Although the Saudi Football Federation was founded in 1959, it was not until 1978 that the national team took part in a FIFA World Cup™ qualification competition for the first time, exiting in the first round. In fact it was not until USA 1994 that Saudi Arabia reached their first world finals, having topped their group in the final qualifying round. That was the springboard for further successes in the preliminaries for France 1998, Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006. Their run came to an end in the race for places at South Africa 2010, when Bahrain ended their bid for a fifth straight finals appearance. Desperate to revive their footballing fortunes going into Asia’s qualifying for Brazil 2014, the Sons of Deserts opened brightly easing past Hong Kong to storm into the third round. However, they managed just a win and three draws to finish behind group winners Australia and Oman to miss out on the global extravaganza for a second consecutive time.
Best performance in a FIFA competition: FIFA U-17 World Cup Scotland 1989 (Winners)
Former stars: Saeed Al-Owairan, Mohammed Al-Daeer, Nawaf Al-Temyat