Gabri Veiga responded to claims he solely moved to the Saudi Pro League for financial reasons.
With much of Saudi Arabia’s summer business focused on luring some of Europe’s most high-profile and ageing stars to the burgeoning league, Veiga’s transfer to Al Ahli raised eyebrows.
The 21-year-old was one of La Liga’s brightest prospects, having made 36 league appearances for Celta Vigo last term, scoring 11 goals.
But despite having attracted interest from the Premier League and Serie A champions Napoli, Veiga moved to the Saudi Pro League.
The transfer made ripples across the football world and was slammed by Real Madrid’s Kroos, who claimed on Instagram the move was “embarrassing”.
However, Veiga has since addressed the accusations that he merely moved to the Saudi Pro League for money.
Speaking to El Larguero, Viega said: “I did not join the Saudi Pro League just for money.
“It was the best option to develop as a player, grow under a young coach, a team full of stars and a league improving as the Saudi Pro League. I’m 100 per cent proud of my choice”
Kroos had previously explained in his podcast Einfach mal Luppen that he was “not a fan of” young players moving to Saudi Arabia.
The German said: “Everyone goes there for the money. You can find that good or not.
“What I just roughly differentiate is, for example, a change from Cristiano (Ronaldo) or (Karim)Benzema, who are heading there towards the end of their career.
“They’ve won everything, have legendary status, achieved everything and then let their careers coast to a halt and take this unbelievable money with them.
“What I have a problem with are the 26, 27, 28-year-olds, who have absolutely top quality, play in top clubs in Europe and have the chance to achieve that in the next three or four years what others who are going there have already achieved.
“I’m not a fan of that. It’s an incredibly bad example for a lot of young players that the motivation is money. I think it’s a pity for everyone who puts sporting thoughts to the back of their minds in the absolute top football age.
“That’s just not a good role model for me and a danger for the football of the future,”