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The good and the bad of playing in Saudi Arabia: advantages and problems for David Ospina | Colombians Abroad

To sign or not to sign? That is the question for David Ospina, whose days would be numbered in Italy, where he was able to establish himself and play 103 games in four seasons at Napoli.

In his decision there is a huge list of variables: his age (33 years old), his need to be indisputable (in Napoli he always had to undergo alternation), which may be the last big contract of his career… and of course , family, stability, personal and professional future.

There are too many things together to decide lightly, especially when there is a generous check in front of you that would unbalance everything. What is the best thing at this point in your career? There are some points to keep in mind:

Why yes to sign with Al Nassr?

– Money and time
While Napoli would have offered a two-year contract at a rate of 2.2 million euros per season, Al Nassr would be tempting him with a 3-year contract, at a rate of 3.5 million euros net per year plus bonuses, according to data from the journalist Nicolò Schira, If the terms are favorable, the peak would be up to 5 million per season. It is difficult, if not impossible, to refuse.

-In figure role
​One of the situations that, at 33 years old, can unbalance the balance is continuity: it is difficult to queue at that age, as it was supposed to happen at Real Madrid… no matter how much Madrid is. After Nice, his first season in Europe, Ospina always stood in line at Arsenal and Napoli and it could be enough for him. Now he would go as a figure, no one would discuss his role as headline. It’s like choosing between being the head of a mouse or the tail of a lion… he would prefer the former.

-Theme Selection
When deciding, there is also the matter of the Colombian National Team: Néstor Lorenzo returns, who knows him and trusts him, but you have to have continuity, an obligation to enter the calls and stay as a starter. He would choose that to meet the goal of returning to a World Cup. After the hard blow of the elimination of Qatar, he also understands that he does not have many more appointments left.

-The last big contract
It is impossible to criticize a mature player, aware that his career does not have many alternatives, for choosing an option that even those who are just starting out dream of. A million-dollar contract for three seasons is not such a common luxury today and you have to know that it may not be repeated. In addition, the stability of the family and the retirement plan are beginning to haunt and, for an intelligent man like Ospina, that must be ensured with money, more than with good intentions.

Why not sign in Arabia?

It is true that in economic terms there is very little to question in Al Nassr’s offer, but it may not be the only thing that weighs on the decision.

– The James Mirror
Saudi Arabia is not a competitive league. It will be emerging, aspirational, full of ambition, but today it is not even close, not even in a million years, to one of the five big ones in Europe, where there should still be very good market options. If what weighs the most is the salary, he could expose himself to looking in the mirror of James Rodríguez, who now that he discovered that paradise was not like that, is desperately looking for a way out. They are very good friends, surely they have talked about it.

-Why the rush?
Goalkeepers can maintain a high level even up to 40 years old and for that Ospina is at least six seasons away. The Colombian arch is his by age, experience and authority and there is, in the current scenario, who threatens that condition. So why the rush? Again, it’s such a personal response that it would be almost disrespectful to dare to pry.

-Don’t sign!
The world footballers’ union (FIFPRO) advised professional footballers in recent hours not to sign contracts with clubs from Algeria, China, Greece (Super League 2), Libya, Romania, Turkey and, attention, Saudi Arabia. The alarm signal is due to the systematic and generalized contractual violations in those countries, which make the players get involved in complex legal processes that, for the most part, would not give favorable results. It is not a perception for Ospina, in fact it is the organization that defends the interests of the players in the world that begs not to sign: it would be worth taking the alert into account.

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