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The ‘Arabian Jewel’ Majed Ahmed Abdullah

SportsThe ‘Arabian Jewel’ Majed Ahmed Abdullah

Majed Ahmed Abdullah nicknamed the “Arabian Jewel is a former Saudi Arabian footballer born on 11 January 1959. As the all-time leading scorer, Abdullah played for Al-Nassr and the Saudi national team.

Scoring 72 goals in 117 games for Saudi Arabia’s national team. He is the record goalscorer for Al-Nassr and the all-time top scorer of the Saudi Professional League.

The “Arabian Jewel” is one of the most prolific scorers in the history of Asian football. During his 20-year career. Abdullah scored 260 goals in 240 league appearances with Al-Nassr.

He is still the Saudi Arabia national team’s top scorer, with 71 goals.

Majed Abduallah’s Success Journey

Abdullah’s list of personal and collective awards and wins is long. He has been a three-time Asian Player of the Year. He won numerous league and cup competitions with Al-Nassr and the two Asia Cup championships with Saudi Arabia.

The IFFHS has named Abdullah as third in their list of the best Asian player of the 20th century.  beIN Sports based in Qatar gave him the title of Arabian Player of the Century.

The wider world didn’t get to see too much of Abdullah, though, in 1994, he did grace Saudi Arabia’s first World Cup appearance.

While playing the first half of the group stage matches against Netherlands and Belgium, a 35-year-old nearing the end of his career.

International Football Matches

His success was not at the domestic stage only; in 1984, Saudi Arabia qualified for its first appearance at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Abdullah scored the only goal as Saudi Arabia lost all their three group games. International success wasn’t far away; in 1984, Saudi Arabia beat China 2–0 in the final during the Asia Cup in Singapore.

They won the title for the first time, with Abdullah scoring the second of the two goals. Four years later, in 1988. He scored twice in the tournament in Qatar as Saudi Arabia retained their title by beating South Korea on penalties.

Born to Sudanese parents in the Al-Baghdadia District in Jeddah Majed is the second son of Ahmed Abdullah, a football manager. In the mid-1960s, Majed’s father got a job as the manager of Al-Nassr’s youth team, and his family moved to Riyadh. Here Majed enrolled at Al-Jazaeria Elementary School and joined the school and the football teams.

He played as a goalie, and as one day a striker was absent, Majed had to replace him as a forward. This change proved to be successful for the team, with Majed guiding his team to a 3–1 victory. The family then moved to Hotat Khaled District, where the young Majed joined Al-Motawasta Al-Thania high school. In his new neighborhood, Majeed, along with his friends, formed a newteam, “Al-Ittifaq,” and tried to participate in a tournament but was refused participation due to their young age.

Spurred by this refusal, Al-Ittifaq challenged one of Riyadh’s best neighborhood teams for a place in that tournament and surprisingly won the match 3–1, with Majed scoring twice in the winning cause. Al-Ittifaq, with this victory, went on to play the tournament to win the championship.

With his popularity growing, a teammate at Al-Ittifaq Mohammed Al-Hudayan recommended Abdullah to Al-Nassr president Prince Abdulrahman Bin Saud.

Al-Nassr coach Ljubisa Brocic was sent to see Abdullah unannounced at Al-Ittifaq’s training camp. Brocic liked what he saw so much that he requested the club to sign Abdullah immediately, officially joining Al-Nassr on 10 November 1975.

Abdullah spent the first two years playing with the youth team, making his senior team debut in a friendly match against the Moroccan side Al-Fath in January 1977. His first two appearances were as a substitute in 1977, playing against Al-Shabab and Al-Qadsiah. The same year, Abdullah made his first start and scored his first goal for Al-Nassr, a header against Al-Wehda.

He never looked back from here, scoring goals as no other player before him or since has scored.  The injury to Al-Nassar’s number 1 striker Mohammed Saad al-Abdali gave the young talent the chance to play the last four games of the season and scored four as a 17-year-old playing his first major tournament. Majid began his career with the shirt number 14 before switching to his legendary number 9 jersey for more than 20 years.

International debut

Majed Abdullah Under 17 team

In 1977, Majed Abdullah was picked to represent Saudi Arabia’s under 17 soccer team in the Tabriz championship in Iran.

Majed was stunning, he impressed everyone scoring seven goals in 3 matches. 2 against Iran, two against Bulgaria, and three against Russia, ending the tournament as the top scorer.

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The senior team

Majeed’s international debut of the senior team came in 1978. It was a friendly match against the Portuguese club Benfica.

It was his first international, he scored two goals while he was only 18 years old. His international debut for Saudia was in a match against Kenya the same year. Majed, barring injury, served the Saudi national football team continuously for 16 years.

Goals with Al-Nassar club

From 1977 to 1998, Majed Abdullah scored for the club al-NASSR FC 321 goals* class 260 goals in 240 matches.

  • 1984 and 1994: Did not play these seasons due to the national team duty
  • Scored a total of 321 goals, 61 goals in friendly matches, and 260 goals in Official games.
  • Champions League 1996 and 1997 9matches 1 goal, Cup Winners Cup 1991 and 1998 4 matches 2 goals.
  • The Kings Cup 1977-1990 33 matches 39 goals, Crown Cup 1991-1997 9 matches 8 goals, SF Cup in 1997 2 matches 4 goals.

Majed Abdullah’s goals with the national team

From 1978 to 1994, Majed scored 72 goals in 117 international matches for the national team.

Icon of hat-tricks

  • Scored hat-tricks a record 28 times.
  • Once scored a Super hat-trick (4 goals)in 15 minutes against India on 6 November 1983.

Majed Abduallah’s Honors

  • Gulf Club Champions Cup Highest Scorer 1991, 1996.
  • Saudi Premier League highest Scorer 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1989.
  • Asia Players of the Century and 3rd as Asian players in Europe AFC.
  • Arabian Golden Boot Winner 1981, 1989.
  • Arab Nations Cup Top Scorer 1983.
  • Asian Player of the Year 1984, 1985, 1986 
  • Saudi Crown Cup Top Scorer 1991.
  • Arabian Player of the Century Al-Jazeera and beIN Sports.
  • Best football player through the history of Saudi Arabia Zogby International IBOPE.
  • Los Angeles Olympics qualifying round Top Scorer 1984.
  • Saudi King Cup Top Scorer 1979, 1987, 1989, 1990.
  • Arab Games Top Scorer 1985.
  • FIFA Player of the Century Ranked 64