Wednesday, 18 September 2019 12:45 GMT
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UAE star Omar eyes local and continental glory after World Cup heartbreak




(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) UAE's top player Omar Abdulrahman, back after a brief rehabilitation session in Spain, lamented missing out on the two Fifa World Cup qualifiers due to injury and said he will give everything to realise the AFC Champions League dream with Al Ain.

Abdulrahman said he was broken after not being able to play the World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The UAE crashed out of the World Cup following the loss to Iraq.

"I wished to be part of the team as we represent the country in every match," the UAE talisman said, adding the World Cup is one of the strongest tournaments in the world. "So, I am unhappy as I couldn't be part of the matches."

He commended the top-rated performance by the 'Whites' on a 2-1 win over higher-ranked Saudi Arabia.

"And when we played Iraq, we missed several players," Abdulrahman noted.

Asked about the reasons the UAE missed the bus to Russia 2018 despite having a talented squad, Abdulrahman said: "Personally, I don't prefer to talk about the reasons. However, you should respect your opponent because you sometimes play the strongest team; some of them are better prepared and ready. There were simple things we missed in each game."

Sharing his thoughts on the interests he has elicited from La Liga, Ligue 1 and Premier League in his career, Abdulrahman said all the offers were "very important".

Earlier this year, French club Nice wanted to sign Abdulrahman but finally got Netherlands midfielder Welsey Sneijder.

On comparisons drawn between them, he said: "Sneijder is a great player. I hope to reach the status of Sneijder."

Continental and local dreams Al Ain will play Al Hilal in the second leg of AFC Champions League quarterfinals. Both teams had failed to score in the first round.

And Abdulrahman said Al Ain players were completely focused on the AFC Champions League title.

"This is our aim. We are no closer to achieving our goal."

Abdulrahman is joint top-scorer in the tournament with Shanghai SIPG's Hulk, with seven goals. Al Ain play Al Hilal at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh on Monday night.

Looking at the Arabian Gulf League season, Abdulrahman said the title chase will be tough as all clubs have stepped up their efforts to compete strongly.

"All teams have brought in local and international players."

He noted that players going away on national duty did affect the preparations of Al Ain. However, he added: "We will work together to deliver a better show and achieve our goal."

Al Ain will start their league campaign against Al Wasl on September 16.

'Amoory' stressed on fan support and said: "I hope for fan presence in all matches as they are our number one player. All the players seek fan support as their presence act as a strong motivation to achieve the best results."


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UAE star Omar eyes local and continental glory after World Cup heartbreak

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