The Saudi Arabia national football team (Arabic: المنتخب العربي السعودي لكرة القدم) represents Saudi Arabia in internationalfootball. 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.
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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, ahead of Australia. However, they started on a sour note by letting host Russia rout them 0–5 on the opening match, making this the second largest victory of any host nation at the FIFA World Cup. The record of the host's largest opening victory is still by Italy, beating the United States 7–1, in 1934. Once again, Saudi Arabia failed to reach the next round, after suffering another defeat, this time, losing 0–1 to Uruguay. 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, 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.
*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.