Al-Hilal FC

This article is about the Saudi Arabian football club. For other uses, see Al-Hilal.
Full name Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club
Nickname(s) Al-Za'eem (The Boss), "Almalaki" (The Royal team)
Mooj Al-Azraq (The Blue Wave)
Founded 15 October 1957 (1957-10-15)
Ground King Fahd Stadium
Ground Capacity 62,685[1]
President Nawaf Bin Sa'ad
Manager Ramón Díaz
League Professional League
2015–16 Professional League, 2nd
Website Club home page

Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club (Arabic: نادي الهلال السعودي لكرة القدم), also known simply as Al-Hilal (The Crescent), is a Saudi Arabian professional football team based in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. It plays at the Saudi Professional League and holds 57 official titles. Founded in 1957, it has obtained a record of 43 domestic titles as well as a record 6 trophies in various Asian championships, and a record of 8 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 Ramon Diaz and is captained by Yasser Al-Qahtani.


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 Saad Bin Saeed on 15 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.

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

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 12 times and finished runners-up on 12 occasions in the space of 32 years. Al-Hilal also have seven King's Cup, twelve Crown Prince Cup and eight 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.

In 1991, they won the first Asian title, Asian Club Championship. They won it again in 1999–2000. 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 is the only Asian team which achieves six Asian titles.

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]


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. When prince Abdulrahman bin Musa'ad became the owner of the club in 2008, there was some serious idea of making Al-Hilal home avenue but it was shortly declined.


Main article: Saudi El Clasico

Al-Hilal has a long-standing rivalry with Al-Ittihad. From the start of national competition the clubs were seen as representatives of two rival cities: Riyadh and Jeddah. Matches between the two are often called 'El Clasico's. After the success of Al Hilal in Asia when they won two Asian Club Championship in years 1991 and 1999–2000, Al Ittihad has won AFC Champions League two times in a row, in 2004 and 2005. Al-Hilal won the clasico 62 times, while Al-Ittihad has won it 50 times and two sides have drawn 35 times. The biggest win was when Al-Hilal defeated Al-Ittihad 5–0 in 2009–2010.[7]

Another rivalry is with their neighbors Al-Nassr, which is called Riyadh's Derby. They have met 148 times, Al-Hilal has won 59 times, and lost 48 times, while 41 ties have ended in a draw.[8] The biggest win is for Al-Hilal when they defeated Al-Nassr 5–3 in 2010 King Cup of Champions. The rivalry with Al-Nassr is violent between them more than the rivalry with Al-Ittihad. As an example, when Al-Hilal reached the 2014 AFC Champions League Final, in 2nd leg Al-Nassr fans awaited Western Sydney Wanderers arrival at the airport to spur them on against Al-Hilal and tried to sabotage Al-Hilal's ticket plan.[9]

Finance and sponsorship


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). Also, President Abdulrahman bin Musa'ad made a contract with "Omar Al-Mady", CEO of Volkswagen Group in Saudi Arabia. He was the one who represented the Volkswagen Group Global in Saudi Arabia on 9/18/2014. The period of the contract is 6 years. This means it will expire in 2020.[10]


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

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

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

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

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

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.


As of Saudi Premier League:

No Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf      Saudi Arabia
22 Goalkeeper Fahad Al-Thunayan      Saudi Arabia
28 Goalkeeper Marwan Al-Haidari      Saudi Arabia
30 Goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Waked      Saudi Arabia

2 Defender Mohammed Al-Breik      Saudi Arabia
4 Defender Abdullah Al-Zori      Saudi Arabia
5 Defender Ahmed Sharahili      Saudi Arabia
12 Defender Yasser Al-Shahrani      Saudi Arabia
13 Defender Fahad Ghazi      Saudi Arabia
17 Defender Abdullah Al-Hafith      Saudi Arabia
33 Defender Osama Hawsawi      Saudi Arabia
70 Defender Mohammed Jahfali      Saudi Arabia

3 Midfielder Carlos Eduardo      Brazil
6 Midfielder Abdulmalek Al-Khaibri      Saudi Arabia
7 Midfielder Salman Al-Faraj      Saudi Arabia
8 Midfielder Abdullah Otayf      Saudi Arabia
10 Midfielder Mohammad Al-Shalhoub (Vice-Captain)     Saudi Arabia
11 Midfielder Abdullaziz Al-Dawsari      Saudi Arabia
16 Midfielder Nicolás Milesi      Uruguay
18 Midfielder Abdulmajeed Al-Ruwaili      Saudi Arabia
19 Midfielder Khalid Kaabi      Saudi Arabia
21 Midfielder Majed Al-Najrani      Saudi Arabia
24 Midfielder Nawaf Al Abed      Saudi Arabia
25 Midfielder Faisel Darwish      Saudi Arabia
27 Midfielder Tiago Alves      Brazil
29 Midfielder Salem Al-Dawsari      Saudi Arabia
34 Midfielder Abdulmajeed Al-Sawat      Saudi Arabia

9 Forward Léo Bonatini      Brazil
15 Forward Nasser Al-Shamrani      Saudi Arabia
20 Forward Yasser Al-Qahtani (Captain)     Saudi Arabia

Out on loan

No Position Player Nation
-- Goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Sudairy (on loan to Al-Wahda)     Saudi Arabia
-- Defender Abdullah Al-Shamekh (on loan to Al-Wahda)     Saudi Arabia
-- Midfielder Abdulkareem Al-Qahtani (on loan to Al-Raed)     Saudi Arabia
-- Midfielder Abdullah Al-Ammar (on loan to Al-Fateh)     Saudi Arabia


Coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach Argentina Ramón Díaz
Assistant Coach Argentina Emiliano Díaz
Assistant Coach 2 Argentina Juan Romanazzi
Video Analyst Argentina Damian Paz
Fitness Coach Chile Filip Álvaro
Goalkeeping Coach Romania Daniel Zdranca
Doctor France Jean-Marcel Ferret
Director of Football Saudi Arabia Fahad Al-Mofarrej


Position Name
President Nawaf Bin Sa'ad
Vice President Abdulrahman Al-Nimer
Secretary General Sami Abu Khudair
Treasurer Thamer Al-Tasan
Director of Fans Supplies Rashid Al-Anzan
Director of Legal Affairs Thamer Al-Jasser
Director of Facilities Development and Maintenance Badr Al-Mayouf
Director of Other Sports Ibraheem Al-Youssef
Director of Youth Football Abdullateef Al-Hosainy
Director of Investments Area Abdullah Al-Abduljabbar
Board Member Abdullah Al-Jarbou

This is a list of Al-Hilal FC presidents and chairmen from its foundation in 1957.[11]

Name From To Championships (official)
Saudi Arabia Abdul Rahman Bin Saeed 1957 1965 3
Saudi Arabia Abdulrahman Al-Hamdan 1965 1966 ×
Saudi Arabia Abdul Rahman Bin Saeed 1966 1970 ×
Saudi Arabia Faisal Al-Shehail 1970 1972 ×
Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bin Nasser 1972 1976 ×
Saudi Arabia Hazloul bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud 1976 1978 1
Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bin Nasser 1978 1982 2
Saudi Arabia Hazloul bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud 1982 1983 1
Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bin Saad 1983 1990 9
Saudi Arabia Abdul Rahman Bin Saeed 1990 1992 1
Saudi Arabia Mohammed Mufti 1992 1993 1
Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bin Saeed 1993 1994 ×
Saudi Arabia Khalid Bin Mohammed 1994 1996 4
Saudi Arabia Bandar Bin Mohammad 1997 2000 9
Saudi Arabia Saud Bin Turki 2000 2003 6
Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bin Musa'ad 2003 2004 1
Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Faisal 2004 2008 7
Saudi Arabia Abdulrahman bin Musa'ad 2008 2015 7
Saudi Arabia Mohammad Al-Homaidani 2015 2015 1
Saudi Arabia Nawaf Bin Sa'ad 2015 Present 2


The club holds 54 official titles.


Winners (13) – record: 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
Runners-up (13): 1979–80, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1986–87, 1992–93, 1994–95, 1996–97, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16
(* First ever winners)
Winners (7): 1961, 1964, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1989, 2015
Runners-up (6): 1963, 1968, 1977, 1981, 1985, 1987, 2010
Winners (13) – record: 1963–64, 1994–95, 1999–00, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2015–16
Runners-up (4): 1956–57, 1998–99, 2013–14, 2014–15
Winners (1): 2015
Runners-up (1): 2016
Winners (7) – record: 1986–87, 1989–90, 1992–93, 1995–96, 1999–2000, 2004–05, 2005–06
Runners-up (3): 1985–86, 2001–02, 2003–04
Winners (1): 2000


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


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


Winners (1): 2001

Recent seasons

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 3rd Runners-up Champion Semi-final
2015–16 Pro League 2nd Champion Semi-final Round of 16

Award winners

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


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External links

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