Mobily honors Saudi giant Majed Abdullah playing against Spain’s Real Madrid
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Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) is sponsoring a festival Tuesday honoring one of Saudi Arabia’s distinguished football giants, Majed Abdullah.
The festival, which kicks off at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, will feature a match between Spain’s Real Madrid and Majed Abdullah’s home team, the Riyadh-based Al Nasr Football Club. This is the Spanish club’s first visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to the region. Majed Abdullah himself, now retired and in his late forties will play during the match.
The festival itself is sponsored exclusively by Mobily, as part of its commitment to the sports marketing arena in the Kingdom and developing the local Saudi soccer scene.
Mobily broke into the sports marketing arena last year when it signed a SAR 200 million deal with Riyadh’s leading soccer club, Al Hilal.
In January, it became the first Mobile operator in the Middle East and possibly the first private company in Saudi Arabia to send off a world cup soccer champion to retirement , 36 year-old Saudi striker Sami Al Jaber. During that festival Manchester United, which similar to Real Madrid made its first stop in the region in Riyadh, played Al Hilal team, Sami Al Jaber’s home team.
Mobily has been steadily building a self-sustainable path in the sports marketing arena with capacity building activities.
Also last year, Mobily sent off 20 Saudi youth to a two-week training camp at Barcelona Club in Spain. The 20 youth had been hand picked in the wake of a local school league that Mobily had launched the previous summer. group headed off to the airport yesterday night.
The program, supported by the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, has largely been a success with a similar follow expected this summer, but at a different European Club.
Last year, Mobily sponsored 13 national clubs, most prominent of which is the Saudi national football league and Saudi Olympic team. The company has forged inroads into reviving interest in lesser known sports like motor sports, scuba diving and handball.
Majed Abdullah, made his regional soccer debut in 1977 in the Tabriz Tournament in Iran. There he scored 7 goals in 3 matches – 2 against Iran, 2 against Bulgaria, 3 against Russia. He was the tournament's top scorer.
The following year, he played in a senior’s team against Portuguese giants Benfica, where he scored 2 goals in his first ever international match at the age of 18. From there on, Majed Abdullah represented the Saudi national team for 16 years. He retired in the 1990s after an injury