Former Manchester City boss Garry Cook has been appointed CEO of Saudi Arabia’s top football league following Al Nassr’s signing of Cristiano Ronaldo last month.
Cook was the CEO of the British football club from 2008 to 2011 and worked with the team when it was purchased by an Abu Dhabi company.
He previously worked with Nike on its influential Jordan Brand in the late 1990s.
“I was immediately impressed by the passion and ambition of the Saudi Pro League’s board and leadership,” Cook said in a statement.
“The Ministry of Sport is committed to delivering a wider role for sport as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and football, as the most popular game, is central to that mission.”
“We have been challenged to deliver a program of transformation for football on the world stage.”
“I have been warmly welcomed in Riyadh and look forward to immediately starting work to realize our ambition to make Saudi football a powerhouse of the global game.”
International audiences have been turning their gaze to Saudi football in recent months, after the country’s team beat eventual World Cup winners Argentina in their opening match of the tournament.
Al Nassr’s signing of Ronaldo, one of the sport’s biggest names, in late December further elevated the profile of the Kingdom’s football.
The Portuguese striker played his first game in the Saudi Pro League on Sunday night, which saw Al Nassr defeat Al Ettifaq one goal to nil.
He had previously appeared in a friendly match alongside players from Al Hilal, facing off against Paris Saint-Germain, captained by Lionel Messi.
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