Saudi Arabian international Yasser Al-Shahrani has received a boost after the disappointment of the World Cup by signing a new contract at Al-Hilal.
The left-back, 26, was a near ever present in the side who won the Saudi Pro League on the final day of the season and the decision to award him a new three-year deal reflects how central he will be to the plans of new coach Jorge Jesus.
He has made more than 100 appearances for Al-Hilal since signing from Al-Qadisiyah in 2012 and becoming a fixture in the national team, winning 38 caps and playing every minute of the three games the Green Falcons played in Russia.
Al-Shahrani was one of ten Al-Hilal players in Saudi Arabiaâ€™s World Cup squad and they have been given an extended break by Jesus and are not required to join up with the squad for pre-season until July 19.
By then, Al-Hilal will be deep into their training camp in Austria. They will be based in Lienz and will play friendlies against Rapid Lienz on July 19, Slovenian outfit NK Radomlje Slovenia on July 22, Fortuna Dusseldorf on July 25, Turkish side Akhisarspor on July 29 and then a final one on Aug. 1.
The games will be used to get the players up to speed physically and also fine tune Jesusâ€™ tactical and technical plans. Al-Hilal kick off the competitive season with a game against Al-Shabab in the Arab Club Champions Cup on Aug, 7 and then play Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup a week before the league season starts with a home game against Al-Feiha on Aug. 31.
Al-Hilal have not done as much transfer business as rivals Al-Ahli, who have signed four players, but the champions have recruited defender Alberto Botia. He captained Olympiakos last season and began his career at Barcelona. He arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday and has already begun training with his new teammates.