Top 10 Best Football Clubs In Saudi Arabia (2024)

Al-Nassr best football clubs in Saudi Arabia
(Photo by Fayez NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has recently emerged as a top destination for some of the biggest names in football.

The recent high-profile signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, N’golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Ruben Neves, among others, by Saudi clubs have catapulted the Saudi Pro League into the spotlight — signaling the league’s ambition to become a global force.

These are some of the best soccer players in the Saudi Pro League.

Saudi aims to increase the revenue of its football league and also make to be among the “top 10 in the world”.

Unlike European teams, Saudi clubs are not bound by UEFA’s rules on spending, meaning there is no limit to the salaries the nation’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) can offer to lure top players to the Middle East.

Sports is one of the pillars of the government’s Vision 2030 economic diversification plan that seeks to build new industries and create jobs – and PIF is at the center of that scheme.

The Saudi Pro League gradually becoming not just one of the best football leagues in Asia, but among best football leagues in the world.

Here, TOP SOCCER BLOG brings you the top 10 best football clubs in Saudi Arabia.

1. Al-Hilal

Al-Hilal top football clubs in Saudi Arabia
(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Al-Hilal is not just the most decorated club in Saudi Arabia but also in Asia, winning 66 official trophies.

They also hold the record for the most continental trophies in Asia, as well as a record 18 Saudi Professional League titles.

Founded on 16 October 1957, Al-Hilal is one of three teams to have participated in all seasons of the Saudi Professional League since its establishment in 1976.

Furthermore, they have also won a record 13 Crown Prince Cup titles, a record 7 Saudi Federation Cup titles, 10 King Cup titles, a record 3 Super Cup titles, as well as the Saudi Founder’s Cup.

In September 2009, Al-Hilal was awarded Best Asian Club of the 20th Century by the IFFHS.

Notable names in their squad are Matheus Perreira and Moussa Marega, but they have recently acquired Kalidou Koulibaly and Ruben Neves from Chelsea and Wolves, respectively.

2. Al-Nassr

Al-Nassr best football clubs in Saudi Arabia
(Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

Al Nassr is one of the most successful clubs in Saudi Arabia, with 25 official trophies.

At the domestic level, the club has won 9 Saudi Pro League titles, 6 King’s Cups, 3 Crown Prince’s Cups, 3 Federation Cups, and 2 Saudi Super Cups.

At international level, they won a historic Asian double in 1998 by claiming both the Asian Cup Winners’ Cup and the Asian Super Cup.

Al-Nassr gained international attention in late 2022 when Cristiano Ronaldo — one of the greatest footballers of all time — signed for the club on a two-and-a-half-year deal, receiving €200 million per year (€500 million total) to become the highest-paid footballer in the world.

Other notable signings are David Ospina, Marcelo Brozovic, and Hakim Ziyech.

3. Al-Ittihad

Karim Benzema Al-Ittihad best football clubs in Saudi Arabia JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - JUNE 08: Karim Benzema looks on as they are presented to the crowd during the Karim Benzema Official Reception event at King Abdullah Sports City on June 08, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
(Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

Founded in 1927, Al-Ittihad is the oldest sports club still surviving in Saudi Arabia. The club has spent its entire history in the top flight of football in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Ittihad is considered one of the most successful Asian clubs at the domestic and continental levels, as they have won the AFC Champions League title twice in a row (one of only three Asian teams to achieve this and the first to do so).

They have also clinched the Asian Cup Winners’ Cup once, the GCC Champions League and the Arab Champions League title each once.

Domestically, Al-Ittihad is also the second most successful club in Saudi Arabia, having won 9 league titles, 5 King’s Cup titles, 8 Crown Prince Cup titles, 3 Saudi Federation Cup titles, and 1 Saudi Super Cup.

The most successful period in the club’s history was in the 1990s and 2000s, when the club won a large number of titles and achievements domestically, regionally, and even globally, culminating in the club securing 4th place in the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship in Japan.

They will also participate as hosts at the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Al Ittihad has a long-standing rivalry with Al-Hilal, which is referred to as Saudi El Clasico, and is considered the most prominent and most watched annual match(es) in Saudi football.

Currently, Al-Ittihad is the defending champions of the Saudi Pro League, having won the league title in the 2022/23 season.

They recently signed French superstars Karim Benzema and N’golo Kante. Al-Ittihad is undoubtedly one of the best football clubs in Saudi Arabia.

4. Al-Shabab

Al-Shabab best soccer teams in Saudi Arabia Shabab's players pose for a group picture ahead of the AFC Champions League quarter-final football match between Qatar's Al-Duhail and Saudi Arabia's Al-Shabab at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on February 23, 2023.
(Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Al-Shabab is also a heavyweight in Saudi Arabian football; they have won 6 Saudi Premier League titles, 3 King’s Cups, 3 Crown Prince Cups, 2 Arab Champions Leagues, 2 Arab Super Cups, a Saudi Super Cup and an Asian Cup Winner’s Cup.

The most notable player in their current squad is former Athletico Madrid, Inter Milan, and Sevilla midfielder, Ever Banega.

5. Al-Ahli SFC

Riyad Mahrez RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - OCTOBER 27: Riyad Mahrez of Al Ahli during the Saudi Pro League match between Al Hilal and Al Ahli at the King Fahd International Stadium on October 27, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Known as one of the most successful clubs in Saudi Arabia, domestically, Al-Ahli has won three Saudi Professional Leagues and also holds the record of 13 Kings Cups, 6 Crown Prince Cups, one General League Shield, and one Super Cup.

In international club football, they have won a record-equalling three GCC Champions League and 1 Arab Club Championship.

Al-Ahli was the first Saudi club to win the league and the King’s Cup in the same season and has done so twice — in 1978 and 2016.

It was one of the four founding members of the Saudi Pro League and had never been relegated from the top flight until the 2021/22 season. The other three are Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad, and Al-Nassr. They have won instant promotion back to the top flight.

Al-Ahli holds the record for the longest unbeaten run in the league with their 51-match unbeaten streak from 2014 to 2016!!!

Their home games are played at King Abdullah Sports City, also known as the “shining jewel” Stadium.

The stadium, which is shared with long-lasting city rivals Al-Ittihad, is the second-largest stadium in Saudi Arabia, with a total capacity of approximately 63,000.

The club’s most famous Saudi players are Taisir Al-Jassim, Khalid Massad, Amin Dabo, Mohamed Abd Al-Jawad, Malek Mouath, and Yasser Al-Mosailem; the most famous foreign players are Omar Al Somah, Victor Simões, Nabil Maâloul, Imad Al Hosni, and Mohamed Barakat.

6. Al-Taawon

Al-Taawon plays their home games at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Buraidah, sharing the stadium with city rivals Al-Raed, with whom they contest the Qasim Derby.

In the 2009/10 season, Al-Taawoun won promotion to the Pro League for the first time in over 13 years as runners-up in the first division; their last appearance in the top flight was in the 1997/98 season.

They have been playing consecutively in the Saudi Professional League since the 2010/11 season.

On 29 May 2016, they qualified for their debut AFC Champions League campaign for the first time ever by finishing fourth in the league during the 2015/16 season.

Their best-ever top-flight season came in the 2018/19 season when the club successfully challenged for the Asian Champions League spots, eventually finishing in third place in the Saudi Professional League, their highest-ever league position to date.

And to top off their season, Al-Taawoun reached the King Cup final by thrashing Al-Hilal 5-0 at the King Saud Stadium in the semi-final and went on to defeat Al-Ittihad 2-1 in the final to claim their first-ever top-flight trophy, with the winning goal coming in the 90th minute.

As a result, they became the first club from Al-Qassim Region to win the King Cup.

Al-Taawoun qualified for the 2020 AFC Champions League as 2019 King Cup winners and 2018/19 Saudi Professional League 3rd place.

Al-Taawoun finished the group as runners-up with a record of (3W,3L) to qualify to the knockout stages for the first time in their history. Al-Taawoun faced Al-Nasser in the round of 16 but eventually lost 0-1.

7. Al-Fateh

In 2008/09, Al-Fateh gained their first-ever promotion to the Saudi Professional League. The club managed to survive relegation in their first-ever season in the top flight.

Al Fateh pulled off a sensational surprise when they won their first League title in 2012/13. This is one of the greatest upsets in Saudi football history, especially considering that Al Fateh was promoted to the Pro League for the first time only four years earlier.

Moreso, it was the first time that a club different from the Riyadh and Jeddah clubs won the Saudi Professional League since the 1986/87 season.

Al-Fateh defeated Al-Ittihad 3-2 after extra time to become the inaugural champions of the Saudi Super Cup.

They advanced to the 2014 AFC Champions League group stage in their debut campaign as 2012-13 Saudi Professional League champions but crashed out of the group stage.

Al-Fateh qualified again for the 2017 AFC Champions League due to the fact that Al-Ittihad, who finished in 3rd place in the league, could not participate in the AFC Champions League because of club licensing requirements problems.

As a result, Al Taawoun, 4th place in the league, entered the group stage instead of the qualifying play-offs, while Al Fateh, 5th place, entered the qualifying play-offs. Al-Fateh defeated Nasaf Qarshi 1-0 in the qualifying play-offs to advance to the group stage.

Former Barcelona, Espanyol, Porto, Fiorentina and Real Betis winger, Cristian Tello, plays for the club.

8. Al-Ettifaq


Al-Ettifaq was established after the merging of three clubs in the city of Dammam in 1944.

It is the first-ever Saudi team to win an international title – the 1984 Arab Club Champions Cup.

Al Ettifaq is also the first team to win the Saudi Premier League unbeaten. It is also the first side from Saudi Arabia to win the GCC Champions League.

The club have a total of 13 different titles to their name.

9. Al-Tai

Al-Tai have won the Saudi First Division three times, first in the 1984/85 season and last in the 2000/01 season, and have finished runners-up once in the Saudi First Division.

Moreover, the club has won the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Cup for Division 1 and 2 Teams once. They have played 22 times in the Pro League and won their first promotion during the 1977/78 season.

Al-Tai play their home games at Prince Abdul Aziz bin Musa’ed Stadium in Ha’il, sharing the stadium with city rivals Al-Jabalain, with whom they contest the Ha’il derby.

10. Al-Raed FC

Established in 1954, Al Raed gained promotion to the Saudi Pro League for the first in 1980/1981.

It was the first team from the Qassim region to enter the Saudi Premier League. The team later won promotion again to the Premier League in 1989, 1992, 1998, 2002, and 2007.

Al-Raed has been playing in the top flight since 2008.

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