Saudi Arabia national football team
|Nickname(s)||الأخضر (al-‘Akhḍar, "The Green")|
الصقور الخضر (aṣ-Ṣuqūr al-‘Khoḍur, "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||51 2 (6 October 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||23 (first in 1970)|
|Best result||Champions (1994, 2002, 2003–04)|
|Appearances||3 (first in 2012)|
|Best result||Group stage (2012, 2014, 2019)|
|FIFA Confederations Cup|
|Appearances||4 (first in 1992)|
|Best result||Runners-up (1992)|
The Saudi Arabia national football team (Arabic: المنتخب العربي السعودي لكرة القدم) represent Saudi Arabia in men's international football. They are known as Al-Suqour Al-Khodhur (The Green Falcons) in reference to their traditional colours of green and white and represent both FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Considered one of Asia's most successful national teams, Saudi Arabia have won the AFC Asian Cup three times (1984, 1988 and 1996), reached a joint record six Asian Cup finals and have qualified for the FIFA World Cup on six occasions since debuting at the 1994 tournament. Saudi Arabia are the first Asian team to reach the final of a senior FIFA competition at the 1992 King Fahd Cup, which would eventually become the FIFA Confederations Cup. Only Australia and Japan managed to repeat this feat in 1997 and 2001 respectively, though Australia achieved it when they were a member of the OFC.
At the 1994 World Cup, under the leadership of Jorge Solari, Saudi Arabia beat both Belgium and Morocco in the group stage before falling in the Round of 16. Thus, they became the second Arab team in history to reach the round of 16 of a World Cup after Morocco at the 1986 FIFA World Cup and one of the few Asian national football teams (others being Australia, Japan, South Korea and 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.
Debuting successes and subsequent declines
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 manager Jorge Solari and talents such as 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. 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.
Revival and history written
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.
Saudi Arabia qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the first to be held in the Middle East, by topping their qualifying group and were drawn against Argentina, Poland and Mexico. In the opening game of their group, they defeated a much fancied Argentina side 2–1, ending an Argentine unbeaten streak of 36 games dating back to 2019. The Saudi King declared a Holiday after the win over Argentina. They then lost their next match against Poland, 2–0. Salem Al-Dawsari's penalty was saved by Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny in the first half when the score was 1–0. This made Saudi require a win against Mexico to advance to the Round of 16 regardless of the Argentina-Poland result. Saudi Arabia ended up losing the game 2–1 and was subsequently eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the group stages, finishing 4th in their group.
Kits and crests
Traditionally, the Saudi Arabia national football team's home kit is all-white and the away kit is all-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 in recent years due to historical enmities. Iran is leading the series by one game. Saudi Arabia has 4 wins, 6 draws, and 5 losses against Iran. 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 the 1970s. Due to the Gulf War, in which Iraq invaded Saudi Arabia's ally Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq eventually became bitter rivals 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.
Results and fixtures
The following is a list of match results from the previous 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.
|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|
|19:14 UTC+9||Minamino 31'
|Report||Stadium: Saitama Stadium 2002|
Referee: Ko Hyung-jin (South Korea)
|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|
|21:00 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||0–0||Ecuador||Murcia, Spain|
|20:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Estadio Nueva Condomina|
Referee: Ivan Bebek (Croatia)
|27 September 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||0–0||United States||Murcia, Spain|
|20:00 UTC+2||Report||Stadium: Estadio Nueva Condomina|
Referee: Ivan Bebek (Croatia)
|22 October 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||1–0||North Macedonia||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
||Report||Stadium: Zayed Sports City Stadium|
Referee: Sultan Al Hammadi (United Arab Emirates)
|26 October 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||1–1||Albania||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
|21:00 UTC+4||Al-Shehri 43' (pen.)||Report||Balaj 47'||Stadium: Al Nahyan Stadium|
Referee: Adel Al Naqbi (United Arab Emirates)
|30 October 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||0–0||Honduras||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
|18:30 UTC+4||Report||Stadium: Al Nahyan Stadium|
Referee: Yahya Al Mulla (United Arab Emirates)
|6 November 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||1–0||Iceland||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
||Report||Stadium: Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium|
Referee: Ahmed Eisa Darweesh (United Arab Emirates)
|10 November 2022 Friendly||Panama||1–1||Saudi Arabia||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
||Stadium: Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium|
Referee: Yahya Al Mulla (Qatar)
|16 November 2022 Friendly||Saudi Arabia||0–1||Croatia||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia|
||Stadium: Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium|
Referee: Adham Makhadmeh (Jordan)
|22 November 2022 2022 World Cup GS||Argentina||1–2||Saudi Arabia||Lusail, Qatar|
|13:00 UTC+3||Report||Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium|
Referee: Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia)
|26 November 2022 2022 World Cup GS||Poland||2–0||Saudi Arabia||Al Rayyan, Qatar|
|16:00 UTC+3||Report||Stadium: Education City Stadium|
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)
|30 November 2022 2022 World Cup GS||Saudi Arabia||1–2||Mexico||Lusail, Qatar|
||Report||Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium|
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
|6 January 2023 25th AGC GS||Yemen||v||Saudi Arabia||Basra, Iraq|
|21:30 UTC+3||Stadium: Basra International Stadium|
|9 January 2023 25th AGC GS||Saudi Arabia||v||Iraq||Basra, Iraq|
|19:15 UTC+3||Stadium: Basra International Stadium|
|12 January 2023 25th AGC GS||Saudi Arabia||v||Oman||Basra, Iraq|
|18:00 UTC+3||Stadium: Al-Minaa Olympic Stadium|
|Head Coach||Hervé Renard|
|Assistant Coaches||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 Santrač (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: 22 – 30 November 2022
- Opposition: Argentina, Poland, & Mexico.
- Caps and goals are correct as of 30 November 2022, after the match against Mexico, as recognized by SAFF.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Mohammed Al Rubaie||14 August 1997||7||0||Al-Ahli|
|21||GK||Mohammed Al-Owais||10 October 1991||45||0||Al-Hilal|
|22||GK||Nawaf Al-Aqidi||10 May 2000||0||0||Al-Nassr|
|2||DF||Sultan Al-Ghannam||6 May 1994||27||0||Al-Nassr|
|3||DF||Abdullah Madu||15 July 1993||16||0||Al-Nassr|
|4||DF||Abdulelah Al-Amri||15 January 1997||23||1||Al-Nassr|
|5||DF||Ali Al-Bulaihi||21 November 1989||40||0||Al-Hilal|
|6||DF||Mohammed Al-Breik||15 September 1992||42||1||Al-Hilal|
|12||DF||Saud Abdulhamid||18 July 1999||26||1||Al-Hilal|
|13||DF||Yasser Al-Shahrani||25 May 1992||73||2||Al-Hilal|
|17||DF||Hassan Tambakti||9 February 1999||21||0||Al-Shabab|
|7||MF||Salman Al-Faraj||1 August 1989||71||8||Al-Hilal|
|8||MF||Abdulellah Al-Malki||11 October 1994||29||0||Al-Hilal|
|10||MF||Salem Al-Dawsari||19 August 1991||74||19||Al-Hilal|
|14||MF||Abdullah Otayf||3 August 1992||45||1||Al-Hilal|
|15||MF||Ali Al-Hassan||4 March 1997||14||1||Al-Nassr|
|16||MF||Sami Al-Najei||7 February 1997||18||2||Al-Nassr|
|18||MF||Nawaf Al-Abed||26 January 1990||57||8||Al-Shabab|
|19||MF||Hattan Bahebri||16 July 1992||43||4||Al-Shabab|
|20||MF||Abdulrahman Al-Aboud||1 June 1995||5||0||Al-Ittihad|
|23||MF||Mohamed Kanno||22 September 1994||41||1||Al-Hilal|
|24||MF||Nasser Al-Dawsari||19 December 1998||11||0||Al-Hilal|
|26||MF||Riyadh Sharahili||28 April 1993||6||0||Abha|
|9||FW||Firas Al-Buraikan||14 May 2000||30||6||Al-Fateh|
|11||FW||Saleh Al-Shehri||1 November 1993||23||11||Al-Hilal|
|25||FW||Haitham Asiri||25 March 2001||9||1||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||2 April 1992||10||0||Al-Shabab||2022 FIFA World Cup INJ|
|GK||Amin Bukhari||2 May 1997||0||0||Al-Nassr||2022 FIFA World Cup PRE|
|GK||Zaid Al-Bawardi||26 January 1997||2||0||Al-Shabab||v. Oman, 27 January 2022 INJ|
|DF||Ahmed Bamsaud||22 November 1995||3||0||Al-Ittihad||2022 FIFA World Cup PRE|
|DF||Zakaria Hawsawi||12 January 2001||1||0||Al-Ittihad||2022 FIFA World Cup PRE|
|DF||Ziyad Al-Sahafi||3 February 1994||12||0||Al-Taawoun||v. Venezuela, 9 June 2022|
|DF||Ali Lajami||24 April 1996||3||0||Al-Nassr||v. Venezuela, 9 June 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|
|MF||Fahad Al-Muwallad||14 September 1994||74||17||Al-Shabab||2022 FIFA World Cup SUS|
|MF||Ayman Yahya||14 May 2001||10||0||Al-Nassr||2022 FIFA World Cup PRE|
|MF||Awad Al-Nashri||15 March 2002||0||0||Al-Ittihad||v. United States, 27 September 2022|
|MF||Abdulaziz Al-Bishi||11 March 1994||19||1||Al-Ittihad||v. Venezuela, 9 June 2022|
|MF||Abdulrahman Ghareeb||31 March 1997||15||1||Al-Nassr||v. Venezuela, 9 June 2022|
|MF||Khalid Al-Ghannam||7 November 2000||3||0||Al-Nassr||v. Venezuela, 9 June 2022|
|MF||Abdullah Al-Khaibari||16 August 1996||12||0||Al-Nassr||v. Japan, 1 February 2022|
|FW||Abdullah Al-Hamdan||13 September 1999||22||5||Al-Hilal||2022 FIFA World Cup PRE|
|FW||Abdullah Radif||20 January 2003||5||0||Al-Taawoun||2022 FIFA World Cup PRE|
|FW||Haroune Camara||31 January 1998||10||0||Al-Ittihad||v. United States, 27 September 2022|
- 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||8|
|Pan Arab Games||0||1||1|
FIFA World Cup
|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||19||4||2||13||14||44||136||81||32||23||266||103|
AFC Asian Cup
|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 Arab Cup
|FIFA Arab Cup record|
|1963||Did not enter|
West Asian Football Federation Championship
|WAFF Championship record|
|2000||Did not participate|
Arabian Gulf Cup record
|Arabian Gulf Cup record|
|Hosts / year||Result||Position||GP||W||D||L||GS||GA|
Pan Arab Games
|Pan Arab Games record|
|1953||Did not enter|
|1965||Did not enter|
|1997||Did not enter|
- Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
|Asian Games record|
|1951||Did not enter|
|1998||Did not enter|
|2002–present||See Saudi Arabia national under-23 football team|
FIFA Confederations Cup
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|2001||Did not qualify|
The following table shows Saudi Arabia's all-time international record, correct as of 30 November 2022.
- AFC Asian Cup:
- Asian Games
- Arabian Gulf Cup:
AFC Asian Cup
FIFA Arab Cup
Arabian Gulf Cup
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