Saudi Professional League
|Number of teams||16 (18 in 2023–24)|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Domestic cup(s)||King Cup|
|International cup(s)||AFC Champions League|
UAFA Club Cup
GCC Champions League
|Current champions||Al-Hilal (18th title) |
|Most championships||Al-Hilal (18 titles)|
|Most appearances||Mohamed Al-Deayea (406)|
|Top goalscorer||Majed Abdullah (189 goals)|
|TV partners||Shahid (MENA)|
|Current: 2022–23 Saudi Professional League|
The Saudi Pro League (SPL for short) (Arabic: دوري المحترفين السعودي, Dawriyy al-Muḥtarifayni as-Suʿūdī), known as the Roshn Saudi League (RSL for short) for sponsorship reasons, is the top division of association football in the Saudi Arabian league system. It has been operating as a round-robin tournament from it inaugural season until the 1989–90 season, after that the Saudi Federation decided to merge the football League with the King's Cup in one tournament and the addition of the Golden Box. The Golden Box would be an end of season knockout competition played between the top four teams of the regular league season. These teams would play at a semi-final stage to crown the champions of Saudi Arabia. The league reverted to a round-robin system in the 2007–08 season.
The Saudi Pro league is regarded as one of the best football leagues in Asia, hosting several of Asia's biggest and most wildly supported cubs such as Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad, Al-Nassr and Al-Ahli. The association is also regularly ranked with the highest coefficient in Asia due to having successful and consistent performances in the AFC Champions League by its clubs.
Up until the late 1950s, football in Saudi Arabia was organized on a regional basis, with the only nationwide tournament being the King's Cup. In 1957, the first qualification process consolidated the regional tournaments of the Central, West, East and North regions. Clubs competed in their regional leagues to qualify for the King's Cup, which was the final stage of the competition. The winner of the King's Cup was not the league winner.
1976 saw the start of the first ever professional football league in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with eight teams, the following season the number of clubs increased to ten. The 1981–82 season saw the merger of both the Saudi Premier League and the Saudi First Division for that season exclusively to the concern of the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification process. Twenty teams were divided into two groups, A and B. The top two in each group would enter a semi-final stage to determine the overall champions. In the following season which reverted back to regular round robin competition, the number of first-division clubs was later increased to 12 in the 1984–85 season.
In December 1990, the Saudi federation decided to merge the league with the king cup in one tournament, it was decided to revamp local competitions and to introduce professional football. A new league championship was formed called "The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques League Cup", which was a two-stage championship. The first stage was a regular double round-robin league competition with the top 4 qualifying to the final knockout stage, called the golden box. Clubs were allowed to sign players on a professional basis making the league semi professional. This system lasted for seventeen seasons before reverting to a regular round robin competition. The league became fully professional in 2007.
As of 2008, depending on the nation's coefficient, four teams from Saudi Arabia qualify for the AFC Champions League annually. This includes the top three positions of the league, together with the winner of the King Cup. If the winner of the King Cup is also among the top three teams then the fourth-best team qualifies to the play-offs, and if the winner of the King Cup is not in the top three league positions in the league, the top two will qualify directly to the group stages while the third team will qualify for the AFC Champions League play-offs.
There are 16 clubs in the Saudi Professional League. During the course of a season (usually from August to May) each club plays the other clubs twice (a double round-robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for 30 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by position on the league table depending on points, then the head-to-head record between the tied teams is taken into consideration, and then goal difference.
Promotion and relegation
A system of promotion and relegation exists between the Saudi Professional League and the Saudi First Division League. The three lowest placed teams in the Saudi Professional League are relegated to the First Division, and the top three teams from the First Division are promoted to the Saudi Professional League.
List of teams (2021–22 season)
For details on the 2021–22 Saudi Professional League season, see here.
- Note: Table lists in alphabetical order.
|Abha||Abha||Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium||20,000|
|Al-Ahli||Jeddah||King Abdullah Sports City||62,345|
|Al-Batin||Hafar al-Batin||Al-Batin Club Stadium||6,000|
|Al-Ettifaq||Dammam||Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium||35,000|
|Al-Faisaly||Harmah||Al Majma'ah Sports City ||7,000|
|Al-Fateh||Al-Hasa||Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium||26,000|
|Al-Fayha||Al Majma'ah||Al Majma'ah Sports City||7,000|
|Al-Hazem||Ar Rass||Al-Hazem Club Stadium||8,000|
|Al-Hilal||Riyadh||King Fahd International Stadium ||62,685|
|Al-Ittihad||Jeddah||King Abdullah Sports City||62,345|
|Al-Raed||Buraidah||King Abdullah Sport City Stadium||25,000|
|Al-Shabab||Riyadh||Prince Khalid bin Sultan Stadium ||15,000|
|Al-Taawoun||Buraidah||King Abdullah Sport City Stadium||25,000|
|Al-Tai||Ḥaʼil||Prince Abdul Aziz bin Musa'ed Stadium||12,000|
|Damac||Khamis Mushait||Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium ||20,000|
1: ^ Al-Faisaly play their home games in Al Majma'ah.
2: ^ Al-Hilal also use Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium (22,500 seats) as a home stadium.
3: ^ Al-Shabab FC also use Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium (22,500 seats) as a home stadium.
List of champions
Performance by club
Total titles won by city
|City||Number of titles||Clubs|
|Al-Hilal (18), Al-Nassr (9), Al-Shabab (6)|
|Al-Ittihad (8), Al-Ahli (4)|
|1||Dimitri Davidovic||3||Al-Ittihad||1996–97, 1998–99, 2006–07|
|2||Ramón Díaz||2||Al-Hilal||2016–17, 2021–22|
|Gabriel Calderon||Al-Ittihad, Al-Hilal||2008–09, 2010–11|
|Khalil Al-Zayani||Al-Ettifaq||1982–83, 1986–87|
|Chico Formiga||Al-Nassr||1979–80, 1980–81|
|Jorge da Silva||Al-Nassr||2014–15|
|José Daniel Carreño||Al-Nassr||2013–14|
All-time top scorers
- As of matches played 19 January 2023
Boldface indicates a player still active in the Pro League.
|2||Nasser Al-Shamrani||Al-Wehda, Al-Shabab, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad||2003–2019||167||301||0.55|
|3||Omar Al Somah||Al-Ahli||2014–2022||144||180||0.94|
|5||Yasser Al-Qahtani||Al-Qadsiah, Al-Hilal||2000–2018||112||206||0.56|
|6||Mohammad Al-Sahlawi||Al-Qadsiah, Al-Nassr, Al-Shabab, Al-Taawoun||2005–||106||244||0.45|
|8||Abderrazak Hamdallah||Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad||2018-||98||99||0.99|
|8||Hamzah Idris||Ohod, Al-Ittihad||1992–2007||96||N/A|
|10||Obeid Al-Dosari||Al-Wehda, Al-Ahli||1996–2005||91||N/A|
Top scorers by season
|1975–76||Mohammad S. Abdeli||Al-Nassr||13|
|1983–84||Hussam Abu Dawood||Al-Ahli||14|
|2000–01||Paulo da Silva||Al-Ettifaq||13|
|2014–15||Omar Al Somah||Al-Ahli||22|
|2015–16||Omar Al Somah||Al-Ahli||27|
|2016–17||Omar Al Somah||Al-Ahli||24|
|Middle East and North Africa||Shahid|
|Sub-saharan Africa||StarTimes Sports|||
- Saudi Arabian Football Federation
- King Cup
- Saudi Super Cup
- Saudi Crown Prince Cup
- King Abdulaziz
- Prince Faisal bin Fahd League U-21
- The logo also used "MBS" as an abbreviation for the MBS Pro League (Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Professional League) until the 2021-22 season.
- "Saudi Pro League renamed to Roshn Saudi League". SPL. 23 August 2022.
- Official SAFF site in English
- "Live Scores – Clubs: Al Hilalclub_hint=Al Nassr". FIFA. Archived from the original on 1 August 2009.
- "Morocco's Abderrazak Hamdallah breaks scoring record in Saudi Arabia". 19 April 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Prince Sultan Sport City Stadium (Mahalah)".
- "Al batin Club Stadiuem".
- "Prince Mohammed Bin Fahad Stadium".
- "ملعب الأحساء ينهي استعداداته لاستقبال العائلات".
- "Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Sports City Stadium".
- "Alhazm Club Stadium".
- "استاد الأمير عبدالعزيز بن مساعد بن جلوي". kooora.com. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
- "احصائيات هدافي الدوري تاريخيا والاكثر حصولا على لقب الهداف".
- "ماجد عبد الله، السهلاوي والقحطاني وأبرز الهدافيين التاريخيين في الدوري السعودي".
- "Al-Nassr vs. Ettifaq: Das Debüt von Cristiano Ronaldo heute im TV und LIVE STREAM - gibt es eine Übertragung? | Goal.com". www.goal.com. Retrieved 22 January 2023.
- "Arabie saoudite: à quelle heure et sur quelle chaîne regarder le premier match de Ronaldo avec Al-Nassr". RMC SPORT (in French). Retrieved 22 January 2023.
- "officialinews on Instagram: "SAUDI PRO LEAGUE 2023 RONALDO ON THE COURT! Represent Al-Nassr! Saksikan debut Ronaldo di awal tahun dalam liga sepakbola bergengsi "SAUDI PRO LEAGUE" Al-Nassr VS Al-Ettifaq 23 Januari 00.20 WIB (dini hari) LIVE di iNews #inews #saudiproleague2023 #inewssaudiproleague2023 #christianoronaldo #ronaldo #inewssport #alnassrvsalettifac #alnassr #alettifac #ronaldoinalnassr #soccer #sepakbola #arabsaudi #champion #world"". Instagram. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
- "Saudi Pro League lands rights deals in Portugal and Italy". SportBusiness. 20 January 2023. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
- "MATCHDAY LIVE ⚽️ Saudi Pro League Al-Nassr 🆚 Al-Ettifaq 📆 Sun, 22nd Jan ⏱ 8:30PM >> Stream live on StarTimes ON App". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 22 January 2023.
- "Cristian Ronaldo ve Suudi Arabistan Ligi S Sport Plus'ta". ajansspor.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 21 January 2023.
- MBS League SAFF
- Saudi Pro League Statistics
- Saudi Professional League Commission (in Arabic)
- Abdul Latif Jameel League (in Arabic)
- Saudi Arabia Football Federation at FIFA.com
- Saudi Arabia – List of Champions at RSSSF.com
- Saudi Pro League summary(SOCCERWAY)