What they said - RSL matchweek 17

While Saudi Arabia is gripped with FIFA Club World Cup fever, the Roshn Saudi League show rolls on with Matchweek 17 delivering in spades again.

Al Hilal continued their incredible run of form, Al Taawoun cemented their spot in the top four and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou continued his rich vein of scoring form for Damac as they made it four wins in a row.

Here is the best of what those around the RSL were saying this week.

Allan Saint-Maximin starred for Al Ahli as they returned to winning ways with a thumping 4-0 win over Al Fayha. The Frenchman provided a hat-trick of assists in a blistering first-half performance that saw them cement third place on the table.

“I am very happy with the result, the most important tonight was the three points, so I am very happy with that. It was not easy to score four against them, so we are very happy with the win tonight.

“We work a lot in training to find a solution against a deep block and today everything worked very well, so we are very happy with the win.”


Al Hilal v Al Ahli: Saudi Pro League

Al Ahli’s coach, Matthias Jaissle, was equally as thrilled with the three points and gave a shout-out to all the fans that made the 1000 kilometres journey to cheer on their team.

“To all the fans, thanks a lot for all the support again today. I am really happy, I think the guys deserved the win and they did marvellous, so let’s continue like that.”


Al Hilal’s stunning run of form continued with a tenth consecutive win in the RSL after a 2-0 win over Al Wehda, extending their lead at the top to ten points. But it was the presence of a former club legend, Bafetimbi Gomis, that had everyone buzzing after the Frenchman paid a visit to his former club.



Al Ettifaq’s tough run continued after losing 2-0 to Al Taawoun, making it six matches without a win for Steven Gerrard’s side. The former Liverpool legend was full of praise for Al Taawoun after the game.

Steven Gerrard quote on Al Taawoun December 2023

Damac’s remarkable resurgence continued with another three points, this time courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Al Raed. Who else but Geoges-Kevin N’Koudou with the winning goal, making it eight goals in his past four games. The Cameroon international, though, kept it very understated on Instagram after the game.



The three points might have continued to elude Al Shabab after a 1-1 draw with Al Fateh, but their Moroccan defender Romain Saiss was impressed with their spirit to fight back from a goal down to earn a point.


“Very good spirit from the team. Let’s keep working hard together. #yallashabab”



The football world has been in Saudi Arabia this week for the FIFA Club World Cup, while the World Football Summit Asia also attracted a who’s who of names to the Kingdom. One of those was Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, the CEO of La Liga side Atletico Madrid, who was full of praise for football in Saudi Arabia.

“The growth of the country is amazing, and the idea is that Atletico can support this growth and, of course, we are going to work to do a good job and collaborate, because Madrid and Riyadh are two amazing cities where you can develop both brands.

“I have very nice memories of this country, because my father and King Fahd had a very nice relationship, and for me this kind of visit and this kind of relationship [is special].”