Al-Hilal FC

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Al-Hilal
crest
Full name Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club
Nickname(s) Al-Za'eem (The Boss),
Mooj Al-Azraq (The Blue Wave)
Founded 16 October 1957 (1957-10-16)
Ground King Fahd Stadium
Ground Capacity 68,752 [1]
President Mohammad Al-Homaidani
Manager Giorgos Donis
League Saudi Premier League
2013–14 Saudi Premier League, 2nd
Website Club home page
Current season

Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club (Arabic: نادي الهلال‎; The Crescent), also known simply as Al-Hilal, is a Saudi Arabian professional football team based in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. It plays at the Saudi Premier League and holds 51 official titles. Founded in 1957, it has obtained a record of 40 domestic titles as well as a record 6 trophies in various Asian championships, and a record 7 Arab championships.[2]

The club's nicknames are "The Boss" and "The Blue Waves". The IFFHS ranked Al-Hilal as the Asian Club of the 20th Century.[3]

Among the club's most famous players were Yousuf Al-Thunayan and Sami Al-Jaber of the Saudi Arabian national football team, and goalkeeper Mohamed Al-Deayea. The club's current manager is Giorgos Donis and is captained by Yasser Al-Qahtani.

History[edit]

Roberto Rivelino (left) and Najeeb (right) playing for Al-Hilal in 1979

Al-Hilal Club was originally known as the Olympic Club during its founding by Abdul Rahman Bin Saeed on 16 October 1957 in Riyadh. The club's name lasted for only one year before it was changed to its current name on 3 December 1958 by King Saud Bin Abdul-Aziz. He changed the name after he attended a tournament that was contested between the Olympic Club, Al-Shabab, Al-Riyadh and El-Kawkab clubs. As soon as the club's establishment, Al-Hilal enjoyed not only grassroots support but also royal attention.[4]

After spending their formative years building a squad, the club made their first mark by lifting the King's Cup trophy in 1961. That began a period in which the club won 50 official competitions. Al-Hilal recaptured the King's Cup in 1964, with a penalty shootout victory over two-time Asian champions Al-Ittihad. The club were the inaugural winners when the Saudi Premier League came into existence in the 1976–77 season. Al-Hilal won the title another ten times and finished runners-up on 11 occasions in the space of 32 years. Al-Hilal also have six King's Cup, eight Crown Prince Cup and seven Saudi Federation Cup titles.[5]

With the success, a number of players and coaches from outside Saudi Arabia joined the club in the 1970s, including Brazilians Mario Zagallo and Roberto Rivelino.

Al-Hilal players celebrating their Saudi Premier League championship in 2010

In 1991, they won the Asian Club Championship, which they recaptured eight years later. In 1997 they captured the Asian Cup Winners Cup and the Asian Super Cup of that year, which they lifted again in 2002. The last time they got their hands on a continental trophy was in 2002, when they won the Asian Cup Winners' Cup.

Al Hilal-reached the final of the AFC Champions League in 2014, where they faced Western Sydney Wanderers. The Australian club won 1–0 on aggregate.[6] In the second leg, held at the King Fahd Stadium, only 14 Western Sydney Wanderers fans were provided with travel visas, for a match in which there was 65,000 Al-Hilal spectators present.[7][8][9] During the match, laser pointers were shone into the eyes of Western Sydney players and a fight broke out between the two teams.[10][11]

Stadiums[edit]

Al-Hilal plays their home games at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh. The stadium was constructed in 1987 with a capacity of 67,000 people. The club's reserve team stadium, Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, was used in 2011–12 when King Fahd Stadium was under renovation.

Rivalries[edit]

Main article: Saudi El Clasico

Al-Hilal has long-standing rival with Al-Ittihad. From the start of national competition the clubs were seen as representatives of two rival cities: Riyadh and Jeddah. After the success of Al Hilal in Asia when they won two AFC Champions League in years 1991 and 1999, Al Ittihad has won it for two times in a row, in 2004 and 2005.

Al-Hilal won the clasico for 59 times, while Al-Ittihad won it 50 times and two sides drew 34 times. The biggest win is for Al-Hilal when they defeated Al-Ittihad 5–0 in 2009–10 season.

Finance and sponsorship[edit]

Sponsorship[edit]

Mobily is the main sponsor of Al-Hilal, and as part of the sponsorship deal, their logo is displayed on the front of the club's shirts and a plethora of other merchandise. The Mobily deal was announced by the club's President Abdulrahman bin Musa'ad on 14 October 2008, and is worth a Saudi record SAR 517 million, to be paid over six years (SAR 69.1 million per year).

If the team wins any trophy, they will get SAR 3 million for each one (USD 800,000). Al-Hilal will get 60% of any other sponsor that want to sponsor the team, with Mobily's agreement, 20% of football match tickets sold, 50% of Mobily Al-Hilal txt message service profit. Al-Hilal will get SAR 10 million if the number of subscribers in Mobily's Al-Hilal service reaches 200,000 and another 10 million if they reach 400,000 subscribers. Al-Hilal will get 10% of each mobile package sold under the Al-Hilal name (such as blue wave package) and 40% of the club membership fees. The minimum net income from Mobily deal is SAR 75 million per year (USD 20 million/year).

Membership[edit]

Like most professional teams all over the world, Al-Hilal and Mobily have introduced a membership card (Hilali) for fans to connect with their club. Fans are now able to join the Hilal membership scheme for the clubs starting 2012–13 season onwards. Hilali membership benefits includes VIP tickets to all Al-Hilal home and away matches, using the club facilities, meeting with players monthly and discounts at Al-Hilal Mobily stores.

Al-Hilal stores[edit]

Al-Hilal store in Tahlieh street, Riyadh

Al-Hilal has a chain of luxury retail stores that sell the club's products. The first branch opened on 1 February 2011 on the most expensive commercial street in Riyadh at a cost of SAR 15 million (USD 4 million). It was the first store from any Saudi club, and the biggest club store in the Middle East. In the first week of opening, sales surpassed SAR 1 million (USD 266,000). Mobily plans to cover the kingdom's main cities with seven branches by the end of 2012. Khobar's branch has opened on 5 January 2012, which Jeddah branch opened on 5 April 2012. The stores offer thousands of high quality products including clothes, accessories, children toys and many other products.

The stores' profits currently go to Mobily only. After the investment cost is covered they will share the profit with the club.

Television match broadcasting rights[edit]

Al-Hilal receives SR 4.5 million per year (USD 1.2 million/year) from the Saudi Arabia Football Federation as the federation sell the complete matches' right in one package and all the clubs in the Saudi Professional League share the revenue equally. The income may increase dramatically in near future as clubs will have the rights to sell their own matches' broadcasting rights.

Other income sources[edit]

The club's president and other board members pay any extra money required to run the club as the total expenses of the club in recent seasons surpassed SR 140 million (USD 38 million). This increase in expenses is due to the high level foreign and national players the club signed with such as Thiago Neves, Mirel Rădoi, Christian Wilhelmsson, Osama Hawsawi, Youssef El-Arabi and others.

Charity and philanthropy[edit]

Special seats have been allocated for the disabled to watch the training. Twenty-five percent of the income of tickets sold goes to charities. Players and board members arrange and attend social activities for charities during Eid and other holidays.

Club Facilities[edit]

In 2009, the club opened a new camp in Riyadh. It contains 25 rooms, meeting rooms, smart room for lectures, library, eating room, living rooms, a big salon and a medical clinic. It also has entertainment corners for video games, table tennis, billiards, table football and many others. There are two training fields for the senior team.

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Winners (13): 1976–77*, 1978–79, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1995–96, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2004–05, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11 (Record)
Runners-up (12): 1979–80, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1986–87, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1996–97, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2012–13, 2013–14
(* First ever winners)
Winners (12): 1963–64, 1994–95, 1999–00, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13 (Record)
Runners-up (3): 1998–99, 2013–14, 2014–15
Winners (7): 1986–87, 1989–90, 1992–93, 1995–96, 1999–00, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2013–14 (Record)
Runners-up (6): 1985–86, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2007-08, 2009–10, 2011–12
Winners (6): 1961, 1964, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1989
Runners-up (7): 1963, 1968, 1977, 1981, 1985, 1987, 2010
Winners (1): 2000 (Record)

Asian[edit]

Winners (2): 1991, 2000
Runners-up (3): 1986, 1987, 2014
Winners (2): 1997, 2002 (Record)
Winners (2): 1997, 2000 (Record)
Runners-up (1): 2002

Regional[edit]

Winners (2): 1986, 1998
Runners-up (3): 1987, 1992, 2000
Winners (2): 1994, 1995
Runners-up (1): 1989
Winners (1): 2000
Winners (1): 2001
Runners-up (2): 1992, 1995

Others[edit]

Winners (1): 2001

Recent seasons[edit]

The table below chronicles the achievements of Al-Hilal in various competitions since 1999.

Year Division Position Crown Prince Cup King Cup ACL
1999–00 Premier League 5th Champion Not held Champion
2000–01 Premier League 3rd Semi-Final Quarter-Final
2001–02 Premier League 1st Round of 16
2002–03 Premier League 5th Champion Group Stage
2003–04 Premier League 4th Semi-Final Group Stage
2004–05 Premier League 1st Champion
2005–06 Premier League 2nd Champion Group Stage
2006–07 Premier League 2nd Semi-Final Quarter-Final
2007–08 Premier League 1st Champion Semi-Final
2008–09 Pro League 2nd Champion Semi-Final Round of 16
2009–10 Pro League 1st Champion Runners-up Semi-Final
2010–11 Pro League 1st Champion Semi-Final Round of 16
2011–12 Pro League 3rd Champion Semi-Final Quarter-Final
2012–13 Pro League 2nd Champion Quarter-Final Round of 16
2013–14 Pro League 2nd Runners-up Quarter-Final Runners-up
2014–15 Pro League Runners-up

Players[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Saudi Arabia GK Khalid Sharhili
22 Saudi Arabia GK Fahad Al Thunayan
28 Saudi Arabia GK Abdullah Al-Sudairy
32 Saudi Arabia GK Fayz Al-Sabiay
2 Saudi Arabia DF Sultan Al-Bishi
3 Saudi Arabia DF Yahya Al-Musalem
4 Saudi Arabia DF Abdullah Al-Zori
12 Saudi Arabia DF Yasser Al-Shahrani
17 Saudi Arabia DF Abdullah Al Hafith
23 South Korea DF Kwak Tae-Hwi
26 Brazil DF Digão
33 Saudi Arabia DF Sultan Al-Deayea
35 Saudi Arabia DF Ahmed Sharahily
49 Saudi Arabia DF Abdulla Al-Shamekh
70 Saudi Arabia DF Mohammed Jahfali
6 Saudi Arabia MF Mohammed Al-Qarni
7 Brazil MF Thiago Neves
No. Position Player
9 Saudi Arabia MF Hamad Al-Hamad
10 Saudi Arabia MF Mohammad Al-Shalhoub
11 Saudi Arabia MF Abdullaziz Al-Dosari
13 Saudi Arabia MF Salman Al-Faraj
14 Saudi Arabia MF Saud Kariri (vice captain)
18 Saudi Arabia MF Abdullah Otayf
24 Saudi Arabia MF Nawaf Al Abed
25 Saudi Arabia MF Faisel Darwish
29 Saudi Arabia MF Salem Al-Dossari
36 Saudi Arabia MF Abdulla Al-Ammar
39 Saudi Arabia MF Abdulellah Al-Fadhl
58 Saudi Arabia MF Abdulmajeed Al-Sawat
15 Saudi Arabia FW Nasser Al-Shamrani
16 Saudi Arabia FW Yousef Al-Salem
19 Saudi Arabia FW Khaled Al-Kaebi
20 Saudi Arabia FW Yasser Al-Qahtani (captain)
77 Greece FW Georgios Samaras (on loan from West Bromwich Albion)

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
8 Romania MF Mihai Pintilii (at Pandurii Târgu Jiu until 30 June 2015)
Saudi Arabia GK Mohamed Al-Waked (at Al-Shoalah until 30 June 2015)
Saudi Arabia DF Mohamed Al-Buraik (at Al Raed until 30 June 2015)

Reserve squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Saudi Arabia GK Nawaf Al Muwallad
Saudi Arabia GK Naif Al-Wail
Saudi Arabia GK Mohammed Al-Otibi
Saudi Arabia DF Fahad Ghazi
Saudi Arabia DF Nawaf Al-Za'aqi
Saudi Arabia DF Abdulaziz Al-Rokban
Saudi Arabia DF Munif Al-Hazmi
Saudi Arabia DF Mohammed Al-Baqaawi
Saudi Arabia DF Nawaf Al-Grni
Saudi Arabia MF Abdulkarim Al-Qahtani
No. Position Player
Saudi Arabia MF Abdulaziz Al-Sherid
Saudi Arabia MF Husain Al-Qahtani
Saudi Arabia MF Mohammed Al-Hamdani
Saudi Arabia MF Ibrahim Soufiani
Saudi Arabia MF Abdullah Al-Jowai
Saudi Arabia MF Mohammed A-Shorimi
Saudi Arabia MF Ryan Al-Qarni
Saudi Arabia FW Ahmed Al-Bargi
Saudi Arabia FW Fahad Al-Ali

Personnel[edit]

Coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Head coach Greece Giorgos Donis
Assistant Coach Greece Makis Angelinas
Second Assistant Serbia Miodrag Medan
Fitness Coach Greece Grigoris Georgitsas
Goalkeeping Coach Greece Panagiotis Maliaritsis
Doctor France Jean-Marcel Ferret
Director of Football Saudi Arabia Fahad Al-Mofarrej

Management[edit]

Position Name
President Mohammad Al-Homaidani
Secretary General Sami Abu Khudair
Treasurer Thamer Al-Tasan

Award winners[edit]

Asian Footballer of the Year
Asia‘s best Goalkeeper of the Century by IFFHS
Arabian Footballer of the Year

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]