Koen Casteels to earn more in Saudi Arabia than Thibaut Courtois

Khobar, Saudi Arabia – It is in this Saudi city of half a million inhabitants that Koen Casteels will settle after the Euros. So there will be no more talk of Glasgow, and even less of Anderlecht. The soon-to-be 32-year-old goalkeeper (on June 25th) has chosen to accept the offer from Al-Qadisiyah, the D2 champions promoted to the Saudi Pro League, and has agreed to sign a three-year contract.

There, the Red Devil will play under the orders of Spanish coach Michel – who has been with Marseille, Sevilla, Malaga and Olympiakos – who has just extended his contract until 2025. And for his teammates? Casteels is the first international name to join the squad. German defender Alexander Hack (ex-Mainz), Peruvian midfielder André Carrillo (ex-Benfica), Portuguese left-back Kévin Rodrigues (ex-Real Sociedad), Uruguayan midfielder Nahitan Nández (ex-Cagliari), and Senegalese striker Mbaye Diagne (ex-Club Bruges) are the only foreigners in the current squad.

A quadrupled salary

In the Saudi league, the former Wolfsburg goalkeeper will face Yannick Carrasco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Aleksandr Mitrovic, Neymar, Riyad Mahrez and all the other stars who have joined the Kingdom in recent months. While the challenge offered by the newly promoted team undoubtedly appealed to Koen Casteels, there is no doubt that it was above all the proposed salary that definitively convinced him.

During his stay at Al-Qadisiyah, the player trained at Genk will earn close to 10 million euros net per season, according to local media Al-Riyadiya, which is more than four times the 2.12 million euros net he was earning at Wolfsburg. He will even become the third highest-paid Red Devil, behind Kevin De Bruyne (€13.3M net/year) and Yannick Carrasco (€12.7M), and therefore ahead of… Thibaut Courtois (€7.2M). In these conditions, it was obviously impossible for Anderlecht to compete.

Written by James Oyimb

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