United Arab Emirates national football team

The United Arab Emirates national football team (Arabic: منتخب الإمارات العربية المتحدة لكرة القدم) represents United Arab Emirates in international association football and serves under the auspices of the country's Football Association.

United Arab Emirates
Nickname(s)Al Abyad (The Whites)
Eyal Zayed (Sons of Zayed)
AssociationUAE Football Association
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationWAFF (West Asia)
Head coachBert van Marwijk
CaptainWalid Abbas
Most capsAdnan Al Talyani (161)
Top scorerAli Mabkhout (71)
FIFA codeUAE
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 73 (27 May 2021)[1]
Highest40 (November – December 1998)
Lowest138 (January 2012)
First international
 United Arab Emirates 1–0 Qatar 
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 17 March 1972)
Biggest win
 Brunei 0–12 United Arab Emirates
(B. S. Begawan, Brunei; 14 April 2001)
Biggest defeat
 United Arab Emirates 0–8 Brazil 
(Abu Dhabi, UAE; 12 November 2005)
World Cup
Appearances1 (first in 1990)
Best resultGroup stage (1990)
Asian Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1980)
Best resultRunners-up (1996)
Confederations Cup
Appearances1 (first in 1997)
Best resultGroup Stage (1997)

It has made one World Cup appearance in 1990 in Italy and lost all three of its games. United Arab Emirates took fourth place in the 1992 Asian Cup and runner-up in 1996 as host. It won the Arabian Gulf Cup in 2007 and 2013. It finished third in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and hosted the 2019 edition which it was eliminated in the semi-finals.

History

The first match of the team was played on 17 March 1972 against Qatar at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium and won with the only goal scored by Ahmed Chowbi. Then, the team faced three other Arabian countries, losing 4–0 and 7–0 to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait respectively and beating Bahrain 3 to nothing. After participating in four Gulf Cup tournaments since 1972, United Arab Emirates (UAE) hosted the 1982 edition. It again finished third as did in the two previous tournaments.

In 1980, United Arab Emirates first-time qualified for the AFC Asian Cup which was held in Kuwait and were drawn with eventual winners, Kuwait, runner-up South Korea, Malaysia and Qatar in Group B. It drew 1–1 with Kuwait and lost the three other matches and finished in fifth place in the group and ninth (out of ten teams) overall. It also qualified for the next two tournaments, 1984 in Singapore and 1988 in Qatar and was again eliminated in the group stages in both. Its first victory of the tournament occurred against India on 7 December 1984, under manager Heshmat Mohajerani.

In 1984, Mohajerani resigned and was replaced with Carlos Alberto Parreira. Parreira led the team at the 1988 Asian Cup and left his position after the tournament. He was succeeded by Mário Zagallo. Zagallo led the team to the qualification for the 1990 World Cup in Italy. However, Zagallo resigned before the tournament and Parreira returned. The team finished fourth at the 1990 World Cup's final tournament with no points, scoring two goals and conceding eleven goals. The journey was put into a 2016 documentary titled Lights of Rome.[2] After the tournament, Parreira was sacked.

At the 1992 and 1996 Asian Cups, United Arab Emirates finished fourth and second respectively for the first times. United Arab Emirates appeared in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup after being awarded a spot because Saudi Arabia was hosting the games.

United Arab Emirates missed the qualification for the 2000 AFC Asian Cup in Lebanon and finished in last place at the 2002 Gulf Cup in Saudi Arabia. It was eliminated in the next three Asian Cup tournaments at the group stage. In 2004 and 2007 editions, UAE was all eliminated by the hand to debutants Jordan and Vietnam. In 2011, it finished the tournament goalless. At this time, coaches that managed the Emirates included Carlos Queiroz, Roy Hodgson and Dick Advocaat. In 2006, UAE appointed Bruno Metsu as the new manager. He led the Emirates to the 2007 Gulf Cup title.

After hiring foreign coaches, in 2012, United Arab Emirates appointed the Olympic team coach Mahdi Ali as the new manager of the senior team. Ali began creating a squad inviting players that he had worked with at the youth level. He led the Emirates to their second Gulf Cup title in 2013. At the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, United Arab Emirates defeated Qatar 4–1 and Bahrain 2–1 and lost to Iran by a goal. As group runner-up, it faced the defending champions Japan in the quarter-final and earned a victory on penalties to advance to the last four. It lost 2–0 to the host Australia in the semi-finals. In the third-place play-off, it beat Iraq 3–2. United Arab Emirates qualified through the AFC qualification where it finished fourth in Group B thus failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Ahmed Khalil was a top scorer in the qualification. Around this time Mahdi Ali resigned from his position.[3] In October 2012, the Asian Football Confederation official website published an article about UAE's campaign to qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in which the team was referred to as the "Sand Monkeys." This was the indirect result of editing of the Wikipedia article on the team and AFC was forced to apologise for what was perceived as a racist slur.[4][5]

In 2015, it was announced that the Emirates will host the 2019 Asian Cup, this marks the second time they hosted an AFC Asian Cup. The team had Alberto Zaccheroni as a coach. In the 2019 Asian Cup tournament, UAE proceeded to the quarter-finals where it scored its first-ever goal against Australia to gain its first-ever win against this opponent.[6] The semi-finals was between the host and Qatar.[7] Some audiences booed Qatari anthem and threw footwear in the pitch after Qatar scored its second goal. UAE lost 0–4 marking its first defeat to Qatar since 2001,[8] with tensions and violence occurred and some cheering "anti-Qatari" chants.[9] The rivalry with Qatar is also witnessed in the Arabian Gulf Cup meeting in multiple occasions. Some other opponents of UAE are Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran.[10]

United Arab Emirates joined the second round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers and was placed with all-out Southeast Asian opponents. The team had already appointed the Dutch guider Bert van Marwijk. Bert was sacked after his start undergoing two away losses to Thailand and Vietnam in the qualifiers along his group stage exitin the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup.[11] After this, the Emirates decided to naturalize Argentine Sebastián Tagliabúe, Brazilian Caio Canedo Corrêa and Fábio Virginio de Lima, the three South American players, having never done so since the foundation of the national team.[12]

Stadium

As of 2021, UAE has played in 11 home stadiums. Most games have taken place at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi with Abu Dhabi's Al Jazira Stadium and Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain as other venues.

Home stadiums list
Image Stadium Capacity Location Last match
Zayed Sports City Stadium 43,206 Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi v   Kyrgyzstan
(21 January 2019; 2019 AFC Asian Cup)
Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium 42,056 Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi v   Syria
(26 March 2019; Friendly)
Al Nahyan Stadium 12,201 Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi v   Saudi Arabia
(21 March 2019; Friendly)
Hazza bin Zayed Stadium 25,053 Al Ain, Abu Dhabi v   Australia
(25 January 2019; 2019 AFC Asian Cup)
Tahnoun bin Mohammed Stadium 15,000 Al Ain, Abu Dhabi v   Kuwait
(2 September 2011; 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification)
Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium 12,000 Al Ain, Abu Dhabi v   Australia
(5 January 2011; Friendly)
Zabeel Stadium 8,439 Dubai, Dubai v   India
(29 March 2021; Friendly)
Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium 12,000 Dubai, Dubai v   Bolivia
(16 November 2018; Friendly)
Al Maktoum Stadium 15,058 Dubai, Dubai v   Bahrain
(16 November 2020; Friendly)
Rashid Stadium 12,000 Dubai, Dubai v   Jordan
(24 May 2021; Friendly)
Sharjah Stadium 18,000 Sharjah, Sharjah v   Uzbekistan
(28 January 2009; 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification)

Kit

UAE has utilized white with some red trim as its home colors and red with some white trim as its away colors. In 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the away colors were black with some green trim for the first time.

Manufacturer Period
Umbro1979–1985[13]
Admiral1986–1989
Adidas1990–1994
Puma1995–1996
Kelme1997–1999
Adidas2000–2001
Umbro2002–2005
Adidas2006–2008
Erreà2009–2013
Adidas2014–

Schedule

12 October 2020 Friendly United Arab Emirates  1–2  Uzbekistan Dubai, United Arab Emirates
19:00 UTC+4 Tagliabúe  90+2' (pen.) Report Sergeev  48', 86' Stadium: Rashid
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ali Abdulnabi (Bahrain)
12 November 2020 Friendly United Arab Emirates  3–2  Tajikistan Dubai, United Arab Emirates
18:00 UTC+4
  • Ali Mabkhout  29', 63' (pen.)
  • Saleh  90+4'
Report
  • Ergashev  10'
  • Tursunov  20'
Stadium: Zabeel
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ammar Ashkanani (Kuwait)
16 November 2020 Friendly United Arab Emirates  1–3  Bahrain Dubai, United Arab Emirates
18:00 UTC+4
  • Canedo Corrêa  33'
Report
  • Marhoon  75' (pen.)
  • Al-Rumaihi  82, 86'
Stadium: Al Maktoum
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ahmad Al Ali (Kuwait)
12 January 2021 Friendly United Arab Emirates  0–0  Iraq Dubai, United Arab Emirates
19:30 UTC+4 Report Stadium: Zabeel
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ahmed Al-Kaf (Oman)
29 March 2021 Friendly United Arab Emirates  6–0  India Dubai, United Arab Emirates
19:00 UTC+4
  • Mabkhout  12', 32' (pen.), 60'
  • Ibrahim  64'
  • Lima  71'
  • Tagliabúe  84'
Report Stadium: Zabeel
Attendance: 0
Referee: Elges Tantachev (Uzbekistan)
24 May 2021 Friendly Jordan  1–5  United Arab Emirates Dubai, United Arab Emirates
20:45 UTC+4
  • Al-Saify  54'
Report
  • Mabkhout  17', 29', 50'
  • Ibrahim  32'
  • Caio  89'
Stadium: Rashid
Attendance: 0
Referee: Ali Al-Samahiji (Bahrain)
3 June 2021 World Cup qualification United Arab Emirates  v  Malaysia United Arab Emirates
Stadium: TBD
7 June 2021 World Cup qualification United Arab Emirates  v  Thailand United Arab Emirates
Stadium: TBD
11 June 2021 World Cup qualification Indonesia  v  United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates
Stadium: TBD
Attendance: 0[note 1]
15 June 2021 World Cup qualification United Arab Emirates  v  Vietnam United Arab Emirates
Stadium: TBD
30 November 2021 Arab Cup United Arab Emirates  v  Syria Qatar
Stadium: TBD
3 December 2021 Arab Cup Mauritania  or Yemen  v  United Arab Emirates Qatar
Stadium: TBD
6 December 2021 Arab Cup Tunisia  v  United Arab Emirates Qatar
Stadium: TBD

Member

Technical staff

Last Update: December 2020[15]

Head coach Bert van Marwijk
Assistant coach Roel Coumans
Assistant coach John Metgod
Assistant coach Mark van Bommel
Assistant coach Taco van den Velde
Fitness coach Hassan Yaqoob
Goalkeeping coach Mohamed Al-Faraj
Doctor Ertugrul Karanlik
Physiotherapist Khalil Muftah
Physiotherapist Rashid Hameed

Playing squad

The following players were called up for the training camp in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification.[16][17]
Caps and goals as of 24 May 2021 after the match against Jordan.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Ali Khasif (1987-06-09) 9 June 1987 54 0 Al Jazira
30 1GK Fahad Al-Dhanhani (1991-09-03) 3 September 1991 2 0 Baniyas
1GK Adel Al-Hosani (1989-08-23) 23 August 1989 1 0 Sharjah

3 2DF Walid Abbas (Captain) (1985-06-11) 11 June 1985 92 6 Shabab Al Ahli
21 2DF Mahmoud Khamees (1987-10-28) 28 October 1987 44 1 Al Nasr
16 2DF Mohammed Barqesh (1990-10-27) 27 October 1990 19 0 Al Wahda
2DF Khalifa Al Hammadi (1998-11-06) 6 November 1998 11 0 Al Jazira
13 2DF Shahin Abdulrahman (1992-11-16) 16 November 1992 5 0 Sharjah
2 2DF Hassan Al-Moharrami (1996-06-06) 6 June 1996 2 0 Baniyas

4 3MF Majed Hassan (1992-08-01) 1 August 1992 51 1 Shabab Al Ahli
5 3MF Ali Salmeen (1995-04-02) 2 April 1995 33 1 Al Wasl
9 3MF Bandar Al-Ahbabi (1990-07-09) 9 July 1990 27 2 Al Ain
14 3MF Khalil Ibrahim (1993-05-04) 4 May 1993 11 6 Al Wahda
18 3MF Abdullah Ramadan (1998-03-07) 7 March 1998 10 0 Al Jazira
19 3MF Tahnoon Al-Zaabi (1999-04-10) 10 April 1999 5 0 Al Wahda
26 3MF Abdullah Al-Naqbi (1993-04-28) 28 April 1993 2 0 Shabab Al Ahli
12 3MF Mohammed Jumaa (1997-01-28) 28 January 1997 1 0 Shabab Al Ahli

7 4FW Ali Mabkhout (1990-10-05) 5 October 1990 88 71 Al Jazira
10 4FW Khalfan Mubarak (1995-05-09) 9 May 1995 29 1 Al Jazira
15 4FW Fábio Lima (1993-06-30) 30 June 1993 6 1 Al Wasl
11 4FW Caio Canedo (1990-08-09) 9 August 1990 3 2 Al Ain
25 4FW Sebastián Tagliabúe (1985-02-22) 22 February 1985 5 2 Al Nasr
4FW Hareb Abdullah (2002-11-26) 26 November 2002 2 0 Shabab Al Ahli

The following players have also been called up to the squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Mohamed Al-Shamsi (1997-01-04) 4 January 1997 4 0 Al Wahda May 2021 training camp PRE
GK Khalid Eisa (1989-09-15) 15 September 1989 53 0 Al Ain v.  India, 29 March 2021

DF Yousif Jaber (1985-02-25) 25 February 1985 47 2 Shabab Al Ahli May 2021 training camp PRE
DF Al Hassan Saleh (1991-06-25) 25 June 1991 11 0 Sharjah May 2021 training camp PRE
DF Mohammed Al Attas (1997-08-05) 5 August 1997 8 0 Al Jazira May 2021 training camp PRE
DF Mohamed Fawzi (1990-02-22) 22 February 1990 46 0 Al Nasr v.  Bahrain, 16 November 2020
DF Abdulaziz Haikal (1990-09-10) 10 September 1990 41 1 Shabab Al Ahli v.  Bahrain, 16 November 2020
DF Majed Suroor (1997-10-14) 14 October 1997 4 0 Sharjah v.  Bahrain, 16 November 2020
DF Fares Juma (1988-12-30) 30 December 1988 44 2 Al Wahda v.  Uzbekistan, 12 October 2020
DF Mohammed Marzooq (1989-01-23) 23 January 1989 8 0 Shabab Al Ahli v.  Uzbekistan, 12 October 2020

MF Ahmed Barman (1994-02-05) 5 February 1994 29 1 Al Ain May 2021 training camp PRE
MF Salem Obaid (1993-12-21) 21 December 1993 4 0 Al Jazira May 2021 training camp PRE
MF Abdulla Hamad (2001-09-18) 18 September 2001 0 0 Al Wahda May 2021 training camp PRE
MF Yahia Nader (1998-09-11) 11 September 1998 0 0 Al Ain May 2021 training camp PRE
MF Habib Al Fardan (1990-11-11) 11 November 1990 57 6 Al Nasr v.  Bahrain, 16 November 2020
MF Khaled Ba Wazir (1995-05-08) 8 May 1995 6 0 Sharjah v.  Bahrain, 16 November 2020
MF Mohammed Al Marashda (2000-05-06) 6 May 2000 0 0 Kalba v.  Bahrain, 16 November 2020
MF Abdullah Kazim (1996-07-31) 31 July 1996 0 0 Sharjah v.  Bahrain, 16 November 2020
MF Khamis Esmaeel (1989-08-16) 16 August 1989 76 1 Al Wahda v.  Uzbekistan, 12 October 2020

FW Ali Saleh (2000-01-22) 22 January 2000 11 2 Al Wasl May 2021 training camp PRE
FW Zaid Al-Ameri (1997-01-14) 14 January 1997 3 0 Al Jazira May 2021 training camp PRE
FW Yahya Al Ghassani (1998-04-18) 18 April 1998 1 0 Shabab Al Ahli May 2021 training camp PRE

INJ Withdrew from the squad due to an injury
PRE Preliminary squad
RET Retired from international association football

Record

Competitive

FIFA World Cup
Final Qualification
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA GP W D L GF GA
1974Not eligible to enter Not eligible to enter
1978 and 1982Did not participate Did not participate
1986Did not qualify 421154
1990Group stage24th3003211 9441167
1994Did not qualify 8611194
1998 125431613
2002147253120
2006631266
2010164391924
201482151416
2018189363717
2022To be determined 420284
2026To be determined
Total Group stage 24th 3 0 0 3 2 11 100 44 20 37 171 115
AFC Asian Cup
Final Qualification
Year Result Position GP W D L GF GA GP W D L GF GA
1972 and 1976Did not enter Did not enter
1980Group stage9th401339 312020
1984Group stage6th420238 4301242
1988Group stage8th410324 5410121
1992Fourth place4th513134 220063
1996Runners-up2nd642083Hosts
2000Did not qualify 4301122
2004Group stage15th301215 6411135
2007Group stage12th310236 6411116
2011Group stage13th301204 430171
2015Third place3rd6312108 6510183
2019Semifinals4th632188 8*521274
2023000000 420284
Total Runners-up 2nd 44 15 11 18 40 56 52 36 8 8 140 31
FIFA Confederations Cup
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
1992 and 1995 Did not qualify
1997 Group stage 6th 3 1 0 2 2 8
1999 to 2017 Did not qualify
Total Group stage 6th 3 1 0 2 2 8
Asian Games
Year Result GP W D L GS GA
1974 to 1982 Did not enter
1986Quarter-finals532074
1990Did not enter
1994Quarter-finals412165
1998Group stage4112510
Total Quarter-finals 13 5 5 3 18 19
Gulf Cup
YearPlace Pld W D L GF GA
1972Third place3102111
1974Fourth place411259
1976Fifth Place6024413
1979Sixth place6105518
1982Third place530276
1984Fourth place623154
1986Runners-up6321107
1988Runners-up632174
1990Fifth place402228
1992Fourth place530243
1994Runners-up532071
1996Fourth place513155
1998Third place521257
2002Sixth place510437
2003Fifth place621367
2004Group Stage302145
2007Champions540181
2009Group Stage311134
2010Semi-finals412132
2013Champions5500103
2014Third place522175
2017Runners-up514010
2019Group Stage310256
2022TBD
Total Champions 111 41 28 39 117 135
FIFA Arab Cup
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA
2021 To be determined
Total TBD 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pan Arab Games
Year Round Pld W D L GF GA
1976 Did not enter
1985Group Stage310223
1997Group Stage310235
1999Second Round512255
2007Fourth Place411236
2011Did not enter
TotalFourth Place 15 4 3 8 13 19

Head-to-head

As of 24 May 2021[18]

Player

As of 24 May 2021[19]
Active players for the national team are shown in bold.

References

  1. "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  2. "UAE's 1990 World Cup journey now a documentary". Gulf News. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  3. "Mahdi Ali resigns as UAE's World Cup ends with a defeat". The National. 28 March 2018.
  4. Yahoo! Sports: Asian Football Confederation apologize for calling UAE national team ‘Sand Monkeys’
  5. Bailey, Ryan (15 October 2012). "Asian Football Confederation apologize for calling UAE national team 'Sand Monkeys'". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/jan/25/asian-cup-report-australia-uae-south-korea-qatar-son-heung-min-spurs
  7. https://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/football/AFC-Asian-Cup:-UAE-Qatar-match-tickets-sell-like-hot-cakes
  8. https://www.scmp.com/sport/football/article/2184193/asian-cup-uae-fans-pelt-qatar-players-shoes-hosts-are-thrashed-4-0
  9. "UAE fans throw shoes and bottles at "Qatari" players". 27 January 2019.
  10. Dorsey, James M. (29 July 2013). "Gulf rivalry between Iran, UAE transferred to the football pitch". Hurriyet Daily. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  11. "UAE fires coach Van Marwijk after Qatar defeat". euronews. 5 December 2019.
  12. "Why foreign footballers are getting uae passports". gulfnews. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  13. "old united arab emirates football shirts". oldfootballshirts. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  14. "Indonesia ordered to play 2022 World Cup Qualifiers behind closed doors by FIFA following fan violence". FOX Sports Malaysia. 8 January 2020.
  15. "UAE National Team staff". uaefa.com.
  16. "34 PLAYERS IN AN EXTENDED LIST OF OUR NATIONAL TEAM IN PREPARATION FOR THE JOINT QUALIFIERS". UAE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION.
  17. "القائمة النهائية لمنتخبنا الوطني استعداداً للتصفيات المشتركة". UAE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION.
  18. "World Football Elo Ratings: United Arab Emirates". Eloratings.net. 5 January 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  19. Roberto Mamrud; Karel Stokkermans. "Players with 100+ Caps and 30+ International Goals". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Notes

  1. The Indonesia v United Arab Emirates match will be played without spectators following sanctions by FIFA due to fan disturbances in the Indonesia v Malaysia and Indonesia v Thailand matches.[14]
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