Majed Abdullah



Majed Ahmed Abdullah Al-Mohammed
(Arabic: ماجد عبد الله)‎ (born November 1, 1959 in Jeddah) is a former Saudi Arabian football (soccer) striker, the all-time goals leader for the Saudi national team. He was nicknamed Arabian Pelé. Abdullah was voted as the best football player in the history of Saudi Arabia in a poll by the Zoghbi Institute.

Childhood

Abdullah was born in Al-Baghdadia District in Jeddah in a house close to Al-Ittihad Club and lived his childhood in that house. Majed is the second son of Mr. Ahmed Abdullaf after Abdullah. Being a neighbor to a sports club alongside with being the son of a football manager made the child Majed live in a football environment. All the pictures in the house walls and all the conversations between Majed’s father and his guests about football made the young Majed a football lover from the beginning.

In the mid 60s, Majed and his family moved to Riyadh where his father got a job as the manager of Al-Nasr youth team. Majed joined “Al-Jazaeria Elementary School” and the 3 years old kid was passionately watching the older kids playing football. Couple of years later, Majed started participating in the school team and the neighborhood team as a goalkeeper. One day, the team striker was absent and Majed replaced him to guide 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 young neighbors formed a team they called “Al-Ittifaq”. They tried to participate in one of the most famous tournaments but their request was rejected due to their young age. The kids didn’t give up and challenged one of Riyadh’s best teams for a place in that tournament and surprisingly they won 3-1 with 2 goals from the young talent “Majed Abdullah”. “Al-Ittifaq” was accepted to compete regardless of its members young age, and the team went on to win the championship.

Club career

Mohammed Al-Hudayan, a teammate at Al-Ittifaq, recommended Abdullah to Al-Nasr president Prince Abdulrahman Bin Saud, as did Al-Ittifaq’s trainer Nasseb Awad to Khaled Al-Turkiand Al-Nasr coach Ljubiša Broćić. Broćić went to see Abudullah unannounced at Al-Ittifaq’s training field in Al-Batha, and requested that the club sign him. Abdullah joined Al-Nasr in November 1975.

Abdullah spent 2 years playing for the youth teams before joining the senior team., making his senior debut in a friendly against the Morrocan team Al-Fath in January 1977. His competitive debut came against Al-Shabab later the same month, followed by his first goal for the club against Al-Wehda in March 1977.Majed spent that season as a substitute but the injury of Al-Nasr number 1 striker Mohammed Saad Al-Abdali gave the young talent the chance where he started the last 4 matches of the season scoring 4 goals which was a huge achievement for a 17 years old player. Majed started his career with the shirt number 14 before switching to his legendary number 9. Majed went on to represent Al-Nasr for more than 20 years scoring 320 goals making him Al-Nasr greatest player ever.

National team

Under 17 Team

In August 1977, Majed was chosen to represent the Saudi Arabia under 17 soccer team in Tabriz Championship in Iran. Majed’s beginning was stunning. He amazed everyone in the tournament including his own trainer “Jeff Faundon” and went on to score 7 goals in 3 matches (2 against Iran – 2 against Bulgaria – 3 against Russia) to become the tournament’s top scorer.

The Senior Team

Majed made his senior team debut in 1978 in a friendly against Portuguese giants Benfica were he scored 2 goals in his first ever international match when he was only 18. His official debut was against Kenya in the same year. Majed represented Saudi national team continuously for 16 years where injury was the only reason to keep him out the National Team.

Goals

Majed goals for Al-Nassr in local matches

Between his first goal against Al-Wehda in 19-3-1977 and his last goal against Kopetdag of Turkmenistan in 11-4-1998 Majed scored for the club 320 goals even though he missed many matched due to either injury or representing the national team.

Between 1977 and 1998 Majed represented Al-Nasr in only 218 games of a total of 455 Al-Nasr played during the same period. Majed was absent mainly due to either injury or representing the Saudi national team where at that time national team players were taken from their teams to prepare for major tournaments. In the 218 league matches, Majed scored 190 goals broken down as follows :

Season # of Goals Remarks
1976–1977 4 Majed played 5 games in his debut season
1977–1978 12 League’s second top goal scorer
1978–1979 18 League’s top goal scorer
1979–1980 17 League’s top goal scorer
1980–1981 21 League’s top goal scorer
1981–1982 9 Played only second stage – National Team duty
1982–1983 14 League’s top goal scorer
1983–1984 0 Didn’t play any matches – National Team duty
1984–1985 1 Played only 5 matches
1985–1986 15 League’s top goal scorer
1986–1987 15 League’s second top goal scorer
1987–1988 5 Played only first stage – National Team duty
1988–1989 19 League’s top goal scorer
1989–1990 13 League’s second top goal scorer
1990–1991 10 Missed half season – Injury
1991–1992 3 Played only 2 matches – Injury
1992–1993 4 Played only 5 matches – Injury
1993–1994 0 Didn’t play any matches – National Team duty
1994–1995 8 Played only 8 matches – Injury
1995–1996 0 Played only 1 match – Injury
1996–1997 2 Played only 4 matches – Injury
1997–1998 0 Didn’t play any matches – Injury
Total 190

Between his first match against Al-Nahda in 1977 and his last match in the final against Al-Ta’awon in 1990 (The tournament was renamed to Crown Prince Cup), Majed scored 39 goals broken down as follows:

Season # of Goals Opponent
1976–1977 5 Hajr – Nahda – Al-Qadsia
1977–1978 2 Shate
1978–1979 6 Al-Qadsia – Rabie
1979–1980 0
1980–1981 4 Al-Ahli – Al-Qadsia – Al-Ittifaq – Al-Hilal
1981–1982 1 Ohod
1982–1983 3 Al Jabalain – Al-Ansar – Al-Ahli
1983–1984 0 Didn’t play
1984–1985 0
1985–1986 1 Riad
1986–1987 5 Al Taawon – Al-Ittihad – Hajr – Al-Hilal
1987–1988 2 Ohod
1988–1989 5 Al-Ittihad – Hajr – Al-Ahli
1989–1990 5 Hajr – Al-Ittifaq – Al Taawon
Total 39

The King Cup was renamed as Crown Prince Cup in 1991. Majed scored only 8 goals in it. 5 goals in 1991, 1 in 1995 and 2 in 1996.

Majed participated only once in the Saudi Federation Cup and that was in 1997 season where he scored 4 goals.

  • Majed goals by team:

From the above we conclude that Majed scored 265 official local goals for Al-Nasr (194 in the league + 49 in the King Cup + 13 in the Crown Prince Cup + 9 in the Federation Cup). The 265 goals are broken down team wise as follows :

Team # of Goals
Al-Ittifaq 29
Al-Ahli 24
Al-Hilal 22
Al-Ittihad 19
Al-Wehda 19
Al-Qadsia 18
Al-Nahda 18
Al-Shabab 15
Riad 15
Ohod 13
Al-Ta’ee 11
Hajr 8
Al-Rawda 8
Al-Ansar 6
Al Jabalain 5
Al-Rabie 4
Al Taawon 3
Al-Shate 2
Al-Arabi 1
Al-Raed 1
Al-Najma 1
Total 242

Majed goals for Al-Nassr in continental and regional matches

Team Country # of Goals
Al-Ahli Oman 1
Al-Rayyan Qatar 2
Al-Rifa Bahrain 1
Al-Nasr Oman 3
Al-Sadd Qatar 1
Al-Arabi Kuwait 1
Al-Ansar Lebanon 1
Kazma Kuwait 2
Dhufar Oman 2
Al-Arabi Qatar 2
Al-Rifa Al-Sharqi Bahrain 1
Kopetdag Turkmenistan 1
Total 18

Majed goals for Al-Nasr in friendly matches

Majed scored for Al-Nasr 61 goals in friendly matches. The most famous one was against Manchester city in 1987.

Majed goals for the national team

From August 1977 to June 1994, Majed scored 229 for the Nation Team. However, only 118 were officially counted because the remaining 111 were not scored in “Class A” matches (either against clubs or Olympic teams)

Majed goals summary

Scoring for Goals Classification # of Goals
Al-Nasr Saudi Premier League 190
Al-Nasr King Cup 39
Al-Nasr Crown Prince Cup 8
Al-Nasr Saudi Federation cup 4
Al-Nasr Regional Matches 18
Al-Nasr Friendly Matches 61
National Team Class A Matches 118
National Team Non Class A Matches 111
Total 549

Firsts in Majed life

  • First training camp with Al-Nasr was in London in 1976.
  • First training camp with the National Team (under 17) was also in London in 1977.
  • First coach with Al-Nasr was Ljubiša Broćić
  • First coach with the National Team (under 17) was Jeff Faundon.
  • First shirt number with Al-Nasr was 14.
  • First shirt number with the National Team was 17.
  • First match with Al-Nasr was against Al-Fath from Morocco in a friendly in 15-1-1977.
  • First official match with Al-Nasr was against Al-Shabab in 22-1-1977.
  • First goal with Al-Nasr was against Al-Wehda in 18-3-1977.
  • First international goal was against Iran under 17 in 15-8-1977.
  • First goal with the Saudi Senior Team was in a friendly against Benfica in January 1978.
  • First official goal with the Saudi Senior Team was against Kenya in January 1978.
  • First “League Top Scorer” Trophy was in 1978-1978 season.

Lasts in Majed life

Achievements

Farewell match

On 2008-05-20 – after 10 years from last match – , a big farewell match was organised between Al-Nasr and Real Madrid who were just crowned with their 31st La Liga title. More than 70,000 people packed in King Fahd Stadium and additional 30,000 went back home because there were no more space. The match ended 4-1 in favour of Al-Nasr with 2 goals fromMalek Mouath and a goal from Saud Khariri and Nashat AkramArjen Robben scored Real Madrid’s only goal.

Match details

2008-05-20
18:15 GMT
Al-Nasr Saudi Arabia 4 – 1 Spain Real Madrid King Fahd StadiumRiyadh
Attendance: More Than 70,000 ,
Referee: Mutrif Al-Qahtani
Malek Mouath Goal 53′ Goal 91′
Nashat Akram Goal 55′
Saud Khariri Goal 61′