Al Hilal's Jorge Jesus: "Winning is my habit wherever I've been"

Al Hilal manager Jorge Jesus declared the 2023-24 campaign “a spectacular season” for the club after they wrapped up the Roshn Saudi League title.

A 4-1 victory over Al Hazem on Saturday night, secured through a double from Aleksandar Mitrovic, an Ahmed Al Juwayd own goal and a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic strike, ensured Al Hilal’s eighth league title since the launch of the Saudi Pro League in the 2008-09 season.

Twelve points ahead of Riyadh rivals, and nearest RSL challengers Al Nassr, the title was won with three games to spare. Unbeaten domestically this season, having earned 29 wins from 31 league matches, Al Hilal also created world football history earlier in the campaign by winning 34 matches in succession across all competitions.

“The Al Hilal team this season has made a spectacular season," Jesus said. "What we have achieved is an example for all the others because if we see all the details then we are the best in goalscoring, best in fewest goals conceded, no losses in the league, and obviously the most points.

"We are the Super Cup winners, in the final of the King’s Cup, and have won the league. We only failed in the Asian Champions League, in the semi-final, but if we speak about the Saudi level then winning the King’s Cup will mean we have won everything available this season in Saudi.

“That’s my habit wherever I’ve been: with Flamengo in Brazil I did this, with Benfica in Portugal I did this, and now at Al Hilal this can be achieved. We prepared to do this from the beginning of the season, but we have had to do this missing key players; Neymar for most of the time, Mitrovic for some of the time.

"But I have the notion that the Saudi league will grow better and better every time.”

All the goals in Al Hilal’s title triumph against Al Hazem at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium came in the first half. Mitrovic gave Al Hilal the lead in the 15th minute from the penalty spot, striking low into the bottom corner.

However, Faiz Selemani equalised through a well-taken curling shot only for Al Juwayd to then loft into his own net from the edge of the box as he tried passing back to goalkeeper Ibrahim Zaid after being put under pressure by Milinkovic-Savic.

Al Hilal’s Serbian duo then completed the scoring in first half injury-time. First, Mitrovic tucked home his compatriot’s cut back, and then Milinkovic-Savic curled into the bottom corner for 4-1.

Ahead of Al Hilal’s next game on Friday, Jesus warned Al Nassr, captained by Portuguese compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, not to expect a weakened side at Al Awwal Park in the second Riyadh Derby of the league season. Al Hilal won the corresponding clash 3-0 in December. The two teams will also contest the King’s Cup final at the end of the season.

“Preparing is not by giving rest," Jesus said. "We still have more titles and work for the players. Every match is important for us.”