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Rediff.com  » Sports » Penpix of Saudi Arabia's World Cup squad

Penpix of Saudi Arabia's World Cup squad

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May 29, 2006 20:43 IST
Saudi Arabia's squad for the World Cup finals in Germany comprises the following 23 players:

(Statistics up to and including May 25 2006)

GOALKEEPERS

1-Mohamed Al Deayea (Al Hilal) Born: 2.8.72. Caps: 181 Goals: 0

Officially recognised by FIFA as the world's most capped footballer of all time, made his debut for his country in 1990. Was a member of the Saudi squad that took part in the 2004 Asian Cup in China and played in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where he conceded eight goals in the 8-0 defeat to Germany. Only recently lost his place to Mabrouk Zaid but could well start in the finals because of his vast experience of the big occasion.

22-Mohammad Khouja (Al Shabab) Born: 15.3.82 Caps: 7 Goals: 0

The inclusion of Khouja was one of the few surprises in the Saudi World Cup line-up. He replaces Mustafa Maleka.

21-Mabrouk Zaid (Al Ittihad) Born: 11.2.79 Caps: 32 Goals:0

The recent first-choice goalkeeper for the national team and a key member of the Jeddah-based Al Ittihad side who won the Asian Champions League title for the second year in a row in November 2005. One of 10 nominees for 2005 Asian Player of the Year.

DEFENDERS

3-Redha Tuker (Al Ittihad) Born: 29.11.75 Caps 35 Goals 6

Survives from the World Cup squad of four years ago and has been in fine form for Al Ittihad in their successful defence of the Asian Champions League title. Joined Al Ittihad in 2004 from Riyadh's Al Shabab.

15-Ahmed Al Bahri (Al Shabab) Born: 18.9.80 Caps: 10 Goals: 3

Failed to make the 2004 Asian Cup squad but has been called up for various World Cup qualifiers that raised his hopes of making the trip to Germany.

4-Hamad Al Montashari (Al Ittihad) Born: 22.6.82 Caps 30 Goals 6

The 2005 Asian Player of the Year is one of the most important members of the team and his ability to score goals makes him a major asset.

5-Naif Ali Al Qadhi (Al Ahli) Born: 3.4.79 Caps: 28 Goals: 2

Al Qadhi was part of the Al Ahli team who reached the quarter-finals of the 2005 Asian Champions League before losing to China's Shenzhen Jianlibao 4-3 on aggregate. He scored an own goal in the first leg at home, a 2-1 win.

2-Ahmed Dokhi (Al Ittihad) Born: 25.10.76 Caps: 66 Goals: 4

Was a member of the 2002 World Cup squad. The veteran recently made the move from Riyadh's Al Hilal to Al Ittihad in Jeddah, despite his Al Hilal-supporting mother's protests. His reward, though, was an Asian Champions League title.

13-Hussein Sulaimani (Al Ahli) Born: 21.1.77 Caps 95 Goals 3

Sulaimani played in the 1998 World Cup in France but has since dropped out of the limelight as his business interests in Saudi Arabia increased.

17-Mohammed Al Anbar (Al Hilal) Born: 22.3.85 Caps 9 Goals 3

Another new face in the World Cup squad, Al-Anbar was first tried last year during the qualifying stage.

MIDFIELDERS

6-Omar Al Ghamdi (Al Hilal) Born: 11.4.79 Caps: 36 Goals: 5

Al-Ghamdi played during Saudi Arabia's ill-fated 2002 World Cup appearance.

14-Saud Al Khariri (Al Ittihad) Born: 3.7.80 Caps: 32 Goals: 12

Another player from two-times defending Asian champions Al Ittihad who is expected to be part of the backbone of the Saudi team. Was part of the 2004 Asian Cup squad.

12-Abdulaziz Al Khathran (Al Hilal) Born: 31.7.73 Caps: 18 Goals: 0

Veteran midfielder was part of the 2002 squad but failed to make it into the group who played at the 2004 Asian Cup. His ability to play on the left makes him a good option.

10-Mohammad Al Shalhoub (Al Hillal) Born: 8.12.80 Caps: 47 Goals: 15

Al Shalhoub is an experienced member of the squad, having played in the 2000 Asian Cup in Lebanon, 2002 World Cup and 2004 Asian Cup in China.

18-Nawaf Al Temyat (Al Hilal) Born: 28.6.76 Caps: 54 Goals: 13

The former Asian Player of the Year has struggled with injuries of late and played only a small part in the qualifying matches. However, he is still a formidable striker when in top form.

16-Khaled Al Thaker (Al Hilal) Born: 14.7.81 Caps 12 Goals 2

Al Thaker has fought his way into the squad over the past 18 months and is a key player in the Al Hilal squad, though he is known to have a fiery temper.

7-Mohamed Ameen (Al Ittihad) Born: 1.7.80 Caps: 15 Goals: 7

An attacking midfielder who took part in the Asian Cup in 2004 but has since faced increasing competition for a place in the squad.

19-Mohammed Masaad (Al Ahli) Born: 17.2.83 Caps: 5 Goals: 0

Masaad played for Saudi Arabia in the 1998 World Cup in France and in 2002 in South Korea and Japan. He is seen as a lone operator.

8-Mohamed Noor (Al Ittihad) Born: 26.2.78 Caps 61 Goals 22

Captain of Asian champions Al Ittihad and a stalwart of the national team. Noor is an important and influential member of the side and is recognised as the "Patrick Vieira" of the Saudi team.

FORWARDS

11-Saad Al Harthi (Al Nasr) Born: 8.7.82 Caps: 15 Goals: 12

A youngster who has earned his place in the squad after some good performances for his club. Another from Al Nasr, Al Harthi is expected to be an important figure for the future.

23-Malik Al Hawsawi (Al Ahli) Born: 10.8.81 Caps 5 Goals 0

A popular young player referred to by the Arabic press as "the sniper" (al-qannas) because of his goal-scoring ability. New to the national team, he scored Saudi Arabia's winning goal in this month's friendly against Togo which ended 1-0.

9-Sami Al Jaber (Al Hilal) Born: 11.12.72 Caps 158 Goals 43

One of the most popular players Saudi Arabia has produced. The striker with 18 years experience announced his retirement but was still called up for his country's qualifying campaign.

20-Yassir Al Qahtani (Al Hilal) Born: 10.10.82 Caps 43 Goals 32

Al Qahtani is the new pin-up boy of Saudi football, having moved from Al Qadassiya to Al Hilal to enhance his international claims. Is one of the rising stars of the game in Saudi.

Source:
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