United Arab Emirates national football team
The United Arab Emirates national football team (Arabic: منتخب الإمارات العربية المتحدة لكرة القدم) represents the United Arab Emirates in men's international association football and serves under the auspices of the country's Football Association.
|Nickname(s)||Al Abyad (The Whites)|
Eyal Zayed (Sons of Zayed)
|Association||UAE Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||WAFF (West Asia)|
|Head coach||Jorge Luis Pinto|
|Most caps||Adnan Al Talyani (161)|
|Top scorer||Ali Mabkhout (63)|
|Current||71 (17 September 2020)|
|Highest||40 (November – December 1998)|
|Lowest||138 (January 2012)|
|Current||94 11 (16 September 2020)|
|Highest||24 (15 January 2015)|
|Lowest||140 (September 1981)|
| United Arab Emirates 1–0 Qatar |
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 17 March 1972)
| Brunei 0–12 United Arab Emirates |
(B. S. Begawan, Brunei; 14 April 2001)
| United Arab Emirates 0–8 Brazil |
(Abu Dhabi, UAE; 12 November 2005)
|Appearances||1 (first in 1990)|
|Best result||Group stage (1990)|
|Appearances||10 (first in 1980)|
|Best result||Runners-up, 1996|
|Appearances||1 (first in 2021)|
|Best result||qualify (2021)|
|Appearances||1 (first in 1997)|
|Best result||Group Stage, 1997|
Under a vast amount of time, it was instructed by foreign managers as for instance, the English Don Revie. It has made one World Cup appearance in 1990 in Italy and lost all three of its games to Colombia, West Germany and Yugoslavia. Two years later, the United Arab Emirates took fourth place in the 1992 Asian Cup, and runner-up in 1996 as hosts of the tournament. In both tournaments, their final match was lost on penalty kicks. They also won the Arabian Gulf Cup on two occasions; in 2007 when they won the title for the first time in their history, and the second time was in 2013. They finished third in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and hosted 2019 edition which they were eliminated in the semi-finals.
The first match of the national football team was played on 17 March 1972 against Qatar at Riyadh's 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, the United Arab Emirates hosted the 1982 edition. They again finished third, as did in the two previous tournaments.
In 1980, the United Arab Emirates first-time qualified for the AFC Asian Cup, which was held in Kuwait. They were drawn with eventual winners, Kuwait, runner-up South Korea, Malaysia and Qatar in Group B. They drew 1–1 with Kuwait but lost the three other matches and finished in fifth place in the group and ninth (out of ten teams) overall. They also qualified for next two tournaments, 1984 in Singapore and 1988 in Qatar and were again eliminated in the group stages in both. Their first victory of the tournament occurred against India on 7 December 1984 under manager Heshmat Mohajerani.
In 1984, Mohajerani resigned as UAE head coach and was replaced with Carlos Alberto Parreira. Parreira led the country at the 1988 AFC Asian Cup and left his position after the tournament. He was succeeded by Mário Zagallo. Zagallo led the country to the qualification for the 1990 FIFA 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 later put into a 2016 documentary titled 'Lights of Rome'. After the tournament, Parreira was sacked.
At the 1992 and 1996 AFC Asian Cups, the United Arab Emirates finished fourth and second respectively for the first times. The United Arab Emirates appeared in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup after being awarded a spot because Asian winners Saudi Arabia was hosting the games.
The United Arab Emirates missed the qualification for the 2000 AFC Asian Cup in Lebanon. They also finished in last place at the 2002 Gulf Cup in Saudi Arabia. They were eliminated in the next three AFC Asian Cup tournaments at the group stage. In 2004 and 2007 editions, the UAE were all eliminated by the hand to debutants Jordan and Vietnam. Their worst performance was in 2011 when they finished the tournament goalless. At this time, coaches that managed the Emirates included Carlos Queiroz, Roy Hodgson and Dick Advocaat. In 2006, the UAE appointed Bruno Metsu as their new manager. He led the Emirates to the 2007 Gulf Cup title.
After hiring European coaches, in 2012, United Arab Emirates appointed the Olympic team coach Mahdi Ali as the new manager of the national team. Ali began creating a squad inviting players that he had worked with at youth level. He led the Emirates to their second Gulf Cup title in 2013. At the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, the United Arab Emirates defeated Qatar 4–1 and Bahrain 2–1 and lost to Iran only by a controversial goal that appeared to be offside. As group runner-up, they faced the defending champions Japan in the quarter-final and earned a victory on penalties to advance to the last four. They lost 2–0 to the host Australia in the semi-finals. In the third place play-off, they beat Iraq 3–2. The United Arab Emirates qualified for the of the AFC qualification, where they finished fourth in Group B, thus failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Despite this, one of United Arab Emirates players Ahmed Khalil manage to be the top scorer in the qualification along with two other players. Around this time Mahdi Ali resigned from his position.
In 2015, it was announced that the Emirates will host the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, this marks the 2nd time they hosts an AFC Asian Cup. The team had a new coach, the former Asian Cup winning manager Alberto Zaccheroni. In the 2019 Asian Cup tournament, they had an opening 1–1 draw to Bahrain, then salvaged three points against India before drawing Thailand to secure top spot and progress to the round of sixteen. UAE had a tight-fought match against Kyrgyzstan, and had been equalized twice after 90', but a penalty from Ali Mabkhout ensured his team to enter the quarter-finals against then-defending champions Australia. In the quarter-finals, UAE scored its first ever goal against Australia to gain its first ever win against this opponent and eliminated them in process. The semi-finals was seen as a rivalry between the host and Qatar. Some Emirati supporters booed Qatari anthem, and threw footwear in the pitch after Qatar scored their second goal. UAE lost 0–4 marking its first defeat to Qatar since 2001 and ending the chance of seeking entry to the final.
The 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. Thing didn't come as planned and Bert was sacked after his start suffering two away losses to Thailand and Vietnam in the qualifiers along his early group stage exist in the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup. By the time of his sacking, UAE was 4th in the group but still has the chance to advance.
Previous Al Nasr manager Ivan Jovanović was hired so as to change fortune. Furthermore, 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.
The rivalry with Qatar is a competitive one in the Arabian Gulf Cup meeting in multiple occasions, due to Qatar diplomatic crisis, increasing tensions had been witnessed, with the captain of UAE under-19 youth team refused to shake hands with Qatar's youth captain in 2018 AFC U-19 Championship held in Indonesia; in this tournament, the UAE beat Qatar 2–1 but still crashed out from the group stage while Qatar would recover to qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. As of 2020, Qatar and UAE have played 31 official matches, most of which was held competitively in the Arabian Gulf Cup, it started off with the United Arab Emirates beating Qatar 1–0. They only played 2 friendly games and the last friendly was held in 2011 which ended with an Emirati victory. In the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, hosted by the UAE, Qatar overran the UAE for the first time since 2001 with the result 4–0, with heavy tensions and violence occurred between two and Emirati supporters cheering anti-Qatari chants. UAE was fined $150,000 US dollars for the incident and had to play their first 2022 and 2023 qualification game in closed doors. However, on 21 September, AFC has lifted the ban just a few weeks before the match has begun.
Another rivalry is with Saudi Arabia which the UAE took on Arabian Gulf Cup various times, the two teams have met in the AFC Asian Cup twice, first in the semi finals of the 1992 edition which ended in a Saudi victory and second in the final of the 1996 edition in which UAE hosted, the game ended in a goalless draw which meant the game had to be decided in penalties, the game ended with Saudi Arabia taking home their 3rd title with the penalty scoreline being 4–2, this remains the only time the Emirates qualified for the final meanwhile this would also be the last time the Saudis would win an Asian Cup as they would lose the next two finals they qualified for in 2000 and 2007. When the two countries meet in the World Cup or Asian Cup qualifiers, it's generally been nicknamed "Clash of Titans" as the two countries, alongside Kuwait and Qatar, are seen as the titans of the Gulf states.
The United Arab Emirates is known by supporters and the media as Al-Abyad, meaning The Whites which reference to their white jersey and also Eyal Zayed which means Zayed's sons.
In October 2012, the Asian Football Confederation official website published an article about the UAE national team'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 vandalism of the Wikipedia article on the team, and the AFC was forced to apologise for what was perceived as a racist slur.
United Arab Emirates's home ground varies. Most games have been played 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. As of 2019, the UAE has played in 8 home stadiums.
|United Arab Emirates national football team home stadiums|
|Zayed Sports City Stadium||43,206||Abu Dhabi City, Abu Dhabi||v Kyrgyzstan|
(21 January 2019; 2019 AFC Asian Cup)
|Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium||42,056||Abu Dhabi City, Abu Dhabi||v Syria|
(26 March 2019; Friendly)
|Al Nahyan Stadium||12,201||Abu Dhabi City, 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 Iraq|
(18 November 2009; 2009 UAE International Cup)
|Zabeel Stadium||8,439||Dubai City, Dubai||v Yemen|
(20 November 2018; Friendly)
|Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium||12,000||Dubai City, Dubai||v Bolivia|
(16 November 2018; Friendly)
|Al Maktoum Stadium||15,058||Dubai City, Dubai||v Indonesia|
(10 October 2019; 2022 World Cup qualifiers)
Prior 2019 Home
Prior 2019 Away
1992 Asian Cup Home
1994 Asian Games Home
1994 Asian Games Away
Last Update: June 2020
|Head coach||Jorge Luis Pinto|
|Assistant coach||Mahmoud Fayez|
|Assistant coach||Jerry Tamashiro|
|Fitness coach||Gilberto Arenas|
|Goalkeeping coach||Eduardo Niño|
- The following players were called up for 24th Arabian Gulf Cup
- Match date: 26 November 2019 — 2 December 2019
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Ali Khasif||9 June 1987||45||0||Al Jazira|
|17||GK||Khalid Eisa||15 September 1989||45||0||Al Ain|
|22||GK||Adel Al-Hosani||23 August 1989||0||0||Sharjah|
|24||GK||Mohammed Al-Shamsi||4 January 1997||0||0||Al Wahda|
|3||DF||Mohammed Marzooq||23 January 1989||0||0||Shabab Al Ahli|
|5||DF||Mohammed Al Attas||5 August 1997||1||1||Al Jazira|
|6||DF||Yousif Jaber||25 February 1985||39||2||Shabab Al Ahli|
|8||DF||Hamdan Al-Kamali||2 May 1989||52||5||Al Wahda|
|12||DF||Khalifa Al Hammadi||6 November 1998||0||0||Al Jazira|
|16||DF||Al Hassan Saleh||25 June 1991||5||0||Sharjah|
|26||DF||Majed Suroor||14 October 1997||0||0||Sharjah|
|27||DF||Shahin Abdulrahman||16 November 1992||0||0||Sharjah|
|2||MF||Khalil Ibrahim||4 May 1993||2||3||Al Wahda|
|4||MF||Waleed Hussain||27 May 1992||0||0||Shabab Al Ahli|
|25||MF||Abdullah Ramadan||7 March 1998||0||0||Al Jazira|
|9||MF||Bandar Al-Ahbabi||9 July 1990||15||2||Al Ain|
|10||MF||Omar Abdulrahman||20 September 1991||74||11||Al Jazira|
|15||MF||Ismail Al Hammadi (Captain)||1 July 1988||114||13||Shabab Al Ahli|
|18||MF||Tareq Ahmed||12 March 1988||6||1||Al Nasr|
|19||MF||Ahmed Barman||5 February 1994||4||0||Al Ain|
|23||MF||Salem Rashid||21 December 1993||0||0||Al Jazira|
|11||FW||Ahmed Khalil||8 June 1991||104||48||Shabab Al Ahli|
|13||FW||Jassem Yaqoub||16 March 1997||0||0||Al Nasr|
|14||FW||Zaid Al-Ameri||14 January 1997||0||0||Al Jazira|
|20||FW||Ali Saleh||22 January 2000||0||0||Al Wasl|
|21||FW||Khalfan Mubarak||9 May 1995||12||1||Al Jazira|
|7||FW||Ali Mabkhout||5 October 1990||83||60||Al Jazira|
The following players have also been called up to the United Arab Emirates squad within the last 12 months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|DF||Mohammed Barqesh||27 October 1990||0||0||Al Wahda||v. Vietnam, 14 November 2019|
|DF||Mohammed Ali Shaker||27 April 1997||0||0||Al Ain||v. Vietnam, 14 November 2019|
|DF||Walid Abbas||11 June 1985||64||0||Shabab Al Ahli||v. Vietnam, 14 November 2019|
|MF||Ali Salmeen||4 February 1995||8||1||Al Wasl||v. Vietnam, 14 November 2019|
|MF||Habib Al Fardan||11 November 1990||12||6||Al Nasr||v. Vietnam, 14 November 2019|
List of UAE squadsEdit
|2021 2022 WCQ R2||United Arab Emirates||v||Malaysia||Dubai City, United Arab Emirates|
|Stadium: Al Maktoum Stadium|
|2021 2022 WCQ R2||Indonesia||v||United Arab Emirates||Cikarang, Indonesia|
|Stadium: Wibawa Mukti Stadium|
Attendance: 0[note 1]
FIFA World CupEdit
The United Arab Emirates only appearance at the World Cup was in 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy where they would lose all three of their matches to Yugoslavia, Colombia and West Germany. This lone appearance was put into a 2016 documentary titled 'Lights of Rome'.
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|1930 to 1974||Not eligible to enter||Not eligible to enter|
|1978||Did not participate||Did not participate|
|1986||Did not qualify||4||2||1||1||5||4|
|1994||Did not qualify||8||6||1||1||19||4|
|2022||To be determined||4||2||0||2||8||4|
|United Arab Emirates's World Cup record|
|First Match|| United Arab Emirates 0–2 Colombia |
(9 June 1990; Bologna, Italy)
|Biggest Defeat|| West Germany 5–1 United Arab Emirates |
(15 June 1990; Milan, Italy)
|Best Result||Group Stage in 1990|
|Worst Result||Group stage in 1990|
AFC Asian CupEdit
|AFC Asian Cup record||AFC Asian Cup qualifications record|
|1956 to 1976||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1996||Runners-up||2nd||6||4||2||0||8||3||Automatic qualification as hosts|
|2000||Did not qualify||4||3||0||1||12||2|
- * automatic qualification as hosts; but competed in qualification process because of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.
|United Arab Emirates's Asian Cup record|
|First Match|| United Arab Emirates 1–1 Kuwait |
(15 September 1980; Kuwait City, Kuwait)
|Biggest Win|| United Arab Emirates 4–1 Qatar |
(11 January 2015; Canberra, Australia)
|Biggest Defeat|| China PR 5–0 United Arab Emirates |
(11 December 1984; Kallang, Singapore)
|Best Result||Second Place in 1996|
|Worst Result||Group stage in 1980, 1984, 1988, 2004, 2007, 2011|
FIFA Confederations CupEdit
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|1992||Did not qualify|
|1999||Did not qualify|
|Asian Games record|
|1974||Did not enter|
|1990||Did not enter|
|Arabian Gulf Cup record|
|1970||Did not enter|
Pan Arab GamesEdit
|Pan Arab Games record|
|1976||Did not enter|
|2011||Did not enter|
|1973 Palestine Cup of Nations||Group Stage||8th||4||0||2||2||3||7|
|1975 Palestine Cup of Nations||Group Stage||10th||2||0||0||2||0||8|
|1981 Merdeka Tournament||Fourth Place||4th||5||2||0||3||6||10|
|1982 Merdeka Tournament||Group Stage||5th||4||1||0||3||5||8|
|1994 UAE Cup||Third Place||3rd||3||0||1||2||1||3|
|1996 UAE Cup||Champions||1st||3||2||1||0||4||2|
|1998 UAE Cup||Champions||1st||3||3||0||0||4||1|
|2000 Oman Cup||Champions||1st||3||2||1||0||2||1|
|2000 LG Cup||Champions||1st||2||1||1||0||2||1|
|2005 Kirin Cup||Champions||1st||2||1||1||0||1||0|
|2005 International Arab Friendly Tournament||Runner-ups||2nd||2||0||2||0||1||1|
|2007 Four Nations Tournament||Fourth Place||4th||2||0||0||2||0||6|
|2008 Dubai Challenge Cup||Fourth Place||4th||2||0||1||1||0||1|
|2009 UAE International Cup||Runner-ups||2nd||2||0||1||1||0||1|
|2013 OSN Cup||Champions||1st||2||1||1||0||5||3|
|2016 King's Cup||Fourth Place||4th||2||0||0||2||1||4|
|2018 King's Cup||Fourth Place||4th||2||0||0||2||1||3|
As of 2 December 2019
Positive Record Neutral Record Negative Record
|Trinidad and Tobago||2||0||1||1||3||5||−2|
- Active players are shown in bold.
- As of 2 December 2019.
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 17 September 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
- Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
- "UAE's 1990 World Cup journey now a documentary". Gulf News. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
- "Mahdi Ali resigns as UAE's World Cup ends with a defeat". The National. 28 March 2018.
- "UAE fires coach Van Marwijk after Qatar defeat". euronews. 5 December 2019.
- "Why foreign footballers are getting uae passports". gulfnews. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
- Dorsey, James M. (29 July 2013). "Gulf rivalry between Iran, UAE transferred to the football pitch". Hurriyet Daily. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
- "Political tension spills on the pitch between UAE and Qatar in AFC U19". foxnews. 18 October 2018.
- "UAE fans throw shoes and bottles at "Qatari" players". 27 January 2019.
- "UAE fined $150K for fans targeting Qatar". Washington Post. 11 March 2019.
- "مباراة منتخبنا الوطني أمام إندونيسيا ستُقام بحضور الجماهير". UAEFA. 21 September 2019.
- Prashant, N. D. "UAE take on Saudi Arabia in clash of titans". gulfnews.com.
- Yahoo! Sports: Asian Football Confederation apologize for calling UAE national team ‘Sand Monkeys’
- Bailey, Ryan (15 October 2012). "Asian Football Confederation apologize for calling UAE national team 'Sand Monkeys'". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- "UAE National Team staff". uaefa.com.
- "Indonesia ordered to play 2022 World Cup Qualifiers behind closed doors by FIFA following fan violence". FOX Sports Malaysia. 8 January 2020.
- "World Football Elo Ratings: United Arab Emirates". Eloratings.net. 5 January 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
- 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.
- 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.
- UAE Football Association official website (in Arabic)