Saudi Arabia national football team

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Saudi Arabia
Nickname(s)الأخضر (al-‘Akhḍar, "The Green One")
الصقور الخضر (aṣ-Ṣuqūr al-‘Akhḍar, "The Green Falcons")
AssociationSaudi Arabian Football Federation
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationWAFF (West Asia)
Head coachJuan Antonio Pizzi
CaptainOsama Hawsawi
Most capsMohamed Al-Deayea (178)[1]
Top scorerMajed Abdullah (71)
Home stadiumKing Fahd Stadium
FIFA codeKSA
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 69 Increase 3 (29 November 2018)[2]
Highest21 (July 2004)
Lowest126 (December 2012)
Elo ranking
Current 62 Increase 3 (13 December 2018)[3]
Highest27 (November 1998)
Lowest112 (1970, 1972)
First international
 Saudi Arabia 1–1 Lebanon 
(Beirut, Lebanon; 18 January 1957)
Biggest win
 Timor-Leste 0–10 Saudi Arabia 
(Dili, East Timor; 17 November 2015)
Biggest defeat
 Egypt 13–0 Saudi Arabia 
(Casablanca, Morocco; 3 September 1961[4][5])
World Cup
Appearances5 (first in 1994)
Best resultRound of 16 (1994)
Asian Cup
Appearances9 (first in 1984)
Best resultChampions (1984, 1988, 1996)
Confederations Cup
Appearances4 (first in 1992)
Best resultRunners-up (1992)

The Saudi Arabia national football team (Arabic: المنتخب العربي السعودي لكرة القدم‎) represents Saudi Arabia in international football. The team's colours are green and white. Saudi Arabia are known as Al-Suqour (The Falcons) and Al-Akhdhar (The Green).

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.

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.

History[edit]

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,[6] ahead of Australia. However, they started on a sour note by letting host Russia rout them 0–5 on the opening match,[7] making this the second largest victory of any host nation at the FIFA World Cup.[8] The record of the host's largest opening victory is still by Italy, beating the United States 7–1, in 1934.[9] Once again, Saudi Arabia failed to reach the next round, after suffering another defeat, this time, losing 0–1 to Uruguay.[10] 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,[11] 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.[12]

Honors[edit]

International[edit]

Runner-up: 1992
Fourth Place: 1999

Continental[edit]

Winner: 1984, 1988, 1996
Runner-up: 1992, 2000, 2007
Silver Medalists: 1986
Bronze Medalists: 1982

Regional[edit]

Winner: 1994, 2002, 2003
Runner-up: 1972, 1974, 1998, 2009, 2010, 2014
Third Place: 1970, 1979, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1996
Winner: 1998, 2002
Runner-up: 1992
Third Place: 1985
Silver Medalists: 1976
Bronze Medalists: 2007

Other[edit]

Runner-up: 1985, 1997
Gold Medalists: 2005

Kits and crests[edit]

The Saudi Arabia national football team's first kit are traditionally white and the second kit are green (flag colors).[13]

Kit suppliers[edit]

Kit supplier Period
United Kingdom Admiral 1976–1980
West Germany Puma 1980–1984
Saudi Arabia Faison 1984–1990
Germany Adidas 1990–1993
Saudi Arabia Shammel 1994–2001
Germany Adidas 2001–2003
France Le Coq Sportif 2004–2005
Germany Puma 2005–2010
United States Nike 2011–present

Competitive record[edit]

*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.

FIFA World Cup[edit]

Saudi players warm-up before their match against Ukraine during the 2006 FIFA World Cup (19 June 2006)
Saudi Arabia players before the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening fixture, against hosts Russia in Group A.
FIFA World Cup Finals record World Cup Qualification record
Hosts / year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA GP W D L GS GA
Uruguay 1930 Not a FIFA member - - - - - -
Italy 1934 - - - - - -
France 1938 - - - - - -
Brazil 1950 - - - - - -
Switzerland 1954 - - - - - -
Sweden 1958 Did not enter - - - - - -
Chile 1962 - - - - - -
England 1966 - - - - - -
Mexico 1970 - - - - - -
West Germany 1974 - - - - - -
Argentina 1978 Did not qualify 4 1 0 3 3 7
Spain 1982 10 4 1 5 9 16
Mexico 1986 2 0 1 1 0 1
Italy 1990 9 4 3 2 11 9
United States 1994 Round of 16 12th 4 2 0 2 5 6 11 6 5 0 28 7
France 1998 Group stage 28th 3 0 1 2 2 7 14 9 3 2 26 7
South Korea Japan 2002 32nd 3 0 0 3 0 12 14 11 2 1 47 8
Germany 2006 28th 3 0 1 2 2 7 12 10 2 0 24 2
South Africa 2010 Did not qualify 15 8 4 3 25 15
Brazil 2014 8 3 3 2 14 7
Russia 2018 Group stage 26th 3 1 0 2 2 7 18 12 3 3 45 14
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
Canada Mexico United States 2026
Total Round of 16 5/23 16 3 2 11 11 39 117 68 27 22 232 93

AFC Asian Cup[edit]