Al Hilal centre forward Bafetimbi Gomis is as hungry as ever for titles and is looking to reclaim the Saudi Professional League crown that the club missed out on last season to Riyadh rivals Al Nassr by a solitary point.
“The most important [thing] is to be champions,” said the 34-year-old ex-France striker, who is in his second season with the capital club.
Despite losing the SPL title race last season, Gomis helped Al Hilal land the coveted AFC Champions League, which they had last won in 2000. He carried on the fine form to the current season, where he leads the scoring charts on 14 goals as Al Hilal sit top of the league.
“I score a lot of goals because I’m lucky to play for this club and I have amazing team-mates during the training and also outside the pitch we have a very good spirit,” Gomis said. “We have many challenges between us, and we are very ambitious for the future.”
Saudi passion for football and their love and appreciation for their players helped Gomis swiftly adjust to life in the Saudi league on and off the pitch, and he hopes the presence of top international footballers would raise the football level in the country and positively affect the national team.
“My life in Saudi Arabia is amazing. The country has a wide culture and is a historic place. I’m very happy with my family here. Fans give me a lot of love and I appreciate it. I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to all the Saudis for the support every weekend,” the Hilal star said.
“The atmosphere in the Saudi league is amazing and the league continues to improve with new [players], good coaches and good facilities. I hope Saudi football will continue to improve.
“We are here to help the new generation and I hope one day the national team will have a good World Cup.”
On his pick for the top game in the Saudi league, Gomis said Al Hilal’s clash with Al Ittihad has a unique appeal.
“[In] our game against Al Ittihad, the stadium is very big, and the atmosphere and fans [are amazing]. It was is always a good game because of the talent on the pitch. I have played at the highest level, [including] Champions League, World Cup and Euros but every place in football is different and you have to learn,” added Al Hilal striker.
Hilal will be looking to keep the momentum going when they take on Al Fayha on Thursday. The capital club are leading the table on 38 points, three ahead of holders Nassr.
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