Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Saudi Arabia Greatest All-time team

Saudi Arabia 1994

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Saudi Arabia made an international breakout in 1984 when they won the Asian Cup.  Abdullah Majed was their star player.  From 1984 onward, the Saudis became a power in Asia.  They won two out of the next three Asian Cups.  In 1994, they qualified for their first World Cup Finals.  They beat Morocco in the first ever World Cup match between Arab countries. And then, Saeed Al-Owairan scored one of the best goals of the tournament against Belgium  as Saudi Arabia advanced to the second round.   Saudi Arabia would qualify for the next three World Cup Finals.  However, they were unable to match the results of USA 1994.

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.
Asian Cup 1996

GK: Mohamed Al Deayea 
Al-Deayea has split his professional career between the clubs Al-Ta'ee and Al-Hilal.  He played in four FIFA World Cups for the Saudi Arabia national team and earned a total of 178 officially recognized caps, the record for a goalkeeper. He is widely recognised as the greatest goalkeeper from the Persian Gulf.
Mohamed Al Deayea

GK:  Abdullah Al-Deayea
He is the elder brother of Mohamed Al Deayea. He was the starting keeper for Saudi Arabia's Asian Cup winning team in 1984 and 1988.  He was voted the best keeper in the 1984 Asian Cup.  He played for Al-Ta'e.

GK: Waleed Abdullah
He was Saudi Arabia's starting keeper since 2007.  He has earned over 70 caps.  He went to the Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015.  He played for Al-Shabab at home. 

RB: Abdullah Al-Dosari
He helped Saudi Arabia to win the Asian cup in 1988.  He also represented the national team at the 1994 WC Finals in the USA.   He played for Al-Ittihad.

CB: Saleh Nu'eimeh 
He was capped 150 times by Saudi Arabia.  He is widely considered the greatest Saudi defender of all-time.  He earned over 150 caps.  He played in the 1984 Asian Cup, and was named in the all-star team after the 1988 AFC Asian Cup.  At home, he played for Al-Hilal FC.

Between 1990 and 2001, he played for Saudi Arabia for 142 times.  He played at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and at the 1998 World Cup,  He played for Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli. He was a participant in the 1992 FIFA Confederations Cup, 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup, 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup and 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup

CB: Hamad Al-Montashari 
Al-Montashari won the Asian player of the Year in 2005.  He won back-to-back Asian Champions' League in 2004 and 2005 with Al Ittiha. He is considered to be one of Ittihad's longest tenured players. He went to the WC Finals in 2006.  
Hamad Al-Montashari

CB:  Abdullah Zubromawi
Between 1993 and 2002, he played 122 times for the national team.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1994, 1998 and 2002.  At the club level, he played mostly for Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal in his home country.

CB:  Ahmad Jamil Madani
He was capped 130 times.  He participated in the 1994  and the 1998 World Cup.  He won the Asian Cup in 1988 and 1996.  he spent his entire career with Al-Ittihad.

LB:  Hussein Sulaimani
He made 109 appearances for Saudi Arabia.  He was a part of the team that won 1996 AFC Asian Cup at the age of 19. He was selected to 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups.  He became the third Saudian footballer in history to play in Europe when he moved to Neuch√Ętel Xamax. In 2009, he returned to Saudi Arabia to play for Al-Nassr.

LB: Mohamed Al-Jawad
He played with the Saudi national team from 1980 to 1994, winning two Asian Cups. He was capped 103 times. He played for Al-Ahli from 1978 to 1995.

DM: Fuad Anwar Amin
He was 95 times for the national team.  He was at one point the captain.  He went to the 1994 and 1998 WC Finals, and won the 1996 Asian Cup.  At the WC finals in 1998, he was best remembered as the player stomped by Zinedine Zidane which led to a red card for Zidane.

CM: Fahad Al-Bishi
He played for Saudi arabia between 1986 and 1994.  He was a part of the 1988 Asian Cup winning squad.  He won the Arab Player of the Year in 1988.  In 1992, he finished as the top scorer at the Asian Cup. He was voted second at the Asian player of the Year in 1992. He played his entire career with Al-Nassr.

He was Asian Player of the Year, Arab Player of the Year and Saudi Player of the Year in 2000.  He played his entire career with Al-Hilal. He won 4 Saudi Premier League and a single AFC Champions' league.  A series of injuries prevented him from playing between 2001 and 2004.
Nawaf Al-Temyat

RW: Yussef Al-Thunayan
Al-Thunayyan was nicknamed "The Philosopher". He is considered among the greatest Saudi players.  He was capped 95 times, winning two Asian Cups in 1988 and 1996.  With Al-Hilal, he won the Asian Club Championship in 1992 and 2000. He went to the WC Finals in 1998.

He was capped 114 times.  He made professional debut before he turned 17 with Al Ahli and he joined Al-Ittihad 2001. He went to the WC Finals in 1994 and 1998.

LW: Mohammad Al-Shalhoub
At the time of writing, he is capped 117 times for Saudi Arabia.  He was voted third at the Asian player of the Year in 2006.  With Al-Hilal, he won the Asian Club Championship in 2000. He went to Germany for the WC Finals in 2006.
Mohammad Al-Shalhoub

He is the first Saudi player to play in Europe when he moved to AZ Alkmaar in 1998.   He started his career with Al-Hilal, but was sold to its rival, Al-Nassr.  He was unhappy with the move and retired after a season.  He was only 25 years old. He went to USA 1994, scoring a goal against Sweden.

AM: Sami Al Jaber
He is Saudi Arabia's second highest goalscorer with 46 goals in 156 internationals. He appeared in four consecutive WC Finals, from 1994 to 2006. He was also a member of the Saudi squads which won the Asian Cup in 1996.  He spent the majority of his career from 1988 to 2008 with Al-Hilal. He played briefly for Wolverhampton.
Sami Al Jaber

FW:  Saeed Al-Owairan
He scored the famous goal against Belgium at the World Cup in 1994, which was probably one of the best goals ever scored in aWC Finals.  That year, he became the Asian Player of the Year.  He earned 74 caps for Saudi Arabia. Owairan spent his entire club career at Al-Shabab, a Saudi club based in Riyadh.
Saeed Al-Owairan
FW: Mohammed Noor
He was capped 94 times and played in 2002 and 2006 WC Finals.  He found successes with club football, where he was a key player with Al-Ittihad that won the Asian champions' League in 2004 and 2005.

ST: Yasser Al-Qahtani
At the time of writing, he has scored 59 goals for the national team. He is the Asian player of the Year in  2007 after he finished as the top scorer at the Asian Cup.  He played with Al-Hilal.

ST:  Abdullah Majed 
He was considered the greatest player from West Asia.  He won Asian Footballer of the Year three times in 1984, 1985 and 1986. He earned 116 caps.  He won the Asian Cup twice in 1984 and 1988.  He  played for Al-Nassr for more than 20 years scoring 320 goals making him Al-Nassr greatest player ever.  He was the captain of the WC team in 1994.
Abdullah Majed
Squad Explanation
-- I do not know much about football in Saudi Arabia before the Asian Cup in 1984. This team consists of players from the 1980's onward.
-- Saeed Al-Owairan is probably the most famous Saudi player because of his goal against Belgium at the WC Finals in 1994. 
-- Abdullah Majed is largely considered the greatest ever player from Saudi Arabia. he led saudi Srabia in winning the 1984 Asian Cup.
-- Liked players from other Persian Gulf countries, Saudi players do not play aboard.  In fact, they also stayed with Saudi clubs.
-- Mohamed Al Deayea is one of the greatest keeper from Asia.  His brother Abdullah Al-Dosari was also a famous keeper.  Both made the squad.

Honorable mention
Mohammed Al-Jahani, Fahad Al-Mehallel, Fahad Al-Musaibeah, Nasser Al-Shamrani

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-2-1-3

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