UAE set for glamour friendly against Lionel Messi and Argentina in Abu Dhabi

FA announces schedule for national team that includes match against South American champions in November

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The Football Association has outlined plans for the UAE national team through until next year, with a glamour friendly against Lionel Messi and Argentina set for November in Abu Dhabi.

The national team, who later this month begin preparations for the Arabian Gulf Cup in Iraq in January, have four friendlies scheduled from this month up until mid-November.

Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s side will face Paraguay and Venezuela during an 11-day camp in Austria, from September 17. Those matches fall on September 23 and 27.

The squad will then convene on November 13 for a week-long camp in Abu Dhabi, where they play Argentina on November 16 before taking on Kazakhstan three days later.

Argentina, the reigning South American champions, are in the capital to round off preparations for the Qatar World Cup, where they open their Group C account against Saudi Arabia in Doha on November 22.

Meanwhile, the UAE begin their final camp for the Arabian Gulf Cup, scheduled for January 6-19, on December 26.

After that, the national team will spend two weeks from March 20 to get ready for the West Asian Football Championship on home soil, while the squad convenes from May 28 to June 15 to prepare for the 2023 Asian Cup. As of yet, the tournament is without a host after China withdrew in May because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, the FA confirmed the appointment of Dutchman Marcel Lucassen as its technical director, while former UAE national team assistant coach, Taco van den Velde, has been installed as director of technical affairs & national teams.

Updated: September 08, 2022, 2:36 PM