Saudi Club Etiffaq Appoints Steven Gerrard As Head Coach

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England and Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard has been appointed as the manager of Saudi Arabian side Al-Ettifaq.

It will be recalled that the 43-year-old in June said he had been invited over to the country to “look at a potential offer” but that he would not be taking it up.

Gerrard has been out of work since being sacked as Aston Villa manager in October 2022.

Al-Ettifaq were seventh in the 16-team Saudi Pro League last season, finishing 35 points behind champions Al-Ittihad.

The Saudi club have not given any details about the length of Gerrard’s contract.

The former England midfielder’s move to Saudi Arabia follows a summer of heavy investment by Pro League clubs as several top European players have joined Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo in the Middle East.

Stephen Gerrard

Fulham Managed Marco Silva has also reportedly turned down a £17m offer to coach Al-Hilal.

Former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves and Chelsea trio N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy are among those to move to Saudi Arabia, with Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic to Al-Nassr the most recent deal to be completed.

The trend underlines the league’s ambition to be one of the top five in the world and follows a decision in June by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns Newcastle United, to take over four leading clubs in the country. Al-Ettifaq is not one of those clubs.

Gerrard retired from playing in 2016 and his first managerial role was at Scottish club Rangers.

He took over the Ibrox side in 2018 and led the club to their first Scottish Premiership title in 10 years in 2020-21.

Gerrard then became Villa boss in November 2021 but left after 13 wins from 40 games during his time in charge.

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