Previous World Cup appearances: 5
Best finish: Round of 16 (1994)
World Cup record: W3 L11 D2
Biggest win: 2-1 vs Egypt (2018) vs Morocco (1994)
Player to watch: Firas al-Buraikan
Fixtures: Argentina (November 22), Poland (November 26), Mexico (November 30)
Saudi Arabia are no strangers to the World Cup, having played in five tournaments before Qatar 2022.
The Green Falcons will aim to replicate their best finish and move into the knock-out rounds, as they did in 1994. And they will have plenty of support given they are playing so close to home and in a country they share a border with.
After dominating regional football and winning the Asian Cup twice in the 1980s, Saudi Arabia finally qualified for their first World Cup in 1994 with an all-star team. Led by legendary forward Majed Abdullah, the team had players such as Said al-Owairan, Sami al-Jaber, Fahad al-Bishi and record-breaking goalkeeper Mohamed al-Deayea.
After losing their opening match to the Netherlands despite a solid display, Saudi Arabia started strongly against Morocco and sealed their first World Cup points with a 2-1 win. Their final game and chance to qualify for the round-of-16 came against Belgium, who were yet to concede a goal or lose a match in the 1994 tournament.
Five minutes into the match, al-Owairan scored arguably the most famous goal in Saudi history. The attacking midfielder started his run from well within his own half and befuddled five Belgians on his way to the goal, where he coolly slotted past the goalkeeper to write his name into the history books.
The Saudis held on for the next 85 minutes and made their way into the round-of-16.
Once out of the group stages, they met the mighty Swedes who took an early lead and did not allow the Saudis to press forward. Sweden won 3-1 but the Saudis won hearts of their supporters back home and of those who had turned out at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Texas.
Their golden run continued as they qualified for the next three World Cups, with a new crop of players, but could not replicate their 1994 performance and failed to win a single game. The 2002 tournament brought the ignominy of their biggest World Cup defeat, 8-0 at the hands of Germany.
The Green Falcons underwent frequent coaching changes during the 2010s and failed to qualify for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. They finally qualified for the 2018 tournament, and although they failed to progress, they earned a 2-1 win over neighbours Egypt.