23 August 2018 is a date etched in the memory of every Al Nassr supporter. That was the day when Moroccan Abderrazak Hamdallah joined the Riyadh giants.
Since then, commentators on Al Nassr matches are having to find new ways to describe the exploits of the 29-year-old Moroccan, who has become the team’s trump card in both the Saudi league and the AFC Champions League. FIFA.com sheds some light on Hamdallah’s rise to stardom with Al Nassr.
First season: Al Nassr back on top
In his first season with Al Nassr, the Moroccan marksman racked up an amazing 34 goals in the Saudi Professional League, leading the club back to league glory after a long wait.
Hamdallah’s tally far surpassed that of big names like Frenchman Bafetimbi Gomis (Al Hilal), Djaniny Tavares and Omar Al Somah (both Al Ahli), and Cameroonian Leandre Tawamba (Al-Taawoun), establishing himself as one of the most prominent attackers in the Kingdom and winning the league’s top-scorer and best-player awards.
Quickly becoming a fan favourite among Al Nassr supporters, Hamdallah also won the 2019 Best Arab Player Award from Globe Soccer to end a wonderful season with a bang.
Second season: further success
The 29-year-old forward continued to shine at local level, leading his team to a maiden Saudi Super Cup title after scoring in the final against Al-Taawoun.
Although Al Nassr did not retain the Pro League in 2019/20 after finishing runners-up to age-old rivals Al Hilal, Hamdallah will have taken consolation from scoring 29 times to win the golden boot for a second successive campaign.
Next challenge: AFC Champions League
Along with his team-mates and fans, Hamdallah is thrilled with the club’s progress to the semi-final of this year’s AFC Champions League, in which he is currently top scorer with six goals. En route to the last four, the player nicknamed “The Falcon” was in exceptional form, being named man of the match on three occasions. In the last-16 tie against Al-Taawoun, the Moroccan netted the winning goal and in the process equalled the historic feat of scoring in nine consecutive AFC Champions League games, something achieved just once before by the Brazilian Hulk in 2017.
All eyes will be on the prolific striker when Al Nassr take on IR Iran’s Persepolis in the semi-final this Saturday. If Hamdallah can continue his fine form and help the club realise its dream of a maiden Champions League, then his status as one of their all-time greats will be assured