saudi Arabia in 2021, signing for Al Shabab.

After a dispute with Al Shabab due to him missing AFCON 2021, he joined Al Hilal for the rest of the 2021/22 season.

When the superstar wave hit Saudi Arabia as led by Cristiano Ronaldo singing for Al Nassr, Odion Ighalo and his high wages had to be let go to accommodate the superstars that Al Hilal intended to bring in.

The former Watford man now joins Al Wehda, who finished in 13th place in the 2022/23 season, for the next two seasons. His big task will be taking the club into mid-table and challenging for titles in a league that has the likes of Neymar, Karim Benzema, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez and others alongside Ronaldo.

He will also be looked at as a golden boot candidate after winning the top scorer award at Al Shabab and finishing in second place last season with Al Hilal.

Odion Ighalo vs Cristiano Ronaldo matchday fixtures

Odion Ighalo has already faced and beaten Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2022/23 season. Back in April 2023, Ighalo scored twice for Al Hilal to defeat Al Nassr, with Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch.

This season, he will hope to do the same with Al-Wehda when they face off on matchdays 13 and 30 of the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League season.

On matchdays 17 and 34, Odion Ighalo will face his former club Al Hilal, who will now field Neymar and Malcom who have come in to replace him as their superstar signings.

Here are the Al-Wehda match dates in the 2023/24 Saudi Pro League that are important to Nigerian fans and the Nigeria football news media. These dates are when Odion Ighalo will go up against Cristiano Ronaldo and other superstars who have arrived in the league for the 2023/24 season.

Al-Wehda home date Al-Wehda away date Team Star players
28 August 2023 22 February 2024 Al-Ittihad Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Fabinho
18 April 2024 19 October 2023 Al-Ahli Saudi Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez
26 October 2023 25 April 2024 Al-Ettifaq Jordan Henderson
9 November 2023 6 May 2024 Al-Nassr Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mané, Marcelo Brozovic
27 May 2024 14 December 2023 Al-Hilal Neymar, Malcom, Ruben Neves

 

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago

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