United Arab Emirates national football team
|Nickname(s)||Al Abyad (The White One)|
Eyal Zayed (Sons of Zayed)
|Association||UAE Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||WAFF (West Asia)|
|Head coach||Bert van Marwijk|
|Most caps||Adnan Al Talyani (161)|
|Top scorer||Ali Mabkhout (76)|
|Current||73 (27 May 2021)|
|Highest||40 (November – December 1998)|
|Lowest||138 (January 2012)|
| United Arab Emirates 1–0 Qatar |
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 17 March 1972)
| Brunei 0–12 United Arab Emirates |
(Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei; 14 April 2001)
| United Arab Emirates 0–8 Brazil |
(Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; 12 November 2005)
|Appearances||1 (first in 1990)|
|Best result||Group stage (1990)|
|Appearances||10 (first in 1980)|
|Best result||Runners-up (1996)|
|Arabian Gulf Cup|
|Appearances||24 (first in 1970)|
|Best result||Champions (2007, 2013)|
|FIFA Arab Cup|
|Appearances||2 (first in 1998)|
|Best result||Fourth place (1998)|
|FIFA Confederations Cup|
|Appearances||1 (first in 1997)|
|Best result||Group stage (1997)|
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.
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.
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 11 goals. The journey was put into a 2016 documentary titled Lights of Rome. 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 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.
The Emirates hosted the 2019 Asian Cup, this marked the second time they hosted an AFC Asian Cup. The team had Alberto Zaccheroni as a coach. In the 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. The semi-finals was between the host and Qatar. Some audiences threw footwear in the pitch after Qatar scored its second goal. UAE lost 0–4 marking its first defeat to Qatar since 2001.
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 exit in the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup. 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.
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.
Another major rival the UAE takes on Arabian Gulf Cup many 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 countries meet in qualifier matches, the matchup has been nicknamed "clash of titans" as both countries have been some of the more successful teams in the Arabian Peninsula.
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 using a racial slur. This was the indirect result of vandalism of the Wikipedia article on the team, and the AFC was forced to apologise.
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.
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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to United Arab Emirates national football team kits.|
Results and fixtures
|United Arab Emirates results|
|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 Stadium|
Referee: Ali Abdulnabi (Bahrain)
|12 November 2020 Friendly||United Arab Emirates||3–2||Tajikistan||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
|18:00 UTC+4||Report||Stadium: Zabeel Stadium|
Referee: Ammar Ashkanani (Kuwait)
|16 November 2020 Friendly||United Arab Emirates||1–3||Bahrain||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
||Report||Stadium: Al Maktoum Stadium|
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 Stadium|
Referee: Ahmed Al-Kaf (Oman)
|29 March 2021 Friendly||United Arab Emirates||6–0||India||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
|19:00 UTC+4||Report||Stadium: Zabeel Stadium|
Referee: Elges Tantachev (Uzbekistan)
|24 May 2021 Friendly||Jordan||1–5||United Arab Emirates||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
||Report||Stadium: Rashid Stadium|
Referee: Ali Al-Samahiji (Bahrain)
|3 June 2021 World Cup qualification||United Arab Emirates||4–0||Malaysia||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
|20:45 UTC+4||Report||Stadium: Zabeel Stadium|
Referee: Kim Dae-Yong (South Korea)
|7 June 2021 World Cup qualification||United Arab Emirates||3–1||Thailand||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
||Stadium: Zabeel Stadium|
Referee: Ryuji Sato (Japan)
|11 June 2021 World Cup qualification||Indonesia||0–5||United Arab Emirates||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
|20:45 UTC+4||Report||Stadium: Zabeel Stadium|
Referee: Mohammed Al-Hoish (Saudi Arabia)
|15 June 2021 World Cup qualification||United Arab Emirates||3–2||Vietnam||Dubai, United Arab Emirates|
|20:45 UTC+4||Report||Stadium: Zabeel Stadium|
Referee: Ali Sabah (Iraq)
|2 September 2021 World Cup qualification||United Arab Emirates||v||Lebanon||United Arab Emirates|
|7 October 2021 World Cup qualification||United Arab Emirates||v||Iran||United Arab Emirates|
|12 October 2021 World Cup qualification||United Arab Emirates||v||Iraq||United Arab Emirates|
|11 November 2021 World Cup qualification||South Korea||v||United Arab Emirates||South Korea|
|27 January 2022 World Cup qualification||United Arab Emirates||v||Syria||United Arab Emirates|
|29 March 2022 World Cup qualification||United Arab Emirates||v||South Korea||United Arab Emirates|
|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|
The following players were called up for the training camp in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification.
Caps and goals as of 15 June 2021 after the match against Vietnam.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Ali Khasif||9 June 1987||57||0||Al Jazira|
|17||GK||Fahad Al-Dhanhani||3 September 1991||2||0||Baniyas|
|22||GK||Adel Al-Hosani||23 August 1989||1||0||Sharjah|
|2||DF||Mohammed Al-Attas||5 August 1997||11||1||Al Jazira|
|3||DF||Walid Abbas (Captain)||11 June 1985||95||6||Shabab Al Ahli|
|4||DF||Shahin Abdulrahman||16 November 1992||9||0||Sharjah|
|6||DF||Yousif Jaber||25 February 1985||47||2||Shabab Al Ahli|
|12||DF||Khalifa Al Hammadi||6 November 1998||13||0||Al Jazira|
|13||DF||Hassan Al-Moharrami||6 June 1996||4||0||Baniyas|
|21||DF||Mahmoud Khamees||28 October 1987||48||1||Al Nasr|
|5||MF||Ali Salmeen||2 April 1995||36||2||Al Wasl|
|9||MF||Bandar Al-Ahbabi||9 July 1990||31||2||Al Ain|
|14||MF||Khalil Ibrahim||4 May 1993||13||6||Al Wahda|
|16||MF||Mohammed Jumaa||28 January 1997||4||1||Shabab Al Ahli|
|18||MF||Abdullah Ramadan||7 March 1998||14||0||Al Jazira|
|19||MF||Tahnoon Al-Zaabi||10 April 1999||5||0||Al Wahda|
|7||FW||Ali Mabkhout||5 October 1990||92||76||Al Jazira|
|10||FW||Khalfan Mubarak||9 May 1995||29||1||Al Jazira|
|15||FW||Fábio Lima||30 June 1993||9||6||Al Wasl|
|23||FW||Hareb Abdullah||26 November 2002||2||0||Shabab Al Ahli|
|25||FW||Sebastián Tagliabúe||22 February 1985||5||3||Al Nasr|
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||4 January 1997||4||0||Al Wahda||v. Indonesia, 11 June 2021|
|GK||Khalid Eisa||15 September 1989||53||0||Al Ain||v. India, 29 March 2021|
|DF||Mohammed Barqesh||27 October 1990||19||0||Al Wahda||v. Malaysia, 3 June 2021|
|DF||Al Hassan Saleh||25 June 1991||11||0||Sharjah||May 2021 training camp PRE|
|DF||Mohamed Fawzi||22 February 1990||46||0||Al Nasr||v. Bahrain, 16 November 2020|
|DF||Abdulaziz Haikal||10 September 1990||41||1||Shabab Al Ahli||v. Bahrain, 16 November 2020|
|DF||Majed Suroor||14 October 1997||4||0||Sharjah||v. Bahrain, 16 November 2020|
|DF||Fares Jumaa||30 December 1988||44||2||Al Wahda||v. Uzbekistan, 12 October 2020|
|DF||Mohammed Marzooq||23 January 1989||8||0||Shabab Al Ahli||v. Uzbekistan, 12 October 2020|
|MF||Abdullah Al-Naqbi||28 April 1993||2||0||Shabab Al Ahli||v. Indonesia, 11 June 2021|
|MF||Majed Hassan||1 August 1992||51||1||Shabab Al Ahli||v. Jordan, 24 May 2021|
|MF||Ahmed Barman||5 February 1994||29||1||Al Ain||May 2021 training camp PRE|
|MF||Salem Rashid||21 December 1993||4||0||Al Jazira||May 2021 training camp PRE|
|MF||Abdulla Hamad||18 September 2001||0||0||Al Wahda||May 2021 training camp PRE|
|MF||Yahia Nader||11 September 1998||0||0||Al Ain||May 2021 training camp PRE|
|MF||Habib Al Fardan||11 November 1990||57||6||Al Nasr||v. Bahrain, 16 November 2020|
|MF||Khaled Ba Wazir||8 May 1995||6||0||Sharjah||v. Bahrain, 16 November 2020|
|MF||Mohammed Al Marashda||6 May 2000||0||0||Kalba||v. Bahrain, 16 November 2020|
|MF||Abdullah Kazim||31 July 1996||0||0||Sharjah||v. Bahrain, 16 November 2020|
|MF||Khamis Esmaeel||16 August 1989||76||1||Al Wahda||v. Uzbekistan, 12 October 2020|
|FW||Caio Canedo||9 August 1990||6||3||Al Ain||v. Indonesia, 11 June 2021 INJ|
|FW||Ali Saleh||22 January 2000||11||2||Al Wasl||May 2021 training camp PRE|
|FW||Zayed Al-Ameri||14 January 1997||3||0||Al Jazira||May 2021 training camp PRE|
|FW||Yahya Al Ghassani||18 April 1998||1||0||Shabab Al Ahli||May 2021 training camp PRE|
INJ Withdrew from the squad due to an injury
List of UAE squads
FIFA World Cup
|FIFA World Cup record||Qualification record|
|1930 to 1974||Part of the United Kingdom||Part of the United Kingdom|
|1978 and 1982||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||8||6||0||2||23||7|
|2026||To be determined|
|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 Cup
|AFC Asian Cup||Qualification record|
|1956 to 1972||Part of the United Kingdom||Part of the United Kingdom|
|1976||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|2000||Did not qualify||4||3||0||1||12||2|
|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 Cup
|FIFA Confederations Cup|
|1992 and 1995||Did not qualify|
|1999 to 2017||Did not qualify|
|1974 to 1982||Did not enter|
|1990||Did not enter|
FIFA Arab Cup
|FIFA Arab Cup record|
|1963||Did not enter|
|2002||Did not enter|
|2012||Did not enter|
|2021||To be determined|
Pan Arab Games
|Pan Arab Games|
|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 Friendship Tournament||Third place||3rd||3||0||1||2||1||3|
|1996 Friendship Tournament||Champions||1st||3||2||1||0||4||2|
|1998 Friendship Tournament||Champions||1st||3||3||0||0||4||1|
|1999 Friendship Tournament||Runner-ups||2nd||3||1||2||0||7||5|
|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|
|Trinidad and Tobago||2||0||1||1||3||5||−2|
- Fourth place (1): 1998
- Winners (2) 1996, 1998
- Winners (1): 2005
- OSN Cup
- Winners (1): 2013
- Oman Cup
- "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 27 May 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
- "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.
- 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.
- "old united arab emirates football shirts". oldfootballshirts. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
- "UAE National Team staff". uaefa.com.
- "34 PLAYERS IN AN EXTENDED LIST OF OUR NATIONAL TEAM IN PREPARATION FOR THE JOINT QUALIFIERS". UAE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION.
- "القائمة النهائية لمنتخبنا الوطني استعداداً للتصفيات المشتركة". UAE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION.
- 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)
- "World Football Elo Ratings: United Arab Emirates". Eloratings.net. 5 January 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
- UAE Football Association official website (in Arabic)