Ali Mabkhout, the UAE’s all-time leading goalscorer, has signed a new contract to keep him with Al Jazira until 2026.
The Emirati, whose 25 goals last season fired the Abu Dhabi club to the Arabian Gulf League title and in the process landed him the division's Golden Boot, had been linked heavily this summer with a transfer to Saudi Arabia.
However, Jazira teased the news of the extension on social media on Wednesday, before confirming Mabkhout had agreed to a fresh deal. The striker, now 30, has spent his entire career with the capital side having come through the youth ranks there.
Mabkhout’s importance to Jazira is obvious, with his goals last season contributing hugely to the club’s third UAE championship. It marked the second time Mabkhout had also finished the campaign as the top flight’s leading scorer. He then continued that form with the UAE national team in June, striking five times in four 2022 World Cup qualifiers as Bert van Marwijk’s side finished top of Group G to progress to the third round of qualification. Mabkhout leads the entire scoring charts also for 2022 World Cup qualification, with 11 goals.
Since making his debut for Jazira in 2009, Mabkhout has won the league three times, the President’s Cup twice, and the League Cup once. He captured the first of his Golden Boots in the 2016/17 season and, with 171 goals, is now only five off becoming the all-time leading scorer in the UAE's top division (Fahad Khamis heads the all-time tally).
For the UAE, Mabkhout finished top scorer at the 2015 Asian Cup, with five goals, as the national team took bronze, while he was part of the side that clinched the Arabian Gulf Cup in 2013. Mabkhout has twice top-scored in that competition, in 2014 and last time out, two years ago.
His contract extension at Jazira will be seen as a major boost, too, for the Arabian Gulf League following star playmaker Igor Coronado’s move from Sharjah to Saudi Pro League club Al Ittihad earlier this summer.