Jorge Jesus wants Al Hilal stay after lifting Saudi championship

Portuguese manager Jorge Jesus lifted the Saudi Arabian championship on Saturday evening, with his Al Hilal side finally clinching the trophy amid a phenomenal season in the Pro League.

Al Hilal are undefeated and have dropped just four points all season, in what has been a world-record breaking campaign. With three matches remaining, Jesus’ men moved 12 points clear of Luis Castro and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr to add his name to a growing list of Luso winners of the Saudi title.

A 4-1 victory at home over Al Hazm clinched Al Hilal’s 19th league title – a new record – and gave Jesus the honour of becoming national champion in a third different country. As well as three Portuguese titles with Benfica in 2010, 2014 and 2015, the 69-year-old has also lifted the Brazilian title during a highly-successful stint with Flamengo in 2019.

"This is the first championship I have won in Saudi Arabia. That’s what I came for,” said Jesus after Saturday’s triumph with Al Hilal, a club he left in January 2019 after just six months in charge.

“Over time, anyone can change,” Jesus continued. “Maybe time has changed some of my characteristics, but the irony is that when I left the first time, Al Hilal was at the top of the table and now I won the championship with them.”

Al Hilal president Fahd bin Nafel had earlier confirmed that the club have entered into negotiations to extend Jesus’ deal, but the Portuguese was asked about his future in the wake of the team’s inevitable coronation.

 “So far nothing has been decided,” said Jesus. “My agent will come next week to discuss the matter.

“My project at Al Hilal is not over yet. I have many goals if I continue as coach of the team, including competing for the Asian Champions League title and also making a quality participation in next year's Club World Cup.”

With Rúben Neves a key player in midfield, Al Hilal’s season is perhaps most notable for their world-record breaking run of consecutive victories. A total of 34 straight wins saw Jesus’ side exceed the Guinness World Record feat achieved by Welsh side New Saints (27) and write their name into history.

By @SeanGillen9