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Demarai Gray: 'Difficult to adapt' to Saudi crowds

Demarai Gray: 'Difficult to adapt' to Saudi crowds

Demarai Gray found it “difficult to adapt to the crowds” in Saudi Arabia.

The 28-year-old winger left Everton to join Al-Ettifaq last year and admitted it has been a “big change” as he initially found it hard to cope with the heat and playing in front of so few fans every week.

He told FourFourTwo magazine: “[It ahs been] a big change. The heat in September has me thinking, ‘If it’s like this all year round, I don’t know how long I’ve got left because my tank is empty!’

“At first, it was difficult to adapt to the crowds. Sometimes you’ll see games with low attendances, but people who moan don’t understand that if we play on a Sunday, it’s their Monday: a working day.”

Demarai insisted the standard of football is much higher than people realise, but thinks it will take time to reach its “pinnacle”.

He added: “You might think the standard would be really easy for somebody coming from the Premier League, but it’s not as simple as you think.

“Cristiano Ronaldo said he ranks it higher than Ligue 1, and he could well be right.

“The league still has a period to go until it’s at its pinnacle, but by the time the World Cup comes here in 2034, it’ll be mad – I guarantee that.

“In two or three years, it’ll be a solid division.”

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