Fabinho, the strong Brazilian midfielder, has left Liverpool FC after five years, joining Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad in a lucrative contract. As part of the agreement, the 29-year-old player will leave Anfield for the Saudi Pro League, signing a three-year contract with Al-Ittihad for an estimated sum of £40 million. This high-profile deal is part of Al-Ittihad’s ambitious and aggressive talent acquisition plan, which aims to strengthen the club’s status in domestic and international tournaments.
Farewell to a Stalwart Midfielder
Liverpool FC fans around the world bid an emotional farewell to Fabinho, who played 219 games for the Reds and scored 11 goals during his time there. His departure from Liverpool was expected after he was noticed missing from the club’s training camps in Germany and Singapore.
Known for his adaptability, the Brazilian international comfortably filled roles in midfield and central defence, leaving an indelible mark on the club. Fabinho was instrumental in Liverpool’s victories in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup during his tenure. His performance has been crucial to Liverpool’s long-term success under Jürgen Klopp’s management.
“Liverpool FC would like to thank Fabinho for his immense contributions to the club’s successes during his time with us,” the club said in a statement, recognising the player’s significant impact. Along with Fabinho, fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson has left the club for Al-Ettifaq, indicating a significant change in Liverpool’s midfield composition.
Al-Ittihad’s Squad Reinforcement and Ambitious Acquisitions
Al-Ittihad’s signing of Fabinho represents a significant step in their ambitious acquisition strategy, aimed at fortifying their squad for the upcoming seasons. The Jeddah-based club, led by former Wolves and Tottenham Hotspur manager Nuno Espirito Santo, has signed numerous high-profile players this summer, including Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, former Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, and ex-Celtic forward Jota. Al-Ittihad’s management reaffirmed their commitment to recruiting outstanding players capable of bolstering the team’s competitiveness in multiple domestic and international competitions.
The Emotional Farewell
Departing from Liverpool, Fabinho shared an emotional farewell message with the Reds. “Today I leave my home,” the Brazilian wrote. “It’s been five years wearing this jersey and always with the greatest honour and happiness possible. I love this club. Thank you, Reds, for everything we’ve experienced together.” The club and fans reciprocated his sentiment, wishing him the best in his new journey.
The Growing Allure of the Saudi Pro League
The Saudi Pro League is gaining traction as an appealing destination for top-tier players, and Fabinho’s signing adds weight to the league’s global reputation. This trend began with Cristiano Ronaldo’s blockbuster signing to Al-Nassr in January 2021, for a whopping $220 million per year. High-profile signings like Fabinho signify the Saudi Pro League’s burgeoning global footprint and mark a new, ambitious era for football in the region, with the potential to reshape the landscape of the sport.