The past
United Arab Emirates are Asia's reigning beach soccer power, two successive continental titles paying testament to this. The side has enjoyed a considerable rise to eminence since exiting the Asian Beach Soccer Championship in 2006 following back-to-back losses to Bahrain and China PR. Under Brazilian coach Marcelo Mendes, they emerged as champions in 2007 and then successfully defended their title earlier this year - and did so with an unblemished record.

The present
The UAE opened the defence of the continental title with comfortable wins over Uzbekistan and China, before overcoming Iran 3-1 in the semi-finals to secure a place at their second FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and advance to the continental final, where they beat Japan 4-3. United Arab Emirates strikers Bakhit Alabadla and Rami Al Mesaabi have also earned applause, with the latter succeeding the former as the Asian Championship's MVP this year.

The future
Two successive Asian crowns has raised United Arab Emirates' confidence, and coach Mendes believes his charges are capable of mounting a serious challenge to the world's best in Marseille. "With players like Bakhit and Rami we have a good chance against the world powers, only if our defense can stand solid," he said after watching his side beat Japan in the final.


Key players
Bakhit Alabadla and Rami Al Mesaabi

Qualifying statistics
United Arab Emirates scored 18 times in winning all four of their matches at this year's Asian Championship.

The numbers game
2 - The number of times the UAE have reigned as Asia's beach soccer kings.