Majed Abdullah

Majed Ahmed Abdullah is a Saudi Arabian former footballer who played for Al-Nassr and the Saudi national team. Abdullah is the all-time leading goalscorer for Saudi Arabia with 72 goals in 117 games. At club level, he is the record goalscorer for Al-Nassr and is the all-time top scorer of the Saudi Professional League. He was often referred to by his nickname "Arabian Jewel".
Majed Abdullah is regarded as one of the greatest Western Asian strikers of all time. He was nominated for IFFHS Asia's Player of the Century, finishing third place. He spent his entire club career at Al-Nassr, and scored 189 league goals in a twenty-one-year career. During this time, Al-Nassr established themselves as one of the dominant forces in Saudi and Asian football. With Majed Abdullah leading the attack, Al-Nassr won five League titles and four King Cup titles as well as the 1997–98 Asian Cup Winners' Cup. Majed Abdullah also finished as the Saudi League top scorer six times throughout his career. Majed Abdullah retired from football in 1998, after Al-Nassr's Asian Cup Winners' Cup Final victory over Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
His success was not limited to the domestic stage, in 1984 Saudi Arabia qualified for their first-ever global international tournament at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Abdullah scored their only goal as Saudi Arabia lost all three group games. International success did come in 1984, however, in the Asian Cup in Singapore. Saudi Arabia beat China 2–0 in the final to take the title for the first time, with Abdullah scoring the second goal. Four years later in 1988, he would score twice in the tournament in Qatar as the Saudi team retained the title by beating South Korea on penalties.

Early life

Abdullah was born in the Al-Baghdadia District in Jeddah to Sudanese parents. Majed is the second son of Ahmed Abdullah. Live close to a sports club alongside being the son of a football manager piqued Majed's interest in football. In the mid-1960s, Majed and his family moved to Riyadh where his father got a job as the manager of Al-Nassr's youth team. Majed enrolled in Al-Jazaeria Elementary School and he passionately watched the older kids play football. A couple of years later, Majed joined the school football team as well as the neighborhood team. He used to play as a goalkeeper. One day the team's striker was absent and Majed had to replace him. This position change proved to be successful as Majed guided his team to a 3–1 victory. Majed's family moved to Hotat Khaled District and the young Majed joined Al-Motawasta Al-Thania high school. Majed and his neighbors formed a team they called "Al-Ittifaq". They tried to participate in a tournament but their request was rejected due to their young age. They didn't give up and challenged one of Riyadh's best neighborhood teams for a place in that tournament. Al-Ittifaq surprisingly won the match 3–1 with Majed scoring twice. Al-Ittifaq participated in the tournament and they went on to win the championship.

Club career

Mohammed Al-Hudayan, a teammate at Al-Ittifaq, recommended Abdullah to Al-Nassr president Prince Abdulrahman Bin Saud, as did Al-Ittifaq's coach Nasseb Awad to Khaled Al-Turki and Al-Nassr coach Ljubiša Broćić. Broćić went to see Abdullah unannounced at Al-Ittifaq's training field in Al-Batha and requested that the club sign him. Abdullah officially joined Al-Nassr on 10 November 1975.
Abdullah spent 2 years playing for the youth teams before being promoted to the senior team. He made his senior debut in a friendly against Moroccan side Al-Fath in January 1977. He made his competitive debut on 21 January 1977 by coming off the bench in the league match against Al-Shabab. Abdullah made his first start as well as score his first goal for Al-Nassr on 18 March 1977 in the league match against Al-Wehda. Following an injury to first-choice striker Mohammad Abdeli, Abdullah was given a chance to prove himself. He repaid that trust by scoring 3 goals in the final 3 rounds of the league.
Majed Abdullah finished as the Saudi League top scorer 6 times in his career. He also won the League 4 times as well as the King Cup 4 times. Majed is the all-time top scorer of the Saudi League with 189 goals and is also Al-Nassr's all-time top scorer with 260 goals. Majed Abdullah announced his retirement on 12 April 1998 following Al-Nassr's win in the 1998 Asian Cup Winner's Cup in front of 70,000 fans in Riyadh.

International Career

Majed made his senior team debut in 1978 in an unofficial friendly against Portuguese giants Benfica where he scored 2 goals. His official debut was against China on 10 December 1978. Majed represented Saudi national team in 2 Asian Cups, 5 Gulf Cups, the 1984 Olympic Games and the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He retired from the National Team shortly after the 1994 World Cup.

Career statistics




International goals

Firsts in Majed life


Saudi Arabia
On 20 May 2008, 10 years after Abdullah's last match, a testimonial match was held between Al-Nassr and Real Madrid, who were just crowned with their 31st La Liga title. The match was held at Al-Nassr's home ground, the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh. Al-Nassr won the match 4–1 with 70,000 fans in attendance. The match saw players from other clubs such as Mohamed Al-Deayea, Malek Mouath and Nashat Akram represent Al-Nassr. Arjen Robben broke the deadlock at the 50th before Mouath and Akram scored in quick succession. Saud Kariri then added a third in the 61st before Mouath scored the fourth goal in the first minute of stoppage time.

Match details