LONDON: Al-Hilal’s star forward Bafetimbi Gomis said he is “lucky” to be playing for the Riyadh giants and that he is as hungry as ever to win more titles for the club.
Despite missing out on the Saudi Premier League (SPL) championship last season, Gomis helped Al Hilal to glory in the Asian Champions League, which they had last lifted in 2000.
The French striker has carried on his fine form this season, topping the goal-scoring charts with 14 goals which has helped the Blue Waves to the league summit.
But reclaiming the title is the target for Gomis and Al-Hilal this season.
“The most important (thing) is to be champions,” said the 34-year-old, who is in his second season with the Riyadh club.
“I score a lot of goals because I’m lucky to play for this club and I have amazing teammates during the training and also outside the pitch we have a very good spirit, we have many challenges between us, and we are very ambitious for the future,” he added.
Gomis credited the club’s fans for helping him adjust to life in Saudi Arabia and said he hoped more international players and coaches would join the league in the future.
“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.
“(The) 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,” he 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.”
Gomis reserved special praise for the derby game with Jeddah’s Al-Ittihad, saying it had a unique appeal. “In our game against Al-Ittihad, the stadium is very big, and the atmosphere and fans are amazing. It is always a good game because of the talent on the pitch,” he said.
“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.”