Al-Hilal Saudi Football Club, is a Saudi Arabian professional multi-sports club based in Riyadh. The football team plays in the Saudi Professional League.
Founded on 16 October 1957, it is one of four teams to have participated in all seasons of the Saudi Professional League since its establishment in 1976. Overall, they have won 56 official titles on the national and international stage, more than any other Saudi club. In domestic competitions, they have won 44 trophies: a record 14 Professional League titles, a record 13 Crown Prince Cup titles, a record 7 Federation Cup titles, 8 King Cup titles, 1 Super Cup title, and the title winner of Saudi Founder’s Cup (a centennial football tournament held every 100 years).
Internationally, Al-Hilal have a record 6 Asian Football Confederation trophies – the AFC Champions League in 1991 and 2000, the Asian Cup Winners Cup in 1997 and 2002, and the Asian Super Cup in 1997, 2000. In September 2009, Al-Hilal was awarded Best Asian Club of the 20th Century by the IFFHS.
Al-Hilal Club was originally known as the Olympic Club during its founding by Abdul Rahman Bin Saad Bin Saeed on 15 October 1957 in Riyadh. The club’s name lasted for only one year before it was changed to its current name on 3 December 1958 by King Saud Bin Abdul-Aziz. He changed the name after he attended a tournament that was contested between the Olympic Club, Al-Shabab, Al-Riyadh and El-Kawkab clubs. As soon as the club’s establishment, Al-Hilal enjoyed not only grassroots support but also royal attention.
After spending their formative years building a squad, the club made their first mark by lifting the King’s Cup trophy in 1961. That began a period in which the club won 50 official competitions. Al-Hilal recaptured the King’s Cup in 1964, with a penalty shootout victory over two-time Asian champions Al-Ittihad.
The club were the inaugural winners when the Saudi Premier League came into existence in the 1976–77 season. Al-Hilal won the title another 12 times and finished runners-up on 12 occasions in the space of 32 years. Al-Hilal also have seven King’s Cup, twelve Crown Prince Cup and eight Saudi Federation Cup titles.
With the success, a number of players and coaches from outside Saudi Arabia joined the club in the 1970s, including Brazilians Mario Zagallo and Roberto Rivelino.
In 1991, they won the first Asian title, Asian Club Championship. They won it again in 1999–2000. In 1997 they captured the Asian Cup Winners Cup and the Asian Super Cup of that year, which they lifted again in 2002. The last time they got their hands on a continental trophy was in 2002, when they won the Asian Cup Winners’ Cup.
Al Hilal is the only Asian team which achieves six Asian titles.
Al Hilal reached the final of the AFC Champions League in 2014, where they faced Western Sydney Wanderers. The Australian club won 1–0 on aggregate.