||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
|Full name||Sami Abdullah Al-Jaber|
|Date of birth||11 December 1972|
|Place of birth||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|2000–2001||→ Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||4||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Sami Abdullah Al-Jaber (Arabic: سامي الجابر; born 11 December 1972) is a retired football striker from Saudi Arabia well known as playing the majority of his career with Al-Hilal. He is his country's second highest international goalscorer and has appeared in four different World Cup Finals, and scored three goals in 1994 and 1998, and against Tunisia in 2006.
|This section requires expansion. (July 2008)|
Al-Jaber is often cited as Al-Hilal's most famous player, after spending nearly 20 years with the club. He joined the club aged 15 and during two decades as a senior player, helped them to win 6 league titles, 6 Crown Prince Cups and 2 Asian Champions League titles among other honours. He was also top goalscorer in the Saudi Premier League twice (in 1989–90 and 1992–93).
On 21 January 2008, Al-Hilal held a testimonial for Al-Jaber against English Premier League club Manchester United. Al-Jaber scored a penalty en route to a 3–2 victory over the visitors, in his last game for the club.
On 22 August 2000, English First Division side Wolverhampton Wanderers agreed terms to sign Al-Jaber after impressing Wolves' boss Colin Lee in a trial. The deal consisted of an initial five-month loan period with the option to buy for a reported £1.2 million at its conclusion and made him the first Saudi player to play in England.
However, the move was fraught with complications and setbacks. It took almost a month for his international clearance to arrive before he could make his Wolves debut on 16 September 2000 coming on as a substitute in a 1–1 draw at Wimbledon. He did the same in the following two league games (and played a full League Cup match) before having to leave to appear in the Asian Cup with his country. However, he returned from international duty carrying a groin injury that left him on the sidelines for a further month and drew a furious reaction from Wolves after learning of the injections he had been given while away to enable him to complete the tournament.
Al-Jaber regained his fitness but managed only one further substitute appearance in the first team, annoying his Saudi club. He returned home on compassionate leave after his father became ill over the Christmas period, and upon returning to Molineux discovered Colin Lee had been sacked as manager and replaced by Dave Jones. Jones asked for his trial to be extended to allow him chance to personally evaluate the player but when his parent club Al-Hilal refused, he returned home after just eight months and five (goalless) appearances in England. Despite his failure to make an impression, he later said: "I learned everything at Wolves and was really happy to have had that time there.
Al-Jaber scored 43 times in 163 appearances over a 14-year international career. He competed in four FIFA World Cups—appearing in the 1994, 1998, 2002, and the 2006 World Cups. His record of 163 caps is second only to Mohamed Al-Deayea in his country's history.
He received his first cap for the Saudi national team on 11 September 1992 in a 1–1 draw with Syria in the Arab Nations Cup. He took until his 19th game to score his first international goal when he netted in a 6–0 rout of Macau on 1 May 1993 in a World Cup 1994 qualifier. Saudi Arabia subsequently qualified for the 1994 World Cup Finals, their first World Cup appearance. Al-Jaber appeared in two group games in the USA, scoring from the penalty spot against Morocco in a 2–1 win.
He was part of the squad that won the 1996 Asian Cup before reaching his second World Cup Finals in 1998. He played in all three games in which the Saudi side appeared in France, scoring a second World Cup goal when he netted in a 2–2 draw with South Africa. This made him the first Asian player to score in two consecutive World Cups.
After gaining a runners-up medal in the 2000 Asian Cup, he appeared in the 2002 World Cup but only played in one game, an 0–8 hammering by Germany. He was ruled out of the rest of the competition when his appendix burst and he had to be rushed to hospital.
Following this disappointment, he decided to retire from international football but was tempted back by Saudi Arabia’s Argentine coach Gabriel Calderon in early 2005 for their 2006 World Cup campaign. He scored three times in four qualifying games to help reach the finals. He appeared in all three games the Saudis played in the tournament in Germany and scored in their opening match against Tunisia to give them a 2–1 lead but the match ended 2–2. After failing to advance to the knockout stages, Al-Jaber announced his international retirement.
|1||September 15, 1992||Latakia, Syria||Kuwait||2–0||Won||1992 Arab Nations Cup Group Stages|
|2||May 1, 1993||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Macau||6–0||Won||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|3||May 1, 1993||Doha, Qatar||Iran||4–3||Won||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4||March 30, 1994||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Chile||2–2||Draw||Friendly match|
|5||April 27, 1994||Athinai, Greece||Greece||5–1||Lost||Friendly match|
|6||25 June 1994||East Rutherford, New Jersey, United States||Morocco||2–1||Won||1994 FIFA World Cup Group Stage|
|7||October 19, 1994||Dhahran, Saudi Arabia||United States||2–1||Won||Friendly match|
|8||September 6, 1994||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||United Arab Emirates||1–1||Draw||1994 Gulf Cup of Nations|
|9||December 10, 1994||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Poland||2–1||Lost||Friendly match|
|10||December 17, 1994||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Costa Rica||3–1||Lost||Friendly match|
|11||October 8, 1995||Washington DC, United States||United States||4–3||Lost||Friendly match|
|12||October 28, 1995||Matsuyama, Japan||Japan||2–1||Lost||Friendly match|
|13||October 19, 1996||Muscat, Oman||Qatar||2–2||Draw||1996 Gulf Cup of Nations|
|14||December 5, 1996||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Thailand||6–0||Won||1996 AFC Asian Cup Group Stage|
|15||December 16, 1996||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||China PR||4–3||Won||1996 AFC Asian Cup Quarter-finals|
|16||March 31, 1997||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia||Chinese Taipei||6–0||Won||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|17||March 31, 1997||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia||Chinese Taipei||6–0||Won||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|18||March 31, 1997||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia||Chinese Taipei||6–0||Won||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|19||September 25, 1997||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Mali||5–1||Won||Friendly match|
|20||September 25, 1997||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Mali||5–1||Won||Friendly match|
|21||May 9, 1998||Cannes, France||Trinidad and Tobago||2–1||Won||Friendly match|
|22||May 12, 1998||Nice, France||Iceland||1–1||Draw||Friendly match|
|23||May 17, 1998||Cannes, France||Namibia||2–1||Won||Friendly match|
|24||June 24, 1998||Bordeaux, France||South Africa||2–2||Draw||1998 FIFA World Cup Group Stage|
|25||May 31, 2000||Györ, Hungary||Hungary||2–2||Draw||Friendly match|
|26||October 5, 2000||Zarqa, Jordan||China PR||2–0||Won||Friendly match|
|27||February 10, 2001||Dammam, Saudi Arabia||Bangladesh||3–0||Won||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|28||February 12, 2001||Dammam, Saudi Arabia||Vietnam||5–0||Won||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|29||February 12, 2001||Dammam, Saudi Arabia||Vietnam||5–0||Won||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|30||February 12, 2001||Dammam, Saudi Arabia||Vietnam||5–0||Won||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|31||February 15, 2001||Dammam, Saudi Arabia||Mongolia||6–0||Won||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|32||Singapore 10, 2001||Singapore, Singapore||Singapore||3–0||Won||Friendly match|
|33||September 15, 2001||Bangkok, Thailand||Thailand||3–1||Won||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|34||September 21, 2001||Manama, Bahrain||Bahrain||4–0||Won||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|35||October 21, 2001||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Thailand||4–1||Won||2002 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|36||January 16, 2002||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Kuwait||1–1||Draw||2002 Gulf Cup of Nations|
|37||January 20, 2002||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Bahrain||3–1||Won||2002 Gulf Cup of Nations|
|38||May 14, 2002||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Senegal||3–2||Won||Friendly match|
|39||February 9, 2005||Tashkent, Uzbekistan||Uzbekistan||1–1||Draw||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|40||June 8, 2005||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Uzbekistan||3–0||Won||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|41||June 8, 2005||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Uzbekistan||3–0||Won||2006 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|42||March 15, 2006||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Iraq||2–2||Draw||Friendly match|
|43||June 14, 2006||Munich, Germany||Tunisia||2–2||Draw||2006 FIFA World Cup Group Stage|
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