Ali Mabkhout recalled to UAE squad for friendly double-header this month

Record goalscorer, who sat out Arabian Gulf Cup in January, included in 25-man list for Abu Dhabi camp

Ali Mabkhout has scored 80 goals in 109 international appearances for the UAE national team. Getty
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Ali Mabkhout, the UAE’s all-time leading goalscorer, has been recalled to the national team for this month’s training camp in Abu Dhabi.

The Al Jazira striker, 32, was omitted from the UAE’s squad for the Arabian Gulf Cup in Iraq in January, where the team went on to exit at the group stage. At the time, manager Rodolfo Arruabarrena said Mabkhout was left out for “technical reasons”.

The Emirati’s most recent appearance for the UAE was last November, in the friendly against Argentina at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium. Mabkhout has 80 goals in 109 international appearances. At present, he sits second in the 2022/23 Adnoc Pro League scoring charts, with 18 goals.

The UAE also welcome back Al Ain wing-back Bandar Al Ahbabi, although Al Wahda striker Sebastian Tagliabue did not receive a call-up despite scoring one of only two of his team’s goals at the Gulf Cup.

Seeking to move on from the disappointment in Iraq – Arruabarrena’s side finished bottom of Group B - the UAE squad will meet in Abu Dhabi on Sunday before playing friendlies against Tajikistan and Thailand. They take on Tajikistan on March 25 and round off their camp against Thailand three days later.

The UAE will use the camp as part of preparations for the rescheduled 2023 Asian Cup, which takes place in Qatar at the beginning of next year.

Updated: March 15, 2023, 6:50 AM