FIFA World Cup™ history
After first attempting to secure a FIFA World Cup™ berth at Mexico 1986, United Arab Emirates did not have to wait long to reach the promised land. Making their breakthrough at Italy 1990, the newcomers struggled in a tough group alongside West Germany, Yugoslavia and Colombia, exiting the competition at the first hurdle with only Khalid Ismail's goal against the eventual winners to show for their efforts.

The team

Despite reaching the final of the AFC Asian Cup in front of their own fans in 1996, UAE did not come close to winning another tournament until their victory at the 2007 Gulf Cup of Nations. A year later, their youngsters tasted glory at the AFC U-19 Asian Championship and thus opened up a spot at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2012 Olympic Football Tournament. As for the seniors, they reclaimed their Gulf Cup crown in 2013 and qualified for the 2015 Asian Cup, where they finished third.

The coach

Edgardo Bauza took over the reins from Mahdi Ali in May 2017, after the latter had lead UAE to three wins from seven games. Bauza, who has two Copa Libertadores triumphs to his name, arrived having already been considerably active in the race for a spot at Russia 2018, having spent nine months at the helm during Argentina's campaign.

The stat

1 –
The number of times UAE have appeared at a World Cup and the number of goals they have scored at the finals.

The former stars

Adnan Al Talyani, Muhsin Musabah, Ali Thani Jumaa, Khalid Ismail, Nasir Khamees, Zuhair Bakheet, Fahad Khamees