Former Real Madrid GM and World Cup winner Jorge Valdano has warned Europe not to dismiss the ambitions of the Saudi Pro League.
Valdano is convinced the SPL is here to stay and will be a major competitor for Europe's biggest competitions.
He told The National: "Europe should remember that it has acted like Saudi Arabia over the past twenty years, emptying the most important continents of talent. You must know that a competitor has emerged who has two legitimate rights: one, the money to buy, and the second, the love of football."
The Argentine continued: "Saudi is not Qatar, it is a country that loves football even if it does not have the tradition or background. It is a new blow to the commercialization of football: it is easy to understand that Cristiano and Benzema say 'I'll open my bag and fill it,' but Gabri Veiga - a great promise coming out of his shell - is gone.
"This is basically like giving up glory for money. (Toni) Kroos said it's a shame and, given the vocation of the footballer, the term is well used. However, you have to be in the boy's place when something of this magnitude happens. I don't want to give an opinion without having lived the experience."