The legendary Saudi footballer Yasser Al-Qahtani is all set to call it day after a distinguished career with Al-Hilal and the Saudi national team.
And the versatile footballer will appear one last time in his retirement match — Y20. The match will take place in King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh on Dec.1, as part of the Riyadh Season activities.
Al-Qahtani described his retirement ceremony as a beautiful farewell to his career. On his decision to hang his boots, Al-Qahtani said, "It was difficult after many years of playing in different fields and savoring the joy of competition and the fans in the stadiums. It's the perfect ending to my career."
Al-Qahtani said in a press conference that many international football stars would play in his last match, including Andrea Pirlo, Samuel Eto'o, Francesco Totti, and Robin van Persie.
The match will be between Y20 team, which represents Yasser’s team made up of international and local stars who Al-Qahtani invited to join his team, against Al-Hilal, who won the Asian Cup recently.
The former Al-Hilal and the national team captain, who spent 14 years in Al-Hilal, was the most expensive transfer deal in the Saudi league in 2005 when he moved from Al-Qadisya club in the Eastern province to Al-Hilal.
"The retirement ceremony will include many exciting activities that will delight the fans," he said. There will be a music concert after the match and some playgrounds outside the stadium and other programs.
Al-Qahtani's career as a footballer started in 2000 when he played for Al-Qadisiya before moving to Al-Hilal in 2005. He joined the UAE's Al-Ain in 2011, before returning to Al-Hilal in 2012, where he stayed until he retired in April 2018.
Al-Qahtani won several championships with Al-Hilal, including the Saudi Professional League in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2017 and 2018, the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Cup in 2006, the Saudi Crown Prince Cup in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016, the Saudi Super Cup in 2015 and 2018, the King's Cup in 2015 and 2017, and the Dubai International Cup in 2011.
With Al-Qadisiya, he won the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Cup in 2002 and 2005 and the Saudi Arabia Division 1 shield in 2002. He won the UAE Arabian Gulf League with Al-Ain in 2012.
As a member of the Saudi Arabian national football team, Al-Qahtani also won the Arabian Gulf Cup in 2004, the Arab Nations Cup in 2002, and the 1st Islamic Solidarity Games in 2005.
Winning the AFC Player of the Year award in 2007 brought with it a trial at Manchester City. But the player and the team could not agree to terms and Al-Qahtani preferred to ply his goods where he was more accustomed.
It is a shame as it would have been fascinating to see "The Sniper" in the big leagues. He could have been a success. Still, he gave fans at Al-Hilal years of effort, goals, and trophies. The Saudi Professional League will not be the same without Yasser Al-Qahtani.