The Saudi Arabia national football team (Arabic: المنتخب العربي السعودي لكرة القدم) 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).
|Nickname(s)||الأخضر (al-‘Akhḍar, "The Green")|
الصقور الخضر (aṣ-Ṣuqūr al-‘Akhḍar, "The Green Falcons")
الصقور العربية (aṣ-Ṣuqūr Al-ʿArabiyyah, "Arabian Falcons")
|Association||Saudi Arabian Football Federation|
|Sub-confederation||WAFF (West Asia)|
|Head coach||Hervé Renard|
|Most caps||Mohamed Al-Deayea (178)|
|Top scorer||Majed Abdullah (72)|
|Current||53 4 (23 June 2022)|
|Highest||21 (July 2004)|
|Lowest||126 (December 2012)|
| Lebanon 1–1 Saudi Arabia |
(Beirut, Lebanon; 18 January 1957)
| Timor-Leste 0–10 Saudi Arabia |
(Dili, Timor-Leste; 17 November 2015)
| United Arab Republic 13–0 Saudi Arabia |
(Casablanca, Morocco; 3 September 1961)
|Appearances||6 (first in 1994)|
|Best result||Round of 16 (1994)|
|Appearances||10 (first in 1984)|
|Best result||Champions (1984, 1988, 1996)|
|Appearances||7 (first in 1985)|
|Best result||Champions (1998, 2002)|
|Arabian Gulf Cup|
|Appearances||24 (first in 1970)|
|Best result||Champions (1994, 2002, 2003)|
|Appearances||3 (first in 2012)|
|Best result||Group stage (3 times)|
|FIFA Confederations Cup|
|Appearances||4 (first in 1992)|
|Best result||Runners-up (1992)|
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 six 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, in 1997 and 2001, though Australia achieved it when it was a member of the OFC.
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.
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 27 June 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 the same city. On 2 August, His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal organized a third friendly with the Egyptian team against Saudi Arabia 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 in April.
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 18 October. Abdulmajeed Kayal scored for the Saudis while Levon Altonian netted for the home side.
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. Since then, they reached the next four consecutive Asian Cup finals, winning two of them (1988 and 1996). They have qualified for every Asian Cup since, reaching the final in 2007.
Saudi Arabia qualified for their first FIFA World Cup in 1994 under the leadership of Argentine manager Jorge Solari and talents like Saeed Al-Owairan and Sami Al-Jaber, reinforced by national veteran Majed Abdullah as team captain. Wins against Belgium and Morocco in the group stage led to a match-up against Sweden in the round of 16, a 3–1 loss. Saudi Arabia qualified for the next three World Cups, but failed to win a match in any of them; the team placed last in 2002 without scoring a goal, while conceding 12, including eight against Germany.
Saudi Arabia secured qualification for the 2018 World Cup, their first in 12 years, ahead of Australia. Hosts Russia annihilated the Arabs in the opening match 5–0, making this the second largest victory of any host nation at the FIFA World Cup. Saudi Arabia then lost 1–0 to a Luis Suarez-led Uruguay, the eventual group winners. Although they were already 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 Asian Cup, held in the United Arab Emirates; the team finished second in the group stage, after falling to Qatar in the final game, leading to a showdown against Japan in the round of 16. The Saudis dominated the whole game, but ultimately lost 1–0 due to poor finishing.
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.
Kits and crestsEdit
The Saudi Arabia national football team's first kit are traditionally white and the second kit are green (flag colors).
|Le Coq Sportif||2004|
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.
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. 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.
Historically, Saudi Arabia played most of their home matches in King Fahd International Stadium, located in the capital Riyadh. The stadium was also where some of Saudi Arabia's most important fixtures were when the country hosted the first three King Fahd Cups (predecessor of the Confederations Cup). The stadium was also home to some of Saudi Arabia's big games in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Saudi Arabia started to diversify the use of venues from outside Riyadh in the 2000s, with the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers first round played in Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam and the second round played entirely in Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium. In the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers second round against Sri Lanka and at the first fixture against Uzbekistan in the third round, Saudi Arabia played again in Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium. It was accelerated from 2010s onward as Saudi Arabia began to play frequent home fixtures in newly built King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah and Mrsool Park also in Riyadh.
Recent schedule and resultsEdit
The following is a list of match results from the previous 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
|2 September 2021 2022 W.C. Q||Saudi Arabia||3–1||Vietnam||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia|
|21:00 UTC+3||Report (FIFA)
|Stadium: Mrsool Park|
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (Uzbekistan)
|7 September 2021 2022 W.C. Q||Oman||0–1||Saudi Arabia||Muscat, Oman|
|20:00 UTC+4||Report (FIFA)
||Stadium: Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex|
Referee: Hanna Hattab (Syria)
|7 October 2021 2022 W.C. Q||Saudi Arabia||1–0||Japan||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
|Stadium: King Abdullah Sports City|
Referee: Adham Makhadmeh (Jordan)
|12 October 2021 2022 W.C. Q||Saudi Arabia||3–2||China||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
|20:00 UTC+3||Report||Stadium: King Abdullah Sports City|
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (Uzbekistan)
|11 November 2021 2022 W.C. Q||Australia||0–0||Saudi Arabia||Sydney, Australia|
|20:10 UTC+11||Report (FIFA)
|Stadium: Western Sydney Stadium|
Referee: Ko Hyung-jin (South Korea)
|16 November 2021 2022 W.C. Q||Vietnam||0–1||Saudi Arabia||Hanoi, Vietnam|
||Stadium: Mỹ Đình National Stadium|
Referee: Hanna Hattab (Syria)
|1 December 2021 2021 Arab Cup GS||Saudi Arabia||0–1||Jordan||Al Rayyan, Qatar|
|22:00 UTC+3||Report||Stadium: Education City Stadium|
Referee: Bakary Gassama (Gambia)
|4 December 2021 2021 Arab Cup GS||Palestine||1–1||Saudi Arabia||Al Rayyan, Qatar|
||Stadium: Education City Stadium|
Referee: Said Martínez (Honduras)
|7 December 2021 2021 Arab Cup GS||Morocco A'||1–0||Saudi Arabia||Doha, Qatar|
|18:00 UTC+3||Report||Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium|
Referee: Andrés Matonte (Uruguay)
|27 January 2022 2022 W.C. Q||Saudi Arabia||1–0||Oman||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
||Report||Stadium: King Abdullah Sports City|
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)
|1 February 2022 2022 W.C. Q||Japan||2–0||Saudi Arabia||Saitama, Japan|
|19:35 UTC+9||Minamino 31'
|Report||Stadium: Saitama Stadium 2002|
|24 March 2022 2022 W.C. Q||China||1–1||Saudi Arabia||Sharjah, United Arab Emirates|
||Stadium: Sharjah Stadium|
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed (United Arab Emirates)
|29 March 2022 2022 W.C. Q||Saudi Arabia||1–0||Australia||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
|--:-- UTC+3||Report||Stadium: King Abdullah Sports City|
Referee: Adham Makhadmeh (Jordan)
|5 June 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||0–1||Colombia||Murcia, Spain|
|19:00 UTC+2||Report||Borré 9'||Stadium: Estadio Nueva Condomina|
Referee: Jason Barcelo (Gibraltar)
|9 June 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||0–1||Venezuela||Murcia, Spain|
||Stadium: Estadio Nueva Condomina|
Referee: Daniel Gómez Gordillo (Gibraltar)
|23 September 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||v||Ecuador||Murcia, Spain|
|19:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Estadio Nueva Condomina|
|27 September 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||v||United States||Murcia, Spain|
|Report||Stadium: Estadio Nueva Condomina|
|22 November 2022 FIFA World Cup||Argentina||v||Saudi Arabia||Lusail, Qatar|
|13:00 UTC+3||Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium|
|26 November 2022 FIFA World Cup||Poland||v||Saudi Arabia||Al Rayyan, Qatar|
|16:00 UTC+3||Stadium: Education City Stadium|
|Assistant coach||Laurent Bonadéi|
|Assistant coach||Sofian Kheyari|
|Assistant coach||Mohammed Ameen|
|Goalkeeper coach||Philippe Sence|
|Technical director||Romeo Jozak|
- Abdulrahman Fawzi (1957–1961)
- Ali Chaouach (1967–1969)
- George Skinner (1970)
- Mohammed Sheita (1970–1972)
- Taha Ismail (1972–1974)
- Abdo Saleh El Wahsh 1974)
- Ferenc Puskás (1975)
- Bill McGarry (1976–1977)
- Ronnie Allen (1978)
- Danny Allison (1978)
- David Woodfield (1979)
- Rubens Minelli (1980)
- Mario Zagallo (1981–1984)
- Khalil Ibrahim Al-Zayani (1984–1986)
- Castilho (1986)
- Osvaldo (1987)
- Carlos Galletti (1988)
- Omar Borrás (1988)
- Carlos Alberto Parreira (1988–1990)
- Metin Türel (1990)
- Claudinho Garcia (1990–1992)
- Veloso (1992)
- Nelsinho Rosa (1992)
- Candinho (1993)
- Leo Beenhakker (1993–1994)
- Mohammed Al-Kharashy (1994, 1995, 1998)
- Ivo Wortmann (1994)
- Jorge Solari (1994)
- Zé Mário (1995–1996)
- Nelo Vingada (1996–1997)
- Otto Pfister (1998)
- Carlos Alberto Parreira (1998)
- Otto Pfister (1999)
- Milan Máčala (1999–2000)
- Nasser Al-Johar (2000, 2001–2002, 2004, 2008–2009, 2011)
- Slobodan Santrac (2001)
- Gerard van der Lem (2002–2004)
- Martin Koopman (2002)
- Gabriel Calderon (2004–2005)
- Marcos Paquetá (2006–2007)
- Hélio dos Anjos (2007–2008)
- José Peseiro (2009–2011)
- Rogério Lourenço (2011)
- Frank Rijkaard (2011–2013)
- Juan Ramón López Caro (2013–2014)
- Cosmin Olăroiu (2014–2015)
- Faisal Al Baden (2015)
- Bert van Marwijk (2015–2017)
- Edgardo Bauza (2017)
- Juan Antonio Pizzi (2017–2019)
- Youssef Anbar (2019)
- Hervé Renard (2019–present)
- Match date: 5 and 9 June 2022
- Opposition: Colombia & Venezuela.
- Caps and goals are correct as of 9 June 2022, after the match against Venezuela, as recognized by SAFF.
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||Amin Bukhari||2 May 1997||0||0||Al-Nassr||v. Colombia, 5 June 2022 INJ|
|GK||Zaid Al-Bawardi||26 January 1997||2||0||Al-Shabab||v. Oman, 27 January 2022 INJ|
|GK||Nawaf Al-Aqidi||10 May 2000||0||0||Al-Nassr||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|DF||Saud Abdulhamid||18 July 1999||15||0||Al-Hilal||v. Australia, 29 March 2022|
|DF||Abdullah Madu||15 July 1993||11||0||Al-Nassr||v. Australia, 29 March 2022|
|DF||Moteb Al-Harbi||20 February 2000||3||0||Al-Shabab||v. Australia, 29 March 2022|
|DF||Ahmed Sharahili||6 July 1993||3||0||Al-Ittihad||v. Australia, 29 March 2022|
|DF||Ali Majrashi||1 October 1999||3||0||Al-Ahli||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|DF||Waleed Al-Ahmed||3 May 1999||2||0||Al-Faisaly||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|DF||Muhannad Al-Shanqeeti||12 March 1999||2||0||Al-Ittihad||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|DF||Naif Almas||18 January 2000||2||0||Al-Fayha||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|DF||Sulaiman Hazazi||1 February 2003||2||0||Al-Taawoun||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|DF||Khalifah Al-Dawsari||2 January 1999||1||0||Al-Hilal||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|DF||Nawaf Boushal||16 September 1999||1||0||Al-Fateh||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|DF||Mohammed Al-Khabrani||14 October 1993||17||2||Al-Ahli||v. China, 12 October 2021|
|DF||Hussain Qassem||21 September 1997||0||0||Al-Tai||v. China, 12 October 2021|
|MF||Fahad Al-Muwallad||14 September 1994||70||17||Al-Ittihad||v. Australia, 29 March 2022 SUS|
|MF||Abdulellah Al-Malki||11 October 1994||21||0||Al-Hilal||v. Japan, 1 February 2021|
|MF||Abdullah Al-Khaibari||16 August 1996||12||0||Al-Nassr||v. Japan, 1 February 2021|
|MF||Turki Al-Ammar||24 September 1999||6||0||Al-Shabab||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|MF||Ayman Yahya||14 May 2001||6||0||Al-Nassr||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|MF||Hamed Al-Ghamdi||2 April 1999||3||0||Al-Ettifaq||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|MF||Mohammed Al-Qahtani||23 July 2002||3||0||Al-Hilal||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|MF||Meshal Al-Sebyani||11 April 2001||2||0||Al-Faisaly||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|MF||Ibrahim Mahnashi||18 November 1999||1||0||Al-Ettifaq||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|MF||Bader Munshi||22 June 1999||1||0||Damac||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
|MF||Ziyad Al-Johani||11 November 2001||0||0||Al-Ahli||2021 FIFA Arab Cup INJ|
|MF||Ali Al-Asmari||12 January 1997||4||0||Al-Ahli||v. Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Mohammed Al-Kuwaykibi||2 December 1994||9||0||Al-Ettifaq||v. Australia, 11 November 2021 WD|
|FW||Saleh Al-Shehri||1 November 1993||16||8||Al-Hilal||v. Australia, 29 March 2022|
|FW||Haitham Asiri||25 March 2001||3||0||Al-Ahli||v. Japan, 1 February 2021|
|FW||Abdullah Radif||20 January 2003||3||0||Al-Hilal||2021 FIFA Arab Cup|
- As of 20 November 2018
- Players in bold are still active with Saudi Arabia.
|9||Mohamed Abd Al-Jawad||121||7||1981–1994|
- *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.
Champion Runners-up Third place
|Event||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place|
|FIFA Confederations Cup||0||1||0|
|FIFA Arab Cup||2||1||1|
|AFC Asian Cup||3||3||0|
|Arabian Gulf Cup||3||7||7|
|Pan Arab Games||0||1||1|
FIFA World CupEdit
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930||Not a FIFA member||No qualification|
|1934||Not a FIFA member|
|1958||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1978||Did not qualify||4||1||0||3||3||7|
|1994||Round of 16||12th||4||2||0||2||5||6||11||6||5||0||28||7|
|2010||Did not qualify||16||8||5||3||25||15|
|2026||To be determined||To be determined|
|Total||Round of 16||6/22||16||3||2||11||11||39||136||81||32||23||266||103|
AFC Asian CupEdit
|AFC Asian Cup record||AFC Asian Cup qualification record|
|1956||Not an AFC member||Not an AFC member|
|1988||Champions||1st||6||3||3||0||5||1||Automatic qualification as champions|
|1992||Runners-up||2nd||5||2||2||1||8||3||Automatic qualification as champions|
|2000||Runners-up||2nd||6||3||1||2||11||8||Automatic qualification as champions|
|2011||Group stage||15th||3||0||0||3||1||8||Automatic qualification as runners-up|
|2019||Round of 16||12th||4||2||0||2||6||3||8||6||2||0||28||4|
FIFA Confederations CupEdit
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|2001||Did not qualify|
Arabian Gulf Cup recordEdit
FIFA Arab CupEdit
Pan Arab GamesEdit
|Pan Arab Games record|
|1953||Did not enter|
|1965||Did not enter|
|1997||Did not enter|
West Asian Football Federation ChampionshipEdit
|WAFF Championship record|
|2000||Did not participate|
The following table shows Saudi Arabia's all-time international record, correct as of 18 November 2020.
- Gold Medalists: 2005
- "FIFA Century Club" (PDF). Fifa.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
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- "Schedule". AS.com. 2 April 2022.
- UNDER THE RADAR BUT BRIMMING WITH OPTIMISM
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- Reuters[dead link]
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