Al Hilal president Prince Abdul-Rahman Bin Musaid has hailed Egypt's striker Ahmed Ali for inspiring the club to win the Saudi Crown Prince Cup title after thrashing Al Wehda 5-0 on Friday.
The Egyptian international scored the opener for Al Hilal and set up two other goals to bask in the praise of both the club’s president and Saudi media.
“Despite this big-margin win, Al Wehda is a good team. I think that our first goal inspired us to score again,” Prince Abdul-Rahman Bin Musaid was quoted as saying by Saudi daily newspaper Al-Riyadh on Saturday.
The 22-year old frontman joined the Saudi giants in January on a six-month loan deal from Egypt’s Ismaily. He made a slow start but then became an integral member of the team.
Both Al Jazirah and Al Watan newspapers praised Ali for his influential goal, stressing that he repaid the faith of both Argentinean coach Gabriel Calderon and football director Samy El-Jaber who leapt to his defence when he was heavily criticized.
The Ismaily-bound man, who led Al Hilal to their 51sttitle in history, had words of praise for Al Wheda despite their humiliating defeat.
“Al-Wehda showed a truly sportsmanship spirit during the game despite their loss. I want to thank the Al Hilal president, football director, the coach and fans for supporting me and the rest of the team,” Al-Medina newspaper quoted him as saying.
Ali, who has scored five goals for the Saudi league title holders in all competitions, said recently he wants to remain with Al Hilal beyond this season, revealing that they are preparing an offer to sign him on a permanent basis.