Al Hilal v Newcastle United: World Cup stars and former Manchester United striker in contention
Al Hilal Saudi Football Club is a professional football club based in the Saudi Arabia capital of Riyadh. The club was founded as Olympic Club in 1957 before changing its name to Al Hilal the following year.
Al Hilal will host Newcastle at the 22,500 capacity Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, which the club currently occupies. The 68,752 capacity King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh is also listed as the club’s official home stadium though matches are rarely played there.
The club currently sit fourth in the Saudi Pro League with just one defeat in their opening eight matches. They will return to competitive action a week on Friday at home to Al Batin.
How successful are Al Hilal?
Al Hilal are the most decorated club in Asia with 65 major honours and 18 professional league titles. They are the holders of the Saudi Pro League and AFC Champions League – the Asian confederation’s equivalent of the UEFA Champions League.
Al Hilal have won the AFC Champions League on four occasions, more than any other club. They also competed in the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup, losing 1-0 to eventual winners Chelsea in the semi-final.
They should prove a strong test for Eddie Howe’s side.
Who is Al Hilal’s manager?
Former Argentina international striker and brief Oxford United manager Ramon Diaz is the current manager of Al Hilal. The 63-year-old was appointed in February this year in what is his second spell as manager of the club.
Diaz previously coached Al Hilal between 2016 and 2018 and has won three domestic honours while in charge of the club. In 95 competitive matches across two spells, Diaz has lost just nine times.
Does Al Hilal have any notable players?
Anyone who watched Saudi Arabia at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will have got a look at several Al Hilal players as the Gulf state shocked the world with a 2-1 group stage win over Argentina before being knocked out. Al Hilal had 12 representatives in the Saudi squad in Qatar including Salem Al-Dawsari and Saleh Al-Shehri – both of whom scored in the famous win over Argentina.
Former Manchester United and Watford striker Odion Ighalo currently leads the line for the Pro League champions and finished as the division’s top scorer last season with 24 goals. Former Watford winger Andre Carrillo is also at the club along with Moussa Marega, who scored 72 goals in 190 games for Porto before joining Al Hilal in 2021.
Does Al Hilal have links to Newcastle United’s owners, PIF?
Being a major Saudi Arabian football club, Al Hilal’s links to the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund are inevitable through portfolio companies though there are no direct links at this moment in time.
This year, a major partnership between Al Hilal and PIF owned Qiddiya was confirmed. The 20-year deal is understood to be worth £480million (£24million per-season).
How to live stream Al-Hilal v Newcastle United
As with previous friendly matches, the full match will be broadcast live free of charge on NUFC TV. There is no live television broadcast available in the UK.