Cristiano Ronaldo has made some bold claims about the rise of the Saudi Pro League. The Portugal international spoke to the media following Al Nassr’s friendly match with Spanish side Celta Vigo on Monday. “The Saudi league is better than MLS,” proclaimed Ronaldo when asked directly about playing in the United States.

Ronaldo’s comments could be seen as a direct shot at rival Lionel Messi. The Argentine star rejected the chance to join a Saudi club and opted instead to sign with MLS side Inter Miami. After announcing that he picked Miami as his next destination back in June, Messi was finally unveiled at the weekend. The two superstars previously faced off regularly in LaLiga with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Top players joining Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia, not MLS

Along with taking a shot at MLS, Ronaldo also claimed that the Middle Eastern league will soon overtake top European divisions.

“I opened the way to the Saudi league and now all the players are coming here. In one year, more and more top players will come to Saudi,” continued the forward. “In a year the Saudi league will overtake the Turkish league and Dutch league.”

Fellow stars Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Marcelo Brozovic, Roberto Firmino, and Ruben Neves have all signed on with Saudi clubs this summer. The league is still attracting top talent. Liverpool duo Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have also been linked with a move to the Middle East. Riyad Mahrez, Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Paul Pogba are among others potentially signing on with Saudi clubs as well.

Star vows never to play in Europe again

Also, Ronaldo answered questions on the future of his club career. The star forward is not going to return to Europe.

“I’m 100 percent sure I won’t return to any European club,” claimed Ronaldo. “I’m 38 years old. And European football has lost a lot of quality. The only valid one and still doing good is the Premier League. They’re way ahead of all the other leagues.”

Al Nassr went on to lose the preseason match against Celta Vigo by a scoreline of 5-0. Ronaldo only played the first half of the match. It entered the break at 0-0. The Saudi side will next face Portuguese champions Benfica on Thursday, July 20.