Saudi Arabia National Football Team
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Saudi Arabia National Football Team

Saudi Arabia
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) (al-'Akh?ar, "The Green One")
(a?-?uq?r al-'Akh?ar, "The Green Falcons")
AssociationSaudi Arabian Football Federation
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
WAFF (West Asia)
Head coachHervé Renard
CaptainSalman Al-Faraj
Most caps[1]
Top scorerMajed Abdullah (72)[2]
FIFA codeKSA
FIFA ranking
Current 67 Steady(10 December 2020)[3]
Highest21 (July 2004)
Lowest126 (December 2012)
First international
 Lebanon 1-1 Saudi Arabia 
(Beirut, Lebanon; 18 January 1957)
Biggest win
 Timor-Leste 0-10 Saudi Arabia 
(Dili, East Timor; 17 November 2015)
Biggest defeat
World Cup
Appearances5 (first in 1994)
Best resultRound of 16 (1994)
Asian Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1984)
Best resultChampions (1984, 1988, 1996)
WAFF Championship
Appearances3 (first in 2012)
Best resultGroup stage (3 times)
Confederations Cup
Appearances4 (first in 1992)
Best resultRunners-up (1992)

The Saudi Arabia national football team (Arabic: ? ? ? ‎) represents Saudi Arabia in men's international football and The team's colours are green and white. Saudi Arabia are known as Al-Suqour (The Falcons) and Al-Akhdhar (The Green), The team represents both FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Considered one of Asia's most successful national teams, Saudi Arabia have won the Asian Cup three times (1984, 1988, and 1996), reached a joint record six Asian Cup finals and have qualified for the World Cup on five occasions since debuting at the 1994 tournament. Saudi Arabia is the first AFC nation to reach the final of a senior FIFA competition, when it achieved during the 1992 King Fahd Cup, which would eventually become the eventual FIFA Confederations Cup. Only Australia and Japan managed to repeat this feat, both in the same Confederations Cup.

In the 1994 World Cup under the leadership of Jorge Solari, Saudi Arabia beat both Belgium and Morocco in the group stage before falling to Sweden in the Round of 16. Thus Saudi Arabia became the second Arab national football team in history to reach the Round of 16 in a World Cup, after Morocco's Round of 16 elimination in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and one of the few Asian national football teams (others being Australia, Japan, South Korea, North Korea) to accomplish such a feat to date.

History

The idea of a Saudi national team first came about in 1951, when a Saudi XI team consisting of players from Al-Wehda and Al-Ahli took part in a friendly game against the Egyptian Ministry of Health on June 27, 1951 at the Al-Saban Stadium in Jeddah. The following day, the Egyptians took on a Saudi team made up of players from Al-Ittihad and Al-Hilal in Al-Bahri in Jeddah. On August 2, 1951, His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal organized a third friendly with the Egyptian team against a Saudi National XI with players from Al-Wehda, and Al-Ahli. By then the idea of a national select team to represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was already in full flow, and in 1953 the first-ever Saudi team traveled to play friendly matches abroad. The same year, a Saudi team traveled to Damascus to play friendly matches as part of then-Crown Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz's visit to the country on April 1953.[5] In 1957, the Saudi national team took part in their first international tournament at the 2nd Pan-Arab Games in Beirut, where King Saud was invited to attend the opening ceremony and the inauguration of the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium with Lebanese President Camille Chamoun on October 18, 1957. The first game played at the stadium was between the national teams of Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Abdulmajeed Kayal scored for the Saudis while Levon Altonian netted for the home side. The Saudi players came from teams from Jeddah and Mecca, while the team was given support and encouragement from Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal for their trip to Beirut.[6]

Though their football federation was established in 1956, the Saudi Arabia national team did not participate in a tournament until they qualified for the AFC Asian Cup in 1984, which they won. They subsequently became one of Asia's most successful national teams, reaching the next four consecutive Asian Cup finals and winning two of them (1988 and 1996). They have qualified for every Asian Cup since, but their best performance in that period was reaching the final in 2007.

Saudi Arabia qualified for their first FIFA World Cup in 1994. Under the leadership of Jorge Solari and with talents like Saeed Al-Owairan and Sami Al-Jaber, reinforced by national veteran Majed Abdullah as team captain, Saudi Arabia beat both Belgium and Morocco in the group stage before falling to Sweden in the Round of 16. Saudi Arabia qualified for the next three World Cups, but did not win a group stage match in any of them. They failed to qualify for the 2010 and 2014 tournaments.

Saudi Arabia secured qualification for the 2018 tournament,[7] ahead of Australia. However, they started on a sour note by letting host Russia rout them 0-5 on the opening match,[8] making this the second largest victory of any host nation at the FIFA World Cup.[9] The record of the host's largest opening victory is still by Italy, beating the United States 7-1, in 1934.[10] Once again, Saudi Arabia failed to reach the next round, after suffering another defeat, this time, losing 0-1 to Uruguay.[11] Saudi Arabia's performance in the tournament was deemed to be their worst performance since 2002 World Cup, where they were beaten 8-0 by Germany in their opening game and finished 32nd and bottom in the final rankings.[12] Although they were eliminated,[13] they managed to salvage some pride by winning their final group stage match (and their first win at a World Cup since 1994) against Red Sea neighbours Egypt.[14]

After the 2018 World Cup, Saudi Arabia participated in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with a very high optimism after an acceptable performance in the World Cup, with the Saudis won its first World Cup game since 1994 edition. However, Saudi Arabia finished second in the group stage, after falling to Qatar in the final game,[15] and had to face another giant, Japan, in the round of sixteen. The Saudis dominated the whole game, but ultimately lost 0-1 due to poor finishing and crashed out from the competition.[16]

On 15 October 2019, Saudi Arabia played its first-ever game with Palestine in the West Bank. The game marked a change in policy for Saudi Arabia, which has previously played matches against the Palestinian team in third-party countries, the visit was condemned by some Palestinian activists who considered the game as a start of normalizing the relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, but it was viewed by the Palestinian National Authority as a support for their sovereignty over the West Bank.[17] The game ended in a scoreless draw.[18]

Honours

International

Runner-up: 1992
Fourth Place: 1999

Continental

Winner: 1984, 1988, 1996
Runner-up: 1992, 2000, 2007
Silver Medalists: 1986
Bronze Medalists: 1982

Regional

Winner: 1994, 2002, 2003
Runner-up: 1972, 1974, 1998, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2019
Third Place: 1970, 1979, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1996
Winner: 1998, 2002
Runner-up: 1992
Third Place: 1985
Silver Medalists: 1976
Bronze Medalists: 2007

Other

Runner-up: 1985, 1997
Gold Medalists: 2005

Kits and crests

The Saudi Arabia national football team's first kit are traditionally white and the second kit are green (flag colors).[19]

Kit suppliers

Kit supplier Period
United Kingdom Admiral 1976-1980
West Germany Puma 1980-1984
Saudi Arabia Faison 1984-1990
Germany Adidas 1990-1993
Saudi Arabia Shammel 1994-2001
Germany Adidas 2001-2003
France Le Coq Sportif 2004-2005
Germany Puma 2005-2010
United States Nike 2011-present

Competitive record

*Denotes draws includes knockout matches decided on penalty shootouts. Red border indicates that the tournament was hosted on home soil. Gold, silver, bronze backgrounds indicate 1st, 2nd and 3rd finishes respectively. Bold text indicates best finish in tournament.

FIFA World Cup

Saudi players warm-up before their match against Ukraine during the 2006 FIFA World Cup (19 June 2006)
Saudi Arabia players before the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening fixture, against hosts Russia in Group A.
World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Hosts / year Result Position GP W D L GS GA GP W D L GS GA
Uruguay 1930 Not a FIFA member No qualification
Italy 1934 Not a FIFA member
France 1938
Brazil 1950
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958 Did not enter Did not enter
Chile 1962
England 1966
Mexico 1970
West Germany 1974
Argentina 1978 Did not qualify 4 1 0 3 3 7
Spain 1982 10 4 1 5 9 16
Mexico 1986 2 0 1 1 0 1
Italy 1990 9 4 3 2 11 9
United States 1994 Round of 16 12th 4 2 0 2 5 6 11 6 5 0 28 7
France 1998 Group stage 28th 3 0 1 2 2 7 14 9 3 2 26 7
South Korea Japan 2002 32nd 3 0 0 3 0 12 14 11 2 1 47 8
Germany 2006 28th 3 0 1 2 2 7 12 10 2 0 24 2
South Africa 2010 Did not qualify 15 8 4 3 25 15
Brazil 2014 8 3 3 2 14 7
Russia 2018 Group stage 26th 3 1 0 2 2 7 18 12 3 3 45 14
Qatar 2022 To be determined 3 1 2 0 5 2
Canada Mexico United States 2026
Total Round of 16 5/23 16 3 2 11 11 39 120 69 29 22 237 95

AFC Asian Cup

All Time Results

The following table shows Saudi Arabia's all-time international record, correct as of 18 Nov 2020.

Against Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA
Total 677 319 151 197 1033 728

Rivalries

Due to historical reasons, matches against Iran have been frequently followed and seen by Saudis as the most important rival. This stems from the strong hatred between Saudi Arabia and Iran, in particular recent years due to religious sectarianism and historical enmities. Saudi Arabia is trailing behind the series, but only one game defeat, with 4 wins, 6 draws and 5 losses. It's one of 10 most heated rivalries with political influence.[20][21]

Saudi Arabia's other heated rival is Iraq. However, the rivalry only began in 1970s. Due to the Gulf War, which Iraq invaded Saudi Arabia's ally Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq eventually become bitter rival fighting to salvage Arab pride.[22] The two countries since then have an up-and-down in relations, often ranged from lack of cooperation and political confrontation. Iraq almost pulled out of the 21st Arabian Gulf Cup after the country was disallowed to host the competition in a move believed to be motivated by Saudi Arabia.[23]

Saudi Arabia's other rivals are mostly from the Gulf, notably Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Recent schedule and results

The following is a list of match results from the previous 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

2019

19 November 2019 Friendly Saudi Arabia  0-0  Paraguay Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
19:30 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium
Referee: Ali Al Samahiji (Bahrain)
30 November 2019 24th AGC GS Bahrain  0-2  Saudi Arabia Doha, Qatar
20:00 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium
Referee: Lionel Tschudi (Switzerland)
5 December 2019 24th AGC SF Saudi Arabia  1-0  Qatar Al Wakrah, Qatar
20:00 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium
Referee: Ahmad Al-Ali (Kuwait)
8 December 2019 24th AGC F Bahrain  1-0  Saudi Arabia Doha, Qatar
19:00 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium
Referee: Lionel Tschudi (Switzerland)

2020

14 November 2020 Friendly Saudi Arabia  3-0  Jamaica Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
19:30 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ahmed Eisa Mohamed Darwish (United Arab Emirates)
17 November 2020 Friendly Saudi Arabia  1-2  Jamaica Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
19:30 UTC+3
Report
Stadium: Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Yahya Al Mulla (United Arab Emirates)

2021

June 2021 2022 W.C. Q Saudi Arabia  v  Palestine TBD, Saudi Arabia
Stadium: TBD
June 2021 2022 W.C. Q Saudi Arabia  v  Uzbekistan TBD, Saudi Arabia
Stadium: TBD

Players

Current squad

  • The following 22 players were called up the friendly matches against Jamaica on 15 and 17 November 2020:[24][25]
  • Match date: 14 November 2020 - 17 November 2020
  • Opposition:  Jamaica.
  • Caps and goals are correct as of 17 November 2020, after the match against  Jamaica.
  • Caps and goals including all matches officially recognized by SAFF (also those not recognized by FIFA).
No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Mohammed Al-Rubaie (1997-08-14) 14 August 1997 (age 23) 2 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Ahli
21 1GK Habib Al-Wotayan (1996-08-08) 8 August 1996 (age 24) 0 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal

2 2DF Sultan Al-Ghanam (1994-05-06) 6 May 1994 (age 26) 9 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr
3 2DF Abdullah Madu (1993-07-15) 15 July 1993 (age 27) 3 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr
4 2DF Mohammed Al-Khabrani (1993-10-14) 14 October 1993 (age 27) 15 2 Saudi Arabia Al-Ahli
5 2DF Ali Al-Bulaihi (1989-11-21) 21 November 1989 (age 31) 19 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal
6 2DF Mohammed Al-Breik (1992-09-15) 15 September 1992 (age 28) 27 1 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal
12 2DF Hassan Tambakti (1999-02-09) 9 February 1999 (age 21) 7 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab
17 2DF Ahmed Sharahili (1994-05-08) 8 May 1994 (age 26) 1 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab
26 2DF Abdullah Hassoun (1997-03-19) 19 March 1997 (age 23) 1 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Ahli
27 2DF Saeed Al-Robeai (1994-06-04) 4 June 1994 (age 26) 2 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Ettifaq

7 3MF Mukhtar Ali (1997-10-30) 30 October 1997 (age 23) 4 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr
8 3MF Abdulellah Al-Malki (1994-10-11) 11 October 1994 (age 26) 10 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad
11 3MF Hattan Bahebri (1992-07-16) 16 July 1992 (age 28) 29 4 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal
14 3MF Ayman Yahya (2001-05-14) 14 May 2001 (age 19) 1 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr
16 3MF Housain Al-Mogahwi (1988-03-24) 24 March 1988 (age 32) 31 2 Saudi Arabia Al-Ahli
25 3MF Turki Al-Ammar (1999-09-23) 23 September 1999 (age 21) 4 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab
28 3MF Mohamed Kanno (1994-09-22) 22 September 1994 (age 26) 17 1 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal

9 4FW Abdullah Al-Hamdan (1999-09-12) 12 September 1999 (age 21) 11 4 Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab
15 4FW Saleh Al-Shehri (1993-11-01) 1 November 1993 (age 27) 2 1 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal
19 4FW Firas Al-Buraikan (2000-05-14) 14 May 2000 (age 20) 9 3 Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr
20 4FW Abdulfattah Adam (1995-01-01) 1 January 1995 (age 26) 4 2 Saudi Arabia Al-Raed

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Saudi Arabia squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Abdullah Al-Owaishir (1991-05-13) 13 May 1991 (age 29) 0 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Wehda v.  Jamaica, 17 November 2020 INJ

DF Yasser Al-Shahrani (1992-05-25) 25 May 1992 (age 28) 57 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal v.  Jamaica, 17 November 2020 INJ
DF Ziyad Al-Sahafi (1994-10-17) 17 October 1994 (age 26) 8 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad v.  Jamaica, 14 November 2020 INJ

MF Salman Al-Faraj (1989-08-01) 1 August 1989 (age 31) 56 6 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal v.  Jamaica, 17 November 2020 WD
MF Salem Al-Dawsari (1991-08-19) 19 August 1991 (age 29) 52 12 Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal v.  Jamaica, 17 November 2020 INJ
MF Abdulmajeed Al-Sulayhem (1994-05-15) 15 May 1994 (age 26) 3 0 Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr v.  Jamaica, 17 November 2020 WD
MF Nawaf Al-Abed (1990-01-26) 26 January 1990 (age 31) 48 8 Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab v.  Jamaica, 14 November 2020 INJ


  • SUS Player suspended
  • INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury
  • RET Retired from the national team
  • WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.

Managerial history

Updated 29 July 2019.[26][27]

Records

As of 20 November 2018

References

  1. ^ a b "FIFA Century Club" (PDF). Fifa.com. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ "Majed Abdullah". RSSSF.
  3. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 10 December 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 10 December 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "1953.. ? ".
  6. ^ "Saudi Arabia - History".
  7. ^ "Saudi Arabia reaches World Cup finals with dramatic win over Japan". Arab News. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Fletcher, Paul (14 June 2018). "World Cup 2018: Russia thrash Saudi Arabia 5-0 in tournament". BBC Sport. Moscow: BBC. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ Bond, George (20 June 2018). "Are Saudi Arabia the worst team ever at a World Cup?". Talksport. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Molinaro, John (9 June 2018). "History of the World Cup: 1934 - Italy wins for Il Duce". Sportsnet. Rogers Media. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ "World Cup: Uruguay defeat Saudi Arabia 1-0, qualify for knockout stages". Euronews. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Germany savage Saudis". BBC Sport. 1 June 2002. Retrieved 2020.
  13. ^ "Highlights: Saudi Arabia beat Egypt as both nations eliminated". itv.com. ITV plc. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (25 June 2018). "Mohamed Salah scored his second goal of the World Cup but Egypt ended their campaign pointless with defeat by Saudi Arabia at Volgograd Arena". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ http://iranpress.com/en/middle_east-i131625-afc_asian_cup_2019_saudi_arabia_0_2_qatar_in_abu_dhabi
  16. ^ https://www.foxsports.com/soccer/story/asian-cup-japan-tops-saudi-arabia-australia-wins-shootout-012119
  17. ^ "Some booed Saudi-Palestinian soccer match in West Bank even before it started". The Washington Post.
  18. ^ "2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar(TM) Qualifiers - Asia - Matches - Palestine - Saudi Arabia - FIFA.com". www.fifa.com. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ UNDER THE RADAR BUT BRIMMING WITH OPTIMISM
  20. ^ https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2233242-international-footballs-10-most-politically-charged-football-rivalries
  21. ^ https://www.csis.org/analysis/policy-goals-soccer-and-saudi-iranian-rivalry
  22. ^ http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993-10-15/sports/9310190165_1_saudi-arabia-world-cup-usa-south-korea-north-korea
  23. ^ https://br.reuters.com/article/soccer-iraq-saudi-idUKL6N0HZ1NE20131009
  24. ^ " (28) ? ".
  25. ^ " ? ? ? ".
  26. ^ "Overview of coaches". ksa-team.com. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ "Saudi Arabia National Team Coaches". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2015.
  28. ^ a b Naeim Albakr. "Saudi Arabia - Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 2013.

Titles

Preceded by
1980 Kuwait 
Asian Champions
1984 (First title)
1988 (Second title)
Succeeded by
1992 Japan 
Preceded by
1992 Japan 
Asian Champions
1996 (Third title)
Succeeded by
2000 Japan 

External links


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