A Saudi Professional League season unlike any other is, finally, in the books.
Coronavirus’ devastating spread in March meant 2019/20 extended to an, unprecedented, 384 days. Memories will, however, endure of Al Hilal’s majestic sweep to a record-extending 16th title, of Al Fayha falling through the trap door into Prince Mohammad bin Salman League on the tightest of final days and giants Al Ahli Jeddah, just about, clinging onto their AFC Champions League-berth.
BEST FOREIGN PLAYER
Bafetimbi Gomis didn’t get the most goals. That was Abderrazak Hamdallah with 29.
He didn’t get the most assists (Al Faisaly’s Youssef El Jebli on 12), or, of course, keep the most clean sheets (Al Nassr’s Brad Jones with 12). Yet, his influence on this season is incalculable.
The ex-France centre forward was the beating heart of last month’s defining 4-1 obliteration of – then – holders Al Nassr. His hat-trick in December’s 7-0 annihilation of Al Adalah also evidenced fearsome fire power within the Hilal ranks.
More hallowed days, surely, await after a two-year contract extension was inked in May – and celebrated, naturally, with some piping hot gahwa (Arabic coffee).
Honourable mentions: Abderrazak Hamdallah (Al Nassr), Anselmo (Al Wehda), Sebastian Giovinco (Al Hilal), Youssef El Jebli (Al Faisaly)
BEST SAUDI ARABIAN PLAYER
Any match is improved by Salem Al Dawsari’s presence.
Vibrancy and whim details his every possession, with the inventive winger always looking to craft an opening. What will have pleased the Al Hilal management even more this term is the increasing effectiveness of the 28-year-old’s contributions.
A combined tally for goals and assists of 11 was three more than 2018/19, plus two greater than