Prolific Hamdallah edges closer to all-time RSL record

Al Ittihad forward Abderrazzaq Hamdallah moved into second place in the Roshn Saudi League all-time top scorers charts, overtaking Nasser Al Shamrani following his brace against Al Fateh in Matchweek 24 of the 2023-24 competition.

The Moroccan forward, 33, opened the scoring from the penalty spot to kick-start his side’s comeback at Al Fateh Club Stadium on Saturday, before rounding up the goals in the 4-2 victory with a header from close range to make it 127 RSL career goals.

Part of the Morocco squad that last year became the first African country in history to reach the FIFA World Cup semi-final, the veteran striker arrived in the RSL in the summer of 2018, joining Al Nassr from Qatari side Al Rayyan.

In his first season in Saudi Arabia, Hamdallah wasted no time to get up and running, breaking his first RSL record by becoming the highest scorer of a single season of the competition with 35 goals, in the process leading Al Nassr to the league title. He then added a second consecutive accolade as the league’s top scorer in 2019-20, netting 29 goals.

In a 2021-22 season marred with injuries and conflicts with Al Nassr, the prolific hitman found the back of the net only three times in the first half of the season before swapping Riyadh for Jeddah to join Al Ittihad in January 2022. There, he got firing again, with 12 goals in the second half of the season.

Last term, Hamdallah made it a hat-trick of RSL top-scorer awards, with his 21 goals driving Al Ittihad to their first league title in 14 years, cementing his legacy as an all-time great of the RSL.

Now sitting third in the 2023-24 scoring charts behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Aleksandar Mitrovic, Hamdallah’s most recent double took him to 17 goals this campaign - and only 17 goals from the RSL’s all-time top scorer, Syrian striker Omar Al Somah, who has 144 goals to his name, all with Al Ahli.

Even into his early 30s, and as Matchweek 24 proved, Hamdallah is showing no signs of slowing down. While breaking Al Somah's overall record this season will take a herculean effort, if he is to stay past the summer, be it in Al Ittihad shirt or having moved to any other RSL side, Hamdallah would appear well set to snatch that top spot in future.