Steven Gerrard has been confirmed as the new manager of Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq. The 43-year-old Liverpool legend’s appointment comes as a surprise, as he had previously stated that he would not be pursuing the opportunity in Saudi Arabia. However, the club announced his arrival on Twitter, stating, “Where legends are found. We’re thrilled to announce Steven Gerrard is our new head coach.”
Gerrard takes up new managerial position at Al-Ettifaq
Gerrard’s move to Al-Ettifaq follows a growing trend of high-profile names from European football joining the Saudi Pro League. Players like Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, and Marcelo Brozovic have already made the switch this summer.
The Saudi Pro League has been making strides to establish itself as one of the top leagues in the world. In June, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns Newcastle United, took over four leading clubs in the country. Al-Ettifaq is not among those clubs, but Gerrard’s appointment shows the league’s ambition and appeal.
What to expect from Steven Gerrard?
Gerrard retired from playing in 2016 and made his managerial debut at Scottish club Rangers in 2018. During his time at Rangers, he led the team to their first Scottish Premiership title in a decade in the 2020-21 season. He then took charge of Aston Villa in November 2021 but left after a mixed tenure with 13 wins from 40 games.
With his appointment at Al-Ettifaq, Gerrard returns to management and will be aiming to bring success to the Saudi Pro League side. The club finished seventh in the 2022-23 season, and they will hope that Gerrard’s experience and leadership can lead them to a better finish next season.
The trend of high-profile European football figures joining the Saudi Pro League continues to grow, showcasing the league’s ambition. As Gerrard takes charge of Al-Ettifaq, the club and fans will be eager to see the impact he can make and whether he can guide the team to greater success in the future.