Despite a relative late entry into the World Cup in 1994, Saudi Arabia surprised all with their performance in the 2006 qualifiers. They remained unbeaten in all the 12 matches, beating even the 2002 semi-finalists Korea Republic.india Updated: Jun 01, 2006 13:03 IST
|FIFA world ranking||34|
|Group H||Spain, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Ukraine|
|Previous appearances||6 times|
|Key player||Sami Al-Jaber|
Saudi Arabia's association with the World Cup is not long, as they did not enter until 1978. But, it was only in 1994 that they could reach the finals.
During the 2006 qualifiers, the squad remained unbeaten in all the 12 matches. They even beat the 2002 semi-finalists Korea Republic twice.
Ex-coach Argentinian Gabriel Calderon's decision of recalling ace striker Al Jaber to the team after a two year out proved right when Al Jaber netted three goals in the last qualifying round.
Present coach Marcos Paqueta, of Brazilian descent, is expected to hone the team to world class standards.
The current squad has the right blend of experience and fresh talent to make a mark. Though their group teams will give Saudi Arabia a tough battle, yet much is expected than their previous performances during the Cup.
Goalkeepers: Al Deayea Mohammed, Zaid Mabrouk, Khojah Mohammad
Defenders: Dokhi Ahmed, Tukar Redha, Al Montashari Hamad, Al Qadi Naif, Khathran Abdulaziz, Sulimani Hussein, Al Bahri Ahmed
Midfielders: Al Ghamdi Omar, Ameen Mohammed, Noor Mohammed, Al Shlhoub Mohammad, Khariri Saud, Aziz Khaled, Al Temyat Nawaf, Massad Mohammed
Forwards: Al Jaber Sami, Al Harthi Saad, Al Anbar Mohammed, Al Kahtani Yaser, Mouath Malek.
First Published: May 06, 2006 18:39 IST