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How Saudi Arabia’s football thrives with two major goals in mind | Soccer

NSUne in 1994 was a special month for Saudi Arabia football when the team entered the first World Cup and Saeed Al-Owailan broke through Washington’s defense of Belgium and sent the Green Falcon to the knockout stage.

October 2021 is certainly the best, for reasons that have nothing to do with the country. Public investment fund to acquire 80% stake in Newcastle United.. At the end of the first week, the national team won two final qualifiers between Vietnam and Oman, beating Japan, long regarded as Asia’s best, 1-0. Five days later, in front of Jeddah’s 50,000 delighted fans, there was a thrilling 3-2 victory over China.

With four out of ten games on stage, Saudi Arabia is the only one of the 12 surviving qualifiers in Asia to set a perfect record. It would be surprising if the team did not make a short trip to Qatar a year later.

After leaving Morocco, coach Herve Renard, who took office in July 2019, added a more aggressive and diligent ethical view to the crimes of Salman al-Faraj and Salem al-Dausari. The three Asian champions went to Australia in November and are confident of a positive result.

Not only the national team is on an upward track. The Saudi Professional League is arguably the most exciting on the continent and Chinese Super League financial crisis..

Four days after defeating China, Al Hilal and Al Nasr have a large riad club with 26 league titles in the AFC Champions League quarterfinals. The tournament was geographically divided in half (east and west) until the final, so the pair knew they would meet in the west zone semifinals if they won. They made it so easy. Al Nasr beat Al Wahda of the United Arab Emirates 5-1. Al Hilal then defeated Iranian powerhouse Persepolis 3-0.

Al Hilal’s Bafétimbi Gomis is the centerpiece of action when he defeats Iran’s Persepolis in the AFC Champions League quarterfinals. Photo: Ahmed Farwan / AFP / Getty Images

Three days later, half of the Riyadh stadium turned yellow and the other half turned blue, with an enthusiastic semifinal across Saudi Arabia. Al Hilal won 2-1 and defender Ali Al-Bulai played Graeme Souness, setting the club flag at the center spot after a close quarters match.

Large Saudi Arabian clubs can create a great atmosphere compared to regional rival leagues such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Some of the Fantifo are top class Al Hilal is expected to win a record fourth Asian title against South Korea’s Pohang Steelers in the Champions League final on November 23.

Spending on foreign players isn’t comparable to China a few years ago, but Saudi Arabia has a lot of stars. Al Hilal won their 17th league title in May, adding Matheus Pereira and Moussa Marega to the team, including former France national team Bafétimbi Gomis and several Saudi Arabia national teams. Leonardo Jardin, who led Monaco to the 2017 French title, is the manager.

Al Nasr includes former Moroccan striker Abderrazak Hamdala, Cameroon national team Vincent Aboubakar and Anderson Talisca, and South America’s 2018 South American player of the year Piti Martinez.

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The future will be even brighter if the underlying problems are resolved. Chronic short-termism is no longer a surprise when it comes to coach hiring and dismissal, but it’s still a shock. Last season’s third-placed Al Ittihad fired his manager one game after the campaign after losing two goals from al-Shabab’s bright red Odion Ighalo last weekend.

It was August. Four followed. So seven of the 16 clubs have changed coaches, and the season isn’t over one-third. It’s not surprising that managers have little or no incentive to look beyond the next game or bet on young players.

In the league, seven foreign players can participate in each club, but in most Asian countries and teams, four people like to accumulate aggressive talent. It is arguable whether this is the cause or the result of Saudi Arabia’s struggle to create a striker following Thermie Al Javert, who scored three goals in four World Cups. Abdullah Al Hamdan was considered the next big player and joined Al Hilal for a fortune in February, but he was 22 years old and played less than an hour this season. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem for local players to go abroad, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Saudi Arabian fans in the World Cup qualifying with Japan in Jeddah this month.
Saudi Arabian fans in the World Cup qualifying with Japan in Jeddah this month. Photo: Ahmed Yosri / Reuters

Nor has it happened that the club has been separated from government ownership and established as a private sports organization to help bring management, operation and marketing to a level comparable to football. This part of the National Vision 2030 Plan for Economic Diversification has been postponed. Clubs still have a habit of having a lot of debt and needing relief. This happened in 2018 when Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman offered around £ 245m to liquidate the debt of a top-class club.

With more than 10 million followers on Twitter, large Saudi Arabian clubs such as Al-Hilal can certainly prosper as a commercially operated entity and pave the way for others. Saudi Arabia is currently leading Asia on the pitch.

How Saudi Arabia’s football thrives with two major goals in mind | Soccer

Source link How Saudi Arabia’s football thrives with two major goals in mind | Soccer

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