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). 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, 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.
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 Confederation AFC (Asia) Sub-confederation WAFF (West Asia) Head coach Hervé Renard Captain Salman Al-Faraj Most caps Mohamed Al-Deayea (178) Top scorer Majed Abdullah (72) FIFA code KSA FIFA ranking Current 51 3 (23 December 2021) Highest 21 (July 2004) Lowest 126 (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 United Arab Republic 13–0 Saudi Arabia
(Casablanca, Morocco; 3 September 1961)
World Cup Appearances 5 (first in 1994) Best result Round of 16 (1994) Asian Cup Appearances 10 (first in 1984) Best result Champions (1984, 1988, 1996) Arab Cup Appearances 7 (first in 1985) Best result Champions (1998, 2002) Arabian Gulf Cup Appearances 24 (first in 1970) Best result Champions (1994, 2002, 2003) WAFF Championship Appearances 3 (first in 2012) Best result Group stage (3 times) FIFA Confederations Cup Appearances 4 (first in 1992) Best result Runners-up (1992) Men's football FIFA Confederations Cup 1992 Saudi Arabia Team FIFA Arab Cup 1998 Qatar Team 2002 Kuwait Team 1992 Syria Team 1985 Saudi Arabia Team AFC Asian Cup 1984 Singapore Team 1988 Qatar Team 1996 UAE Team 1992 Japan Team 2000 Lebanon Team 2007 Pan Asia Team Asian Games 1986 Seoul Team 1982 New Delhi Team Pan Arab Games 1976 Damascus Team 2007 Cairo Team
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).
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, 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 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 in 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 (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, 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 (and their first win at a World Cup since 1994) 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.
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The Saudi Arabia national football team's first kit are traditionally white and the second kit are green (flag colors).
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.
The following is a list of match results from the previous 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
- As of 29 July 2019
|Head coach||Hervé Renard|
|Assistant coach||Laurent Bonadei|
|Assistant coach||Sofian Kheyari|
|Assistant coach||Mohammed Ameen|
|Goalkeeper coach||Philippe Sence|
|Technical director||Ioan Lupescu|
- 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 Borras (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)
- Ivo Wortmann (1994)
- Jorge Solari (1994)
- Mohammed Al-Kharashy (1995)
- Zé Mário (1995–1996)
- Nelo Vingada (1996–1997)
- Otto Pfister (1998)
- Carlos Alberto Parreira (1998)
- Mohammed Al-Kharashy (1998)
- Otto Pfister (1999)
- Milan Máčala (1999–2000)
- Nasser Al-Johar (2000)
- Slobodan Santrac (2001)
- Nasser Al-Johar (2001–2002)
- Gerard van der Lem (2002–2004)
- Martin Koopman (2002)
- Nasser Al-Johar (2004)
- Gabriel Calderon (2004–2005)
- Marcos Paquetá (2006–2007)
- Hélio dos Anjos (2007–2008)
- Nasser Al-Johar (2008–2009)
- José Peseiro (2009–2011)
- Nasser Al-Johar (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)
- The following 23 players were called up for the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup:
- Match date: 1 – 7 December 2021
- Opposition:Jordan,Palestine, &Morocco.
- Caps and goals are correct as of 7 December 2021, after the match againstMorocco.
- 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 24)||5||0||Al-Ahli|
|21||1GK||Nawaf Al-Aqidi||(2000-05-10)10 May 2000 (age 21)||0||0||Al-Nassr|
|22||1GK||Zaid Al-Bawardi||(1997-01-26)26 January 1997 (age 24)||2||0||Al-Shabab|
|2||2DF||Muhannad Al-Shanqeeti||(1999-03-12)12 March 1999 (age 22)||2||0||Al-Ittihad|
|3||2DF||Khalifah Al-Dawsari||(1999-01-02)2 January 1999 (age 23)||1||0||Al-Hilal|
|4||2DF||Waleed Al-Ahmed||(1999-05-03)3 May 1999 (age 22)||2||0||Al-Faisaly|
|5||2DF||Naif Almas||(2000-01-18)18 January 2000 (age 21)||2||0||Al-Nassr|
|6||2DF||Nawaf Boushal||(1999-09-16)16 September 1999 (age 22)||1||0||Al-Fateh|
|12||2DF||Saud Abdulhamid||(1999-07-18)18 July 1999 (age 22)||12||0||Al-Ittihad|
|13||2DF||Moteb Al-Harbi||(2000-02-19)19 February 2000 (age 21)||3||0||Al-Shabab|
|14||2DF||Ali Majrashi||(1999-10-01)1 October 1999 (age 22)||3||0||Al-Shabab|
|16||2DF||Sulaiman Hazazi||(2003-02-01)1 February 2003 (age 18)||2||0||Al-Taawoun|
|7||3MF||Turki Al-Ammar||(1999-09-23)23 September 1999 (age 22)||6||0||Al-Shabab|
|8||3MF||Ayman Yahya||(2001-05-14)14 May 2001 (age 20)||6||0||Al-Nassr|
|11||3MF||Bader Munshi||(1999-06-20)20 June 1999 (age 22)||1||0||Damac|
|17||3MF||Meshal Al-Sebyani||(2001-04-11)11 April 2001 (age 20)||2||0||Al-Faisaly|
|19||3MF||Hamed Al-Ghamdi||(1999-04-02)2 April 1999 (age 22)||3||0||Al-Ettifaq|
|20||3MF||Ibrahim Mahnashi||(1999-11-18)18 November 1999 (age 22)||1||0||Al-Ettifaq|
|23||3MF||Mohammed Al-Qahtani||(2002-07-23)23 July 2002 (age 19)||3||0||Al-Hilal|
|9||4FW||Firas al-Buraikan||(2000-05-14)14 May 2000 (age 21)||17||5||Al-Fateh|
|10||4FW||Abdullah Al-Hamdan||(1999-09-12)12 September 1999 (age 22)||17||5||Al-Hilal|
|15||4FW||Abdullah Radif||(2003-01-20)20 January 2003 (age 18)||3||0||Al-Hilal|
|18||4FW||Haitham Asiri||(2000-01-23)23 January 2000 (age 21)||3||0||Al-Ahli|
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||Fawaz Al-Qarni||(1992-04-02)2 April 1992 (age 29)||10||0||Al-Shabab||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|GK||Mohammed Al-Owais||(1991-10-10)10 October 1991 (age 30)||30||0||Al-Ahli||v.China PR, 12 October 2021|
|GK||Abdullah Al-Oaisher||(1991-05-13)13 May 1991 (age 30)||0||0||Al-Ettifaq||v.Uzbekistan, 15 June 2021|
|GK||Amin Bukhari||(1997-05-02)2 May 1997 (age 24)||0||0||Al-Nassr||v.Palestine, 30 March 2021|
|DF||Mohammed Al-Breik||(1992-09-15)15 September 1992 (age 29)||32||1||Al-Hilal||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|DF||Ali Al-Bulaihi||(1989-11-21)21 November 1989 (age 32)||27||0||Al-Hilal||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|DF||Sultan Al-Ghanam||(1994-05-06)6 May 1994 (age 27)||17||0||Al-Nassr||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|DF||Ziyad Al-Sahafi||(1994-10-17)17 October 1994 (age 27)||10||0||Al-Ittihad||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|DF||Abdulelah Al-Amri||(1997-01-15)15 January 1997 (age 24)||8||1||Al-Nassr||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|DF||Ahmed Sharahili||(1993-07-06)6 July 1993 (age 28)||1||0||Al-Shabab||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|DF||Yasser Al-Shahrani||(1992-05-25)25 May 1992 (age 29)||64||2||Al-Hilal||v.Australia, 11 November 2021 INJ|
|DF||Abdullah Madu||(1993-07-15)15 July 1993 (age 28)||10||0||Al-Nassr||v.Australia, 11 November 2021 INJ|
|DF||Mohammed Al-Khabrani||(1993-10-14)14 October 1993 (age 28)||17||2||Al-Ahli||v.China PR, 12 October 2021|
|DF||Hussain Qassem||(1997-09-21)21 September 1997 (age 24)||0||0||Al-Faisaly||v.China PR, 12 October 2021|
|DF||Hassan Tambakti||(1999-02-09)9 February 1999 (age 22)||11||0||Al-Shabab||v.Uzbekistan, 15 June 2021|
|MF||Ziyad Al-Johani||(2001-11-11)11 November 2001 (age 20)||0||0||Al-Ahli||2021 FIFA Arab Cup INJ|
|MF||Fahad Al-Muwallad||(1994-09-14)14 September 1994 (age 27)||67||17||Al-Ittihad||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Salman Al-Faraj||(1989-08-01)1 August 1989 (age 32)||65||8||Al-Hilal||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Salem Al-Dawsari||(1991-08-19)19 August 1991 (age 30)||60||16||Al-Hilal||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Mohamed Kanno||(1994-09-22)22 September 1994 (age 27)||25||1||Al-Hilal||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Abdulellah Al-Malki||(1994-10-11)11 October 1994 (age 27)||19||0||Al-Ittihad||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Abdulrahman Ghareeb||(1997-03-31)31 March 1997 (age 24)||13||1||Al-Ahli||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Sami Al-Najei||(1997-02-07)7 February 1997 (age 24)||9||2||Al-Nassr||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Ali Al-Hassan||(1997-03-04)4 March 1997 (age 24)||4||1||Al-Nassr||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Nasser Al-Dawsari||(1998-12-19)19 December 1998 (age 23)||4||0||Al-Hilal||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Abdulrahman Al-Aboud||(1995-06-01)1 June 1995 (age 26)||2||0||Al-Ittihad||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Ali Al-Asmari||(1997-01-12)12 January 1997 (age 24)||4||0||Al-Ahli||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|MF||Mohammed Al-Kuwaykibi||(1994-12-02)2 December 1994 (age 27)||9||0||Al-Ettifaq||v.Australia, 11 November 2021 WD|
|MF||Abdullah Otayf||(1992-08-03)3 August 1992 (age 29)||42||1||Al-Hilal||v.Oman, 7 September 2021|
|MF||Hassan Al-Amri||(1994-04-21)21 April 1994 (age 27)||0||0||Al-Taawoun||v.Palestine, 30 March 2021|
|FW||Saleh Al-Shehri||(1993-11-01)1 November 1993 (age 28)||13||7||Al-Hilal||v.Vietnam, 16 November 2021|
|FW||Mohammed Maran||(2001-02-15)15 February 2001 (age 20)||0||0||Al-Tai||v.Palestine, 30 March 2021|
- As of 20 November 2018
- Players in bold are still active with Saudi Arabia.
- *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 Cup
|World Cup record||World Cup Qualification record|
|Hosts / year||Result||Position||GP||W||D||L||GS||GA||GP||W||D||L||GS||GA|
|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||15||8||4||3||25||15|
|2022||To be determined||14||11||3||0||31||7|
|Total||Round of 16||5/23||16||3||2||11||11||39||131||79||30||22||263||100|
AFC Asian Cup
|Asian Cup record||Asian Cup Qualification record|
|1956||Not a AFC member||Not a 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 Cup
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|2001||Did not qualify|
Arabian Gulf Cup record
FIFA Arab Cup
Pan Arab Games
|Pan Arab Games record|
|1953||Did not enter|
|1965||Did not enter|
|1997||Did not enter|
West Asian Football Federation Championship record
The following table shows Saudi Arabia's all-time international record, correct as of 18 November 2020.
- Gold Medalists: 2005
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