Latest Saudi Arabia National Soccer Team News

Women's World Cup hosts urge FIFA not to sign Saudi sponsor

Feb. 01, 2023 21:25 PM EST

GENEVA (AP) — Women’s World Cup co-hosts Australia and New Zealand urged FIFA on Wednesday not to sign a sponsor deal with the tourism authority of Saudi Arabia where “rights of women remain severely restricted.” Leaders of the two national soccer federations warned in a...

Saudi soccer influence grows by winning seat on FIFA Council

Feb. 01, 2023 09:15 AM EST

Saudi Arabia added to its influence in world soccer on Wednesday, winning a seat on the FIFA Council and then being confirmed as host of the 2027 Asian Cup. The election win at the Asian Football Confederation’s annual meeting followed Cristiano Ronaldo arrival last month to play...

Messi regrets controversy against Dutch at the World Cup

Jan. 30, 2023 13:10 PM EST

BUENOS AIRES (AP) — World Cup winner Lionel Messi regretted his testy exchanges with the Netherlands coach and players during their controversial quarterfinal in Qatar, he said in an interview aired on Monday. Messi gave his first interview since lifting the trophy in December to...

Ronaldo makes Saudi league debut for Al Nassr, doesn't score

Jan. 22, 2023 18:27 PM EST

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score in his Saudi Pro League debut for Al Nassr, but his presence electrified fans at King Saud University Stadium as the team beat Ettifaq 1-0 to retake first place on Sunday. Talisca headed the winner in the 31st minute...

Cristiano Ronaldo experiences surreal start in Saudi Arabia

Jan. 06, 2023 12:13 PM EST

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The palm trees lining the desert roads leading out of Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport were wet with rain drops when Cristiano Ronaldo arrived this week in Saudi Arabia’s capital city. The surprising weather greeted the soccer great’s...

Can Ronaldo keep the eyes of the world on him in Saudi?

Jan. 04, 2023 11:05 AM EST

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest coach spoke of his surprise as he looked out at a room filled with reporters on Tuesday. “Normally after the game there is three or four journalists. Today, I don’t know why…” Al Nassr head coach Rudi Garcia said at...

Cristiano Ronaldo makes big-money move to Saudi Arabian club

Dec. 30, 2022 19:24 PM EST

LONDON (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo completed a lucrative move to Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on Friday in a deal that is a landmark moment for Middle Eastern soccer but will see one of Europe's biggest stars disappear from the sport's elite stage. Al Nassr posted a picture on social...

FIFA mostly wins big but loses some trust at Qatar World Cup

Dec. 19, 2022 15:48 PM EST

Even before an epic final won by Lionel Messi and Argentina, FIFA president Gianni Infantino was calling it “the best World Cup ever” in Qatar. There was clear self-interest to declare the success of a tournament that was politically fraught for most of the 12 years since the...

Messi wins World Cup to push claim to be soccer's GOAT

Dec. 18, 2022 16:25 PM EST

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — After finally winning the World Cup, Lionel Messi made his strongest case yet to be considered soccer’s greatest player of all time. It will never be possible to say definitively, though, even after Argentina's 4-2 penalty shootout victory over France on...

EXPLAINER: Why are Argentines such ardent World Cup fans?

Dec. 17, 2022 05:11 AM EST

Argentina arguably has the World Cup's most fervent fans, known for their rhythmical singing, incessant drumming and trance-like ferocity. The country's history of success at the World Cup — champions in 1978 and 1986, and runners-up three times — is rivaled by few. This fervor...