Saeed Al-Owairan

Saeed Al-Owairan (also spelt Owairan; Arabic: سعيد العويران‎; born 19 August 1967) is a Saudi Arabian former international footballer who played as a midfielder or forward. He scored a famous goal in 1994 FIFA World Cup against Belgium, which is considered to be one of the greatest World Cup goals of all time.

Saeed Al-Owairan
Personal information
Date of birth (1967-08-19) 19 August 1967 (age 54)
Place of birth Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Midfielder, striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988–2001 Al-Shabab 588 (238)
National team
1991–1998 Saudi Arabia 75 (24)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Life and careerEdit

Owairan spent his entire club career at Al-Shabab, a Saudi club based in Riyadh.

He won 75 caps for the Saudi national team, scoring 24 goals, including 7 goals in 1994 World Cup qualifying. He achieved international renown at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, in which he scored a stunning individual goal against Belgium at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. that was later voted the 6th best in FIFA's Goal of the Century rankings.[1] The goal sent Saudi Arabia through to the second round of the World Cup, a feat which they have yet to repeat. They subsequently lost 3–1 to Sweden in the Round of 16.

Following the World Cup, Owairan returned to Saudi Arabia. The same year he was named as Asian Footballer of the Year.[2] Despite interest from European clubs, he was unable to leave the country due to a national law preventing Saudi footballers from playing abroad.[3] In 1996, he was caught drinking alcohol and socializing with women during Ramadan by the Saudi police. He was given a prison sentence (believed to be around six months) and suspended from competitive football for one year.[4]

Although he was selected as part of the Saudi Arabia national team at the 1998 World Cup in France, he only made two appearances as Saudi Arabia went out in the group stages.





Saudi Arabia



  1. ^ "Diego Maradona goal voted the FIFA World Cup™ Goal of the Century". FIFA. Archived from the original on 30 September 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Asian Player of the Year". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  3. ^ "World Cup's Greatest Goals: Saeed Al-Owairan (1994, SAUDI ARABIA vs. Belgium)". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Arrested After Shining in '94 World Cup, Owairan Battles Back : A Hopeful Return for Saudi Star". The New York Times. 4 May 1998. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
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