Saudi Arabia defender Ali Albulayhi was involved in another incident on the international stage this week, when he pulled Son Heung-min’s hair during their Asia Cup last-16 clash against South Korea.
The 34-year-old, who plays his club football for Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal, is renowned for winding up high-profile opponents.
Back in November 2022, during a World Cup clash between Argentina and Saudi Arabia, Albulayhi slapped Lionel Messi’s back before squaring up to the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner.
He then proceeded to shout: “You will not win, you will not win!” after Herve Renard’s side took a surprise 2-1 lead.
Albulayhi also clashed with Cristiano Ronaldo in December during a Saudi Pro League fixture against Al Nassr, and continued to taunt the Portuguese forward after the full-time whistle.
The Saudi defender is far from discreet when it comes trying to intimidate his opponents and on Tuesday, an attempt to unnerve Spurs forward Son Heung-min backfired as South Korea progressed to the quarter-final stages.
As you can see from the footage below, Albulayhi pushed Son before grabbing his hair – an incident that has infuriated fans.
Ali Albulayhi vai precisar de mais do que um puxão de cabelo pra tirar o homem mais good vibes do mundo do sério.pic.twitter.com/LhCEfJ40NX
— TB 🇧🇷 (@TottenhamBrasil) January 31, 2024
Saudi Arabia held a one-goal advantage until the 99th minute, when Cho Gue-sun netted to force the game to extra-time.
After both teams could not be separated, Hwang Hee-chan scored the winning penalty for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side after Hyeon-Woo Jo made two shootout saves to progress to the Asia Cup quarter-finals.
“This win gives the team an enormous amount of energy, it gives the team even more spirit,” Klinsmann said in his post-match press conference.
“This is a group of players I enjoy so much working with because they badly want to do well for their country.
“We wanted to win the game badly before the penalty shoot-out. Anything can happen in a penalty shoot-out.
“We will recover. We have a good spirit and we’re looking forward to Australia, which is a good team that just won 4-0.”