Saudi Arabia

2006-06-01 12:53

Berlin - Thirty-two teams have qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals which take place in Germany from June 9 - July 9.

SAUDI ARABIA

Honours:

World Cup appearances: 3 (1994, 1998, 2002)

World Cup best: Last 16 (1994)

Asian Cup champions: 3 (1984, 1988, 1996)

Fifa world ranking: 34

Odds: 500/1

Coach: Marcos Paqueta

Took over when Argentinian Gabriel Calderon was sacked after successfully piloting the Saudis to their fourth consecutive World Cup, making him the 16th Saudi Arabian coach to be appointed in the past 12 years.

Had a successful club management career with Riyadh side Al Hilal before taking over the reins of the national team. Also led Brazil to victory in the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups.

Key player: Sami Al-Jaber

One of the most respected players in Asian football, the 33-year-old striker had been in exile since the 2002 finals before returning during qualifiers at the request of coach Gabriel Calderon.

Al-Jaber, a goalscoring member of the Saudi side which reached the second round of the 1994 World Cup as well as the 1998, is also the only player from the oil-rich state to have tried his luck in English football.

He endured an injury-plagued spell with Wolves in 2000.

Squad:

Goalkeepers:

Mohammad al-Deayea (Al-Hilal), Mabrouk Zayed (Al-Ittihad), Mohammad Khouja (Al-Shabab)

Defenders:

Ahmad al-Doukhi, Redha Takar, Hamad al-Montashari (Al-Ittihad), Ahmad al-Bahri (Al-Ittifak), Mohammad Masaad, Nayef al-Kadhi, Hussein Abdul Ghani (Al-Ahli), Abdul Aziz al-Khathran (Al-Hilal)

Midfielders:

Saoud Kariri, Mohammad Nour, Mohammad Amin (Al-Ittihad), Khaled Aziz, Omar al-Ghamdi, Nawaf al-Temyat, Mohammad al-Shalhoub (Al-Hilal)

Forwards:

Sami al-Jaber, Yasser al-Qahtani, Mohammad al-Anbar (Al-Hilal), Saad al-Harthi (Al-Nasr), Malek Maath (Al-Ahli)

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