Doha: Saudi Arabia’s Salem Al Dawsari grabbed the world’s attention with his match-winning wonder strike against Argentina on Tuesday but the winger has been a star in his home country for years.
The 31-year-old helped the Saudis to a stunning 2-1 victory over the twice world champions when he took out two defenders with a clever turn before rifling the ball into the net.
It was a typical piece of brilliance from a player who has long been known as one of Asia’s best.
Al-Dawsari has won two Asian Champions League titles with his Saudi club Al Hilal, and scored a crucial goal in the 2019 final to help them beat Japan’s Urawa Reds.
He was also named player of the tournament as Al Hilal lifted the trophy again in 2021.
Over 70 caps
He has over 70 caps for his country and scored in the 95th minute to give Saudi Arabia a 2-1 win over Egypt in their final group game at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Al-Dawsari has served Al-Hilal with distinction, but he also got a taste of European club football when he joined Villarreal on loan in 2018 as part of a deal between La Liga and Saudi football chiefs.
He made only one substitute appearance in Spain but it was a memorable one, helping Villarreal come back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.
His goal against Argentina has now seared his name on the world’s consciousness.