With the entire squad playing in the domestic league, Saudi Arabia are showing year after year that they are one of the best football nations in Asia, even if they haven’t yet been able to bring that to the World Cup. At this tournament, the Green Falcons have just three wins from 16 matches, ever since the country’s impressive debut at the 1994 edition in the USA.
Saudi Arabia — one of the lowest-ranked sides in the tournament — will carry hopes of upsetting the more established powers, but they will have it all to do.
In their last four involvements at the World Cup, Saudi Arabia’s exit has come in the group stages — and it is difficult to envisage that being bettered this time around in Qatar.
Herve Renard’s team deserve credit for finishing above Australia in qualifying, but there is a feeling that they could find matters much more difficult when faced with tougher tasks.
Each member of the Saudi Arabia squad currently plays in their home country, although in Renard they have a coach who has experienced the full breadth of international football, with previous spells in charge of Morocco, Ivory Coast, Zambia (twice) and Angola. At Russia 2018, Saudi Arabia exited having scored just two goals, and Renard will be desperately hoping that striker Saleh Al Shehri can return to full fitness to lead them this time after his four goals in the qualifiers.
- Current FIFA world ranking: No. 51 (November, 2022)
- Regional ranking: 6th (AFC)
- World Cup titles: —
- World Cup appearances (last): 6 (Russia 2018)
- How qualified: AFC Third Round Group B runners-up 7W-1L-2D)
- Coach: Herve Renard (France) since July, 2019
- Key players: Saleh Al Shehri (Al Hilal / Saudi Arabia), Salem Al Dawsari (Al Hilal / Saudi Arabia), Salman Al Faraj (Al Hilal / Saudi Arabia)
World Cup Group C fixtures and match schedule
|Tues, Nov. 22||Argentina vs. S. Arabia||5 a.m.||Lusail Stadium|
|Tues, Nov. 22||Mexico vs. Poland||11 a.m.||Stadium 974|
|Sat, Nov. 26||Poland vs. S. Arabia||8 a.m.||Education City Stadium|
|Sat, Nov. 26||Argentina vs. Mexico||2 p.m.||Lusail Stadium|
|Wed, Nov. 30||Poland vs. Argentina||2 p.m.||Stadium 974|
|Wed, Nov. 30||S. Arabia vs. Mexico||2 p.m.||Lusail Stadium|