Van Marwijk named as UAE coach ahead of Saudi friendly
20 Mar 2019
Van Marwjik succeeds Alberto Zaccheroni, who left his post following the UAE’s exit at the semi-final stage of the Asian Cup.
Abu Dhabi: Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk has been named the new UAE coach, the country’s football association announced on Wednesday.
The 66-year-old, who led the Netherlands national side to the 2010 World Cup final, last coached Australia.
He previously worked in Asia with Saudi Arabia, but quit after failing to agree a new contract with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation despite helping the team qualify for last year’s World Cup in Russia.
Van Marwijk replaces Italian Alberto Zaccheroni, who left his job as UAE coach after their 4-0 Asian Cup semi-final thrashing on home soil by Qatar in January.
Having travelled to Dubai on Wednesday to finalise his contract, Van Marwjik will be presented to the media on Thursday in Abu Dhabi shortly before the friendly against Saudi Arabia. He will be in the stands for the match and for next Tuesday’s match against Syria. Saleem Abdelrahman will remain in temporary charge for those fixtures.
Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia and the UAE look completely different sides to those that competed at the recent AFC Asian Cup as they face-off in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Both teams have parted ways with their coaches following the AFC Asian Cup and appointed local interim managers. UAE coach Salim Abdulrahman left out the likes of Ismail Matar and Ahmed Khalil in favour of younger, fresh names.
Meanwhile, Youssef Anbar was placed at the helm of the Green Falcons on a temporary basis, and his first squad sees wholesale changes, experimenting with 23 new names, most of whom are receiving their first call-up to the team.
Van Marwijk was an obvious choice for the UAEFA, especially considering his work most recently with Saudi Arabia.