Steven Gerrard, the former England and Liverpool midfielder, has been appointed as the manager of Al-Ettifaq, a Saudi Arabian football club. The 43-year-old had initially declined a potential offer in June but has now taken up the position. Gerrard had been without a job since his dismissal as Aston Villa manager in October of the previous year. Al-Ettifaq finished seventh in the Saudi Pro League last season, significantly behind the champions, Al-Ittihad. No information regarding the length of Gerrard’s contract has been disclosed by the Saudi club.
The move by Gerrard to Saudi Arabia aligns with a recent trend of heavy investment in the Pro League, with numerous notable European players joining the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Middle East. Renowned figures such as Karim Benzema, Ruben Neves, N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Edouard Mendy have made the move to Saudi Arabia, and the most recent transfer saw Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic join Al-Nassr. Reports also suggest that Marco Silva, the former Fulham manager, declined a £17 million offer to coach Al-Hilal.
This influx of talent highlights the league’s aspirations to become one of the world’s top five football leagues. It comes on the heels of the Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) decision in June to acquire four prominent Saudi clubs, despite Al-Ettifaq not being among them. The PIF also owns Newcastle United in the English Premier League.
Gerrard, who retired from playing in 2016, began his managerial career at Rangers, a Scottish club. He assumed the role in 2018 and guided the team to their first Scottish Premiership title in a decade during the 2020-21 season. However, his tenure as Villa boss, which commenced in November 2021, was cut short after managing only 13 victories in 40 matches.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Saudi Pro League
Q: Who is the new manager of Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League?
A: The new manager of Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League is Steven Gerrard, the former England and Liverpool midfielder.
Q: What was Steven Gerrard’s previous managerial role?
A: Steven Gerrard’s previous managerial role was at Aston Villa, where he was sacked in October of the previous year.
Q: How did Al-Ettifaq perform in the last season of the Saudi Pro League?
A: Al-Ettifaq finished seventh in the 16-team Saudi Pro League last season, ending up 35 points behind the champions, Al-Ittihad.
Q: Are there any details about the length of Steven Gerrard’s contract with Al-Ettifaq?
A: No specific details regarding the length of Steven Gerrard’s contract with Al-Ettifaq have been provided by the Saudi club.
Q: Why are several Premier League stars moving to the Saudi Pro League?
A: The Saudi Pro League has witnessed several Premier League stars moving to the region due to heavy investments and ambitious plans to establish itself as one of the top five leagues globally.
Q: Has Marco Silva, the former Fulham manager, also received an offer from a Saudi club?
A: Yes, Marco Silva reportedly declined a £17 million offer to coach Al-Hilal, another club in the Saudi Pro League.
Q: When did Steven Gerrard retire from playing football?
A: Steven Gerrard retired from playing football in 2016.
Q: How successful was Steven Gerrard’s tenure as Rangers manager?
A: Steven Gerrard led Rangers to their first Scottish Premiership title in 10 years during the 2020-21 season.
Q: How many wins did Steven Gerrard secure during his time as Aston Villa manager?
A: Steven Gerrard managed 13 wins from 40 games during his time as Aston Villa manager.
More about Saudi Pro League
- Steven Gerrard appointed Al-Ettifaq manager (BBC Sport)
- Saudi Pro League (Official website)
- Transfer news: Premier League stars moving to Saudi Pro League (Sky Sports)
- Steven Gerrard’s managerial career (Transfermarkt)
- Saudi Pro League standings and statistics (Soccerway)
- Saudi Pro League’s push for global recognition (Al Arabiya)