Aymeric Laporte Opens Up About Life in Saudi Arabia league

Aymeric Laporte || Imago

Aymeric Laporte Opens Up About Life in Saudi Arabia league

Stephen Oladehinde 18:52 - 20.01.2024

Aymeric Laporte, the former Manchester City defender, has recently shared his experiences of playing football in Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr.

After a successful six-year stint at Manchester City, marked by numerous trophies, Laporte made a significant move to Al-Nassr last summer, joining the ranks of top European players like Cristiano Ronaldo who have ventured into the Saudi Pro League.

Adjusting to New Challenges

Speaking candidly to the Spanish publication AS, Laporte highlighted the differences and challenges of adapting to football in Saudi Arabia. 

"It's a big change compared to Europe, but in the end it's all adaptation," he stated as reported by Daily Mail. His transfer not only set a record as the most expensive defender in the history of the Saudi Pro League but also marked a shift in his career trajectory.

The Reality Behind the Scenes

Despite the lucrative financial rewards, with reports suggesting Laporte is earning £21 million a year, he pointed out that the care and attention European clubs extend to their players are more comprehensive. 

"They haven't made it easy for us. In fact, there are many players who are dissatisfied," Laporte revealed. This dissatisfaction is not unique to him, as it echoes across other European players who have made similar moves.

Aymeric Laporte || Imago
Aymeric Laporte || Imago

The challenges are multifaceted. From the daily grind in Riyadh traffic, where Laporte mentions spending three hours a day in the car, to the cultural and social adjustments required, life in Saudi Arabia presents a stark contrast to Europe. 

He even hinted at the possibility of an early departure if the situation doesn't improve, saying, "That moment has not yet arrived, but in the future it could be if this dynamic continues."

Laporte's sentiments are shared by other players in the league. An English player, preferring anonymity, spoke to Mail Sport about the cultural shocks experienced by his partner. 

Additionally, there are concerns about the playing conditions, with matches often taking place in high temperatures and relatively lower attendance compared to European standards.

Despite these challenges, Laporte remains open-minded, acknowledging that many players, including himself, came to Saudi Arabia seeking more than just financial gain.