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Flag of Saudi Arabia
In 1902, ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman Al Saud captured Riyadh and set out on a 30-year campaign to unify the Arabian Peninsula. A son of ABD AL-AZIZ rules the country today, and the country's Basic Law stipulates that the throne shall remain in the hands of the aging sons and grandsons of the kingdom's founder. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Saudi Arabia accepted the Kuwaiti royal family and 400,000 refugees while allowing Western and Arab troops to deploy on its soil for the liberation of Kuwait the following year. The continuing presence of foreign troops on Saudi soil after Operation Desert Storm remained a source of tension between the royal family and the public until the US military's near-complete withdrawal to neighboring Qatar in 2003. The first major terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia in several years, which occurred in May and November 2003, prompted renewed efforts on the part of the Saudi government to counter domestic terrorism and extremism, which also coincided with a slight upsurge in media freedom and announcement of government plans to phase in partial political representation. A burgeoning population, aquifer depletion, and an economy largely dependent on petroleum output and prices are all ongoing governmental concerns.
Map of Saudi Arabia
More about Saudi Arabia:
|Nickname||Sons Of The Desert|
|Association||Saudi Arabian Football Federation|
|Most caps||Mohamed Al-Deayea (173)|
|Top scorer||Majed Abdullah (67)|
Saudi Arabia 3 - 1 Syria
(Lebanon; October 20, 1957)
Saudi Arabia 8 - 0 Macao
(Taif, Saudi Arabia; May 14, 1993)
Germany 8 - 0 Saudi Arabia
(Japan; June 1, 2002)
|Appearances||4 (First in 1994)|
|Best result||Round 2 1994|
|AFC Asian Cup|
|Appearances||6 (First in 1984)|
|Best result||Winners, 1984, 1988, 1996|
The Saudi Arabia national football team (Arabic: منتخب السعودية لكرة القدم) (known by its fan as al-Sogour which means "The Falcons" or al-Akhdar which means "The Green") is the national team of Saudi Arabia and is controlled by the Saudi Arabia Football Federation. They are regarded as a newcomer on the world scene, having made their first World Cup in 1994 and upsetting Belgium at the group stage before falling to Sweden in the next round. The side were dismissed in the first round of the next two Cup tournaments, including an 8-0 walloping by Germany in 2002.
Saudi Arabia won the Asian Cup three times, in 1984, 1988, and 1996. They won the World Under-16 Championship in 1989.
On June 8, 2005, they qualified for their fourth World Cup by beating Uzbekistan 3-0 in Riyadh.