Nacho joins the club on a two-year deal
Nacho joins the club on a two-year deal Image Credit: X

The Saudi Pro League will boast two former Real Madrid captains next season after Al Qadsiah announced Nacho has joined on a two-year deal.

The Spanish defender led Los Blancos to the Champions League and La Liga double last season but will now bring his 24-year association with the Spanish giants to an end when he joins the newly promoted Saudi side as a free agent following Euro 2024.

Al Qadsiah secured their return to the top flight for the first time since 2021 after topping the Saudi First Division League last season. The Khobar-based outfit, which is owned by Aramco, are coached by ex-Real Madrid midfielder Michel.

Nacho is currently with the Spanish squad at Euro 2024 but hasn’t featured since their opening clash with Croatia after suffering from muscular discomfort. The 34-year-old underwent a medical while on international duty ahead of his move to Saudi Arabia.

"I'm so grateful to Real Madrid," said Nacho, who won a joint-club record 26 trophies in his 12 seasons at Madrid.

"Until a few days ago, I hadn't signed for my new club and Madrid told me they would be there if I changed my mind. I don't need a send off like [Toni] Kroos had to realise how much I'm loved.

"I always had clear that if I didn't finish my career at Madrid, I wouldn't want to play against them. I want to experience something new, something different. My life is going to be turned upside down but that's what I want. I'm very happy.

"I could have stayed one more year but there's nothing left to win with this jersey. It doesn't mean I'm lacking ambition. I thought it was the right time. I am calm and confident with the decision I've taken.”

Nacho joins Karim Benzema as the other former captain of Real Madrid to make the move to Saudi, while the league also features the likes of Neymar, N'Golo Kanté, Ruben Neves and Cristiano Ronaldo.