Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal will award a one million riyal ($266,500) bonus to each player from Al Hilal for the 3-2 win over South American champions Flamengo that sent them to the Club World Cup final yesterday, Reuters reports.
Prince Alwaleed, chairman of the Kingdom Holding Co, is a big supporter of the Saudi club and announced on social media that he will gift the players a similar amount if they win the final on Saturday.
In addition, Saudi sports channel SSC reported that each player will get 500,000 riyals ($133,333) from the country’s minister of sports for the Flamengo victory.
The final will be played against the winner of the other semi-final between Spain’s Real Madrid and Egypt’s Al Ahly today.
It’s the first time a Saudi team has reached the Club World Cup final and has been celebrated by the country’s government as another competitive achievement following their national team’s World Cup win against Argentina in November.
“The win is a tangible confirmation of the great distinction that Saudi sports has experienced recently,” Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz Al-Faisal said in a statement carried out by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Al Hilal won thanks to two penalties from Salem Al Dawsari and a close-range strike from Luciano Vietto in a second half in which Flamengo were playing with ten men after midfielder Gerson was sent off in first-half stoppage time.
Flamengo manager Vitor Pereira blamed the loss on the officiating.
“We were ready to play Al Hilal but were not ready for a refereeing that was not up to the standards of the competition,” Pereira told a news conference in Tangier yesterday.