Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad have confirmed their third major signing of the summer with the acquisition of Jota from Celtic — and they stunned fans with their very unusual announcement video.
The Saudi Arabian club secured the services of Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante earlier this month following their departures from Real Madrid and Chelsea respectively, and they have now lured another key signing from Europe to the Middle East.
Jota has joined the Jeddah-based club in a deal believed to be in the region of £25m, and at the age of just 24, the Portuguese winger represents the kind of transfer that outlines Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to be more than just a proverbial ‘retirement home’ for ageing stars.
He joins up with Nuno Espirito Santo’s title winners having bagged 28 goals and provided 26 assists across 83 appearances in his two-year stint at Parkhead, during which time he won successive Scottish Premierships and secured the domestic treble last term.
It’s a major move from Al-Ittihad, and they decided to mark the occasion in very peculiar fashion, posting one of the most bizarre and eerily entertaining announcement videos in the history of announcement videos.
— Ittihad Club (@ittihad_en) July 3, 2023
Clubs have started to really push the boundaries and think outside the box when it comes to unveiling new players, and Al-Ittihad took it to another level with their latest announcement.
Posting a near two-minute video on their official Twitter account, the video begins with an animated Espirito Santo sitting at home and watching a pixelated Jota on his television scoring against Rangers in a virtual Old Firm for Celtic.
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He then proceeds to get into his car and drive to a shop, checking his watch as the clock approaches 11pm — the time of the announcement in Saudi Arabia — where he is greeted by a chirpy yet mysterious shop-keeper, who presents him a pack of playing cards.
The former Wolves boss has a selection of cards placed out in front of him with each representing a Celtic player (past and present) including the likes of Giorgos Giakoumakis, Odsonne Edouard, Anthony Ralston and Albian Ajeti.
He ultimately selects Jota, where the Portuguese’s card is then placed alongside similar silhouettes of Benzema and Kante to represent Al-Ittihad’s summer business so far. Without further ado, enjoy…
— نادي الاتحاد السعودي (@ittihad) July 3, 2023