As part of the deal between the Saudi soccer federation and the La Liga, nine Saudi footballers were transferred to clubs in Spain.
The former Al-Hilal club midfielder Salem Al Dawsari was transferred to the renowned Spanish football club, Villareal. To announce the move Villarreal hosted a press conference, which was played live on their official website.
According to the New York Times, hundreds of thousands of Saudi football fans tuned in to watch the press conference on the club’s website that their servers crashed.
Luckily, the website soon resumed and the traffic was diverted to YouTube.
— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) February 1, 2018
“I’ve dreamed about playing in Spain for a club as big as Villareal,” said Dawsari. “Saudi Arabian football is good and Saudi players are very strong.”
But he’s not the only Saudi footballer in Villarreal, Jaber Issa is also playing for the same club.
كيف هو الجو بالعربية السعودية يا ترى؟! هنا الجو بارد جدا …انظروا كيف تدرب اليوم النجم السعوديSalem_d29@ … pic.twitter.com/mCfWVde578
— Villarreal CF Arabic (@Arab_Villarreal) February 5, 2018
However, on match day neither Dawsari nor Issa were picked in the playing 11.
Villarreal lost the match two goals to one and Saudi fans were outraged that the two weren’t given a chance.
Salem ????????? ????????
— السلطان هادي. (@88iip) February 3, 2018