Saudi Arabia national football team
The Saudi Arabia national football team represents Saudi Arabia in men's international football and The team's colours are green and white. Saudi Arabia are known as Al-Suqour and Al-Akhdhar, The team represents both FIFA and Asian Football Confederation.
Considered one of Asia's most successful national teams, Saudi Arabia have won the Asian Cup three times, reached a joint record six Asian Cup finals and have qualified for the World Cup on five occasions since debuting at the 1994 tournament.
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 to accomplish such a feat to date.
HistoryThe 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. 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.
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. 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, ahead of Australia. However, they started on a sour note by letting host Russia rout them 0–5 on the opening match, making this the second largest victory of any host nation at the FIFA World Cup. The record of the host's largest opening victory is still by Italy, beating the United States 7–1, in 1934. Once again, Saudi Arabia failed to reach the next round, after suffering another defeat, this time, losing 0–1 to Uruguay. 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. Although they were eliminated, they managed to salvage some pride by winning their final group stage match against Red Sea neighbours Egypt.
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, 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.
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. The game ended in a scoreless draw.
- FIFA Confederations Cup:
- AFC Asian Cup:
- Asian Games
- Arabian Gulf Cup:
- Arab Nations Cup:
- Pan Arab Games
- Afro-Asian Cup of Nations:
- 2005 Islamic Solidarity Games
Kits and crests
FIFA World Cup
AFC Asian Cup
FIFA Confederations Cup
Arabian Gulf Cup record
Arab Nations Cup
Pan Arab Games
West Asian Football Federation Championship record
All Time ResultsThe following table shows Saudi Arabia's all-time international record, correct as of 25 June 2018.
Recent schedule and results
- The following 23 players were called up for the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup:
- Match date: 27 November 2019 – 8 December 2019
- Opposition:,, &.
- Caps and goals are correct as of 8 December 2019, after the match against.
- Caps and goals including all matches officially recognized by SAFF.
- SUS Player suspended
- INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury
- RET Retired from the national team
|Abdo Saleh El Wahsh||1974||1974|
|Khalil Ibrahim Al-Zayani||1984||1986|
|Carlos Alberto Parreira||1988||1990|
|Carlos Alberto Parreira||1998||1998|
|Mohammed Al-Kharashy||June 1998||June 1998|
|Otto Pfister||1999||Feb 1999|
|Milan Máčala||May 1999||2000|
|Slobodan Santrac||Aug 2001||Aug 2001|
|Nasser Al-Johar||Aug 2001||July 2002|
|Gerard van der Lem||Aug 2002||Aug 2004|
|Nasser Al-Johar||Sep 2004||Nov 2004|
|Gabriel Calderon||Nov 2004||Dec 2005|
|Helio dos Anjos||March 2007||June 2008|
|Nasser Al-Johar||June 2008||February 2009|
|José Peseiro||February 2009||January 2011|
|Nasser Al-Johar||January 2011||February 2011|
|Rogério Lourenço||June 2011||July 2011|
|Frank Rijkaard||August 2011||January 2013|
|Juan Ramón López Caro||January 2013||December 2014|
|Cosmin Olăroiu||December 2014||January 2015|
|Faisal Al Baden||March 2015||August 2015|
|Bert van Marwijk||September 2015||September 2017|
|Edgardo Bauza||September 2017||November 2017|
|Juan Antonio Pizzi||November 2017||January 2019|
|Youssef Anbar||March 2019||August 2019|
|Hervé Renard||August 2019|
|9||Mohamed Abd Al-Jawad||121||7||1981–1994|