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Loving the Saudi Garb Benzema, Mane & More Donned For Founding Day? Here’s What it Costs

Loving the Saudi Garb Benzema, Mane & More Donned For Founding Day? Here’s What it Costs

The Saudi Pro League has caused a lot of stir in world football over the last few years by signing some of the world’s most recognized footballers.

It was Al Nassr’s signing of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2023 that changed the game and acted as a trigger for many top-quality footballers to follow his footsteps to move to Saudi Arabia last summer.

The likes of Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Neymar Jr, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante, Aymeric Laporte and Gini Wijnaldum were some of the top names brought to the country by different clubs.

Most of these clubs are funded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, as a means of glittering the reputation of the country and the league.

Of course, not only are the footballers paid extremely lucrative wages, but they also have to slightly customize their lifestyle and respect the traditions of Saudi Arabia.

As major representatives of the sport, the major foreign talents are used as means to help promote the Saudi Arabian culture and customs, as was the case recently in the Saudi Founding Day.

What Did Saudi Pro League Superstars Wear For Saudi Founding Day?

Saudi Founding Day is a public national holiday in Saudi Arabia that is celebrated annually on February 22.

It was first introduced in 2022 and is celebrated to pay celebrate Muhammad bin Saud becoming the emir of the oasis town or Diriyah in 1727 after the death of his father Saud al-Muqrin – with this succession being considered as the inception of the present-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

As a result, this day is celebrated almost like an Independence Day in other countries – full of festivities, fireworks and for people to have fun.

Of course, as it has been the case for Saudi Arabia in the last few years – which events held at a ‘grander’ scale – the Saudi Pro League foreign stars attended a special show organized to celebrate the day.

A number of prominent footballers all showed up wearing traditional Saudi attire to fit in with the rest of the crowd and look ‘suited’ for the occasion.

Benzema, who is an Algerian Muslim, managed to really stand out by dressing like a warrior.

He wore a black Thawb (also called thobe, dishdashah or kandurah in other Arabic dialects) and a leather chest belt to hold it together.

Benzema also wore a gorgeous white Shemagh (also known as Keffiyeh or Ghutrah) with a golden ring on top.

He wasn’t the only footballer donning the traditional attires.

Sadio Mane, also a Muslim, decided to dress more ‘traditionally’ in wearing a beautiful white Thawb and a chequered Ghutrah on top of his head.

Al Nassr defender Aymeric Laporte decided to dress for the occasion as well to fit in with the crowd, donning a traditional Ghutrah on his head and wearing a Thawb which is covered by a Sherwani.

Al Ettifaq midfielder Gini Wijnaldum also wore a similar attire for the occasion, with his outer layer being of a slightly different design than Laporte’s.

What Is The Significance Behind The Traditional Saudi Attires?

Now, the prices of the attires being worn by these Saudi Pro League superstars can differ depending on material, quality or brand. For example, a decent quality Thawb costs around $103 on Al Telal, but this attire can cost much more than that depending on the quality of material (it’s normally made with Polyester fabric but can also be made with sheep’s wool for colder climates).

A Ghutrah is relatively cheaper (even available for $10) – but putting in expensive jewellery to make different patterns can make it really expensive too.

However, the leather chest harness belt that Benzema is wearing can be really expensive – with a similar one being priced at nearly $500!

A quality sherwani can start from around $300 as well, but the ones that Wijnaldum and Laporte are wearing are likely to be much more expensive as they’re probably custom-made.

The significance behind attires such as a Thawb or Ghutrah is that they are considered symbols of national and cultural identity for countries like Saudi Arabia.

This is mostly worn by Muslim men as it enables the wearer to dress modestly – because in Islam the men are required to adhere to a dress code that covers all parts of the body between the waist and the knee.

Moreover, due to the harsher hot climate in the countries, the Ghutrah and Thawb offer them protection from the sun too.

In the case of the Saudi Pro League superstars, especially the non-muslim ones, it’s only a case for wearing these attires for special occasions like the Saudi Founding Day to pay respect to the country and win over the fans’ love.