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Entries Tagged as 'Arabian Gulf League'

Omar Abdulrahman: Asia’s No. 1 Soccer Player

May 23rd, 2017 · No Comments · Arabian Gulf League, London Olympics, soccer, UAE, World Cup

In six-plus years based in Abu Dhabi, I saw this kid play dozens of times in person, hundreds of times when we add TV exposure … and it seems to me a highly justified decision by one on the web’s most important soccer sites: Omar Abdulrahman of Al Ain and the United Arab Emirates, best […]

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When Three Soccer Clubs Disappear in a Day

May 17th, 2017 · No Comments · Arabian Gulf League, Dubai, Fifa, Football, soccer, UAE

The most authentic sports experience in the United Arab Emirates is anything pertaining to the domestic soccer league — the Arabian Gulf League. It is a league overseen by Emiratis, largely staffed by Emiratis, featuring clubs overwhelmingly made up of Emirati footballers, and the whole of the league is largely watched by Emiratis, whether on […]

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Look Who Has a Job! Diego Maradona

May 14th, 2017 · No Comments · Arabian Gulf League, Dubai, Football, soccer, UAE

El Jefe Loco, as I liked to call him while writing my countdown-sa2010 blog, back when Diego Maradona was coaching Argentina ahead of the 2010 World Cup, is off the unemployment rolls. He has been hired to coach a club in the UAE. The biggest and best? Al Ain or Al Ahli? Well, no. One […]

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My UAE Team and Finally Getting a Second Championship

May 1st, 2017 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Arabian Gulf League, Football, The National, World Cup

I settled on Al Jazira as my favorite soccer team, in my six-plus years in Abu Dhabi. In large part because the club was about 200 yards from where I lived and about 300 yards from where I worked. A club considered one of the biggest in the nation was awfully handy to me; I […]

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A Coach, and a Team, Struck Down on Verge of Breakthrough

November 28th, 2016 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Arabian Gulf League, Dubai, Football, soccer, The National

His given name was Luiz Carlos Saroli, but he was known by the informal Caio Junior, going back to his playing days in Portugal and his native Brazil. And that is how we referred to him in the pages of The National while he coached in the UAE. He died in a plane crash tonight, […]

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Ricardo Quaresma: From Dubai Rejection to Euro 2016 Hero

June 25th, 2016 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Arabian Gulf League, Barcelona, Dubai, Football, France, soccer, UAE

It was three years ago that I saw Ricardo Quaresma at what must have been his low ebb. This would have been in Abu Dhabi, in the stands at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, where I watching the final of the President’s Cup — which pitted Al Ahli and Al Shabab on a stultifying May evening. […]

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BMW, Al Ain and the UAE National Anthem Debacle

May 31st, 2016 · No Comments · Arabian Gulf League, Football, soccer, The National, UAE

This falls under the heading of a particularly broad category of human events. To wit: What were they thinking?!? Someone at a BMW dealership and someone at Al Ain FC, the most celebrated soccer club in the UAE, thought it would be a good idea to do a commercial spot. So far so good. However, […]

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Quique! A Classy Coach Jettisoned by Delusional English Club

May 15th, 2016 · No Comments · Arabian Gulf League, Arsenal, Dubai, English Premier League, Football, soccer, Spain, The National, UAE

Ah, Quique Sanchez Flores. Here we are on Day 2 of My Favorite Soccer Coaches Roundup, which includes a certain Spanish player and coach who grew up wanting to be a sports writer. But more about that in a bit. I have been a fan of Quique Sanchez Flores from the moment he was named […]

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UAE and a Long, Hard Fight to 2018 World Cup

April 14th, 2016 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Arabian Gulf League, Football, soccer, UAE, World Cup

This never was going to be easy but until the Asian Football Confederation draw for the final round of qualifying earlier this week … it didn’t seem quite so daunting. Two groups of six with the top two in each group — following a 10-match home-and-away, round-robin competition — securing a place at Russia 2018. […]

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Always a Sports Partisan

December 5th, 2015 · No Comments · Abu Dhabi, Arabian Gulf League, Arsenal, Dubai, English Premier League, Football, soccer, UAE

Is this just me, or does anyone else find a rooting interest in every sporting contest ever invented? Seems a bit odd, now that I think about it, but that’s how it works. And not just with teams I know. Within five minutes of watching a match between teams I do not know … I […]

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