Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

Al-Ahli History – The Journey of a Saudi Football Club

Al-Ahli Saudi Club has become a household name in Saudi Arabia, known for its rich history and remarkable success in the world of football. Established in 1937, Al-Ahli has grown to become one of the most successful and popular clubs in the country. In this article, we will take a closer look at the club’s journey and the important milestones it has achieved throughout its 86 years of existence.

The History of Al-Ahli Football Club

Al-Ahli Football Club, also known as Al-Ahli SFC, was founded in 1937 by four young students from Al-Falah School in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The name “Al-Ahli” translates to “the national” in Arabic, representing the club’s strong connection to its country. Since its formation, Al-Ahli has played a significant role in shaping the football landscape in Saudi Arabia.

Early Years and Successes

Al-Ahli’s early years were marked by hard work, determination, and a thirst for glory. The club quickly established itself as one of the powerhouses in Saudi football, alongside Al-Hilal, Al-Nasr, and their local rivals, Al-Ittihad. In 1976, Al-Ahli became one of the four founding members of the Saudi Pro League, the top tier of football in the country.

Throughout its history, Al-Ahli has won numerous domestic titles, including three Saudi Professional League championships. The club’s first notable success came in 1957 when they lifted the Crown Prince Cup. In the 1960s, Al-Ahli won three King Cups, solidifying its status as a force to be reckoned with in Saudi football.

Golden Period and Unbeaten Streak

One of the most celebrated periods in Al-Ahli’s history came between 1983 and 1985, under the guidance of Brazilian coach Telê Santana. During this time, Al-Ahli clinched the Saudi League title in 1984 and the King Cup in 1983, showcasing their dominance on the national stage.

From 2014 to 2016, Al-Ahli experienced another golden period, winning three titles, including the Saudi Crown Prince Cup, the Saudi Professional League, and the King Cup, under the leadership of Swiss coach Christian Gross. During this period, the club also set a record for the longest unbeaten run in the Saudi league, going undefeated for 51 consecutive matches from 2014 to 2016.

Rivalries and Intense Derbies

Al-Ahli has always been at the center of fierce rivalries in Saudi football. The most notable rivalry is with Al-Ittihad, another top club from Jeddah. Matches between these two teams are known as the Derby of the Mermaid and have captivated fans for decades. Al-Ahli’s history has often been overshadowed by the success of Al-Ittihad, but the intense battles on the pitch have fueled the passion of both sets of supporters.

The rivalry with Al-Nassr is another significant one for Al-Ahli. Both clubs have large fan bases and have consistently been at the top of Saudi Arabian football. Matches between these two teams are highly anticipated and have produced some memorable moments.

Stadiums and Home Grounds

Al-Ahli has played its home games at various stadiums throughout its history. Currently, the club calls King Abdullah Sports City its home stadium. With a seating capacity of over 62,000 spectators, the stadium is the biggest in Jeddah and the second biggest in Saudi Arabia. It serves as a testament to the club’s popularity and the support it enjoys from its passionate fans.

Notable Transfers and Famous Players

In recent years, Al-Ahli has made some significant signings, bringing in world-class talent to strengthen the team. In 2023, Al-Ahli secured the services of Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino from Liverpool and Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City. These high-profile signings brought immense excitement to the club and further elevated its status in the football world.

Other famous players who have left their mark on Al-Ahli’s history include Taisir Al-Jassim, Khalid Massad, Omar Al Somah, and Mohamed Barakat. These players have contributed to the club’s success and have become legends in their own right.

Frequently Asked Questions

How successful is Al-Ahli Saudi Club?

Al-Ahli Saudi Club is one of the most successful clubs in Saudi Arabia, having won three Saudi Professional League championships and numerous domestic cups.

What are the biggest rivalries of Al-Ahli?

Al-Ahli has intense rivalries with Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr. Matches against these teams are highly anticipated and often result in thrilling encounters.

Where does Al-Ahli play its home games?

Al-Ahli currently plays its home games at King Abdullah Sports City, the largest stadium in Jeddah and the second largest in Saudi Arabia.

Who are some famous players who have played for Al-Ahli?

Al-Ahli has had the privilege of having talented players in its ranks. Some notable names include Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez, and Taisir Al-Jassim.


Throughout its 86-year history, Al-Ahli Saudi Club has established itself as one of the most successful clubs in Saudi Arabia. With a rich history, intense rivalries, and a passionate fan base, Al-Ahli continues to strive for greatness. The recent signings of Roberto Firmino and Riyad Mahrez have only added to the excitement and ambition of the club. As Al-Ahli looks toward the future, football enthusiasts can expect more thrilling matches and memorable moments from this iconic Saudi club.

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