Roberto Firmino transfer confirmed in switch from Liverpool to Saudi Arabia

Roberto Firmino has confirmed his new club after eight years at Liverpool, with the Brazilian heading to Saudi Arabia as part of the league’s revamp.

Firmino was among four senior players to leave Liverpool on the expiry of his contract this summer, and the 31-year-old has now landed at a new club.

He has joined Saudi outfit Al-Ahli on a three-year deal, as part of a major makeover of the Saudi Pro League led by the nation’s royal family.

The striker follows the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante to the Middle East, in addition Steven Gerrard, with his contract expected to be a lucrative one.

Al-Ahli were promoted back to the Saudi Pro League after a single season in the second tier last time out, and are one of four clubs taken over by the Public Investment Fund this summer.

The sovereign wealth fund have secured 75 percent ownership of Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr, champions Al-Ittihad and Asian Champions League finalists Al Hilal.

Firmino will join goalkeeper Edouard Mendy at the club, with the Senegal international arriving from Chelsea.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino says an emotional goodbye to the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It marks the end of 12 years in Europe for the No. 9, who joined Hoffenheim from Brazilian side Figueirense in 2011 before his switch to Anfield four years later.

His move comes amid scrutiny of the Saudi project, with concerns over sportswashing as the PIF also recently effectively took over golf with the merger of their own LIV Golf with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

There is major controversy over their moves into sport, with the PIF also owners of Newcastle, while they are set to bid for hosting rights at the 2023 World Cup.

For Firmino, it serves as a highly lucrative opportunity at the tail end of his career, having won every trophy possible while at Liverpool.

All the best, Bobby!