Al Ain FC

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For the Formula team, see Al Ain (Superleague Formula team).
Full name Al-Ain Football Club
نادي العين لكرة القدم
Nickname(s) Al Zaeem (The Boss)
Founded August 1968
Ground Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
Ground Capacity 25,500
President Mohammed Bin Zayed
Manager Zlatko Dalić
League Arabian Gulf League
2013–14 6th
Website Club home page
Current season

Al-Ain Football Club (Arabic: نادي العين لكرة القدم‎; transliterated: Nady al-'Ayn) or Al-Ain FC or simply Al-Ain for a short is a professional football club, based in the city of Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is one of many sport sections of the multi-sports club Al Ain Sports and Cultural Club (Arabic: نادي العين الرياضي الثقافي‎) Al Ain SCC for short.

Founded in 1968 by players from Al Ain, members of the Bahraini group of exchange students and Sudanese community working in United Arab Emirates.[1]

Al Ain is by far the most successful club in the UAE.[2] The team was established in 1968 in Al Ain. The team quickly gained popularity and recognition throughout the country, being the team with the most tournament titles (58 in Total).[3] Al Ain has won a record 11 Arabian Gulf League titles, 6 President's Cup, 3 Federation Cup, 1 Arabian Gulf Cup, a record four Super Cup, two Abu Dhabi Championship Cup, one Joint League Cup, Gulf Club Champions Cup and AFC Champions League. The club is the first and only UAE side so far to win the AFC Champions League.[4]


Foundation and early years[edit]

In the early of 1960, a group of young men, used to see the British Soldiers playing football, they soon learnt the rules of the game and started playing at school level. Then they started thinking of establishing a team to practise football. The first playground was very simple and small took the shape of a square sandy plot of land, It was set up on the main street near the Clock Roundabout in Al Ain.[5]

on August 1968, the club was established and it was named after the name of the city. The founders thought it was necessary to have a permanent headquarters for the club. They renting a house made from bricks located on the current Khalifa Road so that they can meet in it and discuss matters of the club. All the founders co-operated for the progress of club, started preparing and charting the stadium, cleaning the club headquarters and washing clothes, borne the financial costs and ending with all tiny matters.[5] They took the idea to Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to seek his assistance. He ordered a permanent headquarters for the club. The headquarters were a low-cost house in Al Jahili district. He continued support the club. In February 1969, He provided them a Land Rover to serve the club and the team.[6] The first match was against the British soldiers, the team won the match with good a performance helped them enter the world of football. The team started playing friendly matches with the different teams of Abu Dhabi. In 1969, the team defeated by Egyptian club Ismaily 1–7 in a friendly match for the war effort. In 1970, a group members of the club (Hadher Khalaf Al Muhairi, Saleem Al Khudhrawi, Mohammed Khalaf Al Muhairi and Mahmoud Fadhlullah) broke away from the club and founded Al Tadhamun Club.[7] In 1971, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered new headquarters with modern specifications include Khalifa Stadium in Al Sarooj district and was the third and main headquarters.[6] In 1972, Al Ain played against São Paulo in a friendly match in United Arab Emirates and ended 0–13 for São Paulo. In 1973 an idea was proposed for Al Ain and Al Tadhamun club to combine in one club. In 1974, the two clubs were combined together under the name of Al Ain Sports Club and publicize officially. The first board of directors of the club was formed after the merge under the chairmanship Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri.[7]

The founders were Mohammed Saleh Bin Badooh and Khalifa Nasser Al Suwaidi, Saeed Ghannoum, Abdullah Hazzam, Salem Hassan Al Muhairi, Abdullah and Mane'a Ajlan, Abdullah Al Mansouri, Saeed Al Muwaisi, Nasser Dhaen, Abdullah Matar, Juma Al Najem, Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, Ibrahim Rasool and Ali Al Maloud and Ali Bu Majeed, who were the members of the Bahraini group of exchange students, and Ma'moun Abdul Qader, Mahmoud Fadhlullah, Al Fateh Al Talb, Hussain Al Meerghani and Abbas Ali from the Sudanese community working in the UAE.[1]

First titles and Entry to the Football League (1974–1997)[edit]

1975–76 season starting lineup
Jassim Al Dhaheri
Subait Anber
Saeed Mubarak
Omar Hajeer
Abdullah Matar
Fayez Subait
Juma Khalaf
Abdalhafez Arab
Ahmed Al Qatari
Shayea Masoud
Ali Saeed
Awad Saeed

In 2 February 1974, The club won its first title, Abu Dhabi League. On 13 November 1974, Sheikh Khalifa was named honorary president of Al Ain, in recognition of his endless support to the club.[7] In 21 May 1975, Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan was elected Chairman of Board of Directors. In 1975, Al Ain won its second Abu Dhabi League[8] In the same year on 21 March 1975, The club played its first UAE President Cup in the Round of 16 against Al Shaab, which they lost 4–5 on penalties, after a 1–1 draw. In 1975–76 season, the team participated for the first time in the UAE Football League, finished runners-up behind Al Ahli. Al Ain won its first League title in the 1976–77 season, after a draw with Al Sharjah 1–1 in the last match. In the following season, they finished runners-up to Al Nasr, Mohieddine Habita was the top scorer with 20 goals. In the 1978–79 season, Al Ain secure third place with 27 points in the league and defeated by Al Sharjah in the President Cup final.

Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan became president of Al Ain in 19 January 1979. Al Ain won the League again in the 1980–81 season and lost President Cup final to Al Shabab 1–3. In 1983–84, the team won Joint League Cup and followed with its third League title, becoming the second with Al Ahli to have won the championship three times. The team was the strongest attack with 35 goals, Ahmed Abdullah, crowned with Al Wasl striker Fahad Khamees the top scorer with 20 goals and won the Golden Boot award for top scorer in Arabs League. This season was the first season without foreign players in UAE League, Al Ain was one of the clubs that opposed this decision. In 1986, the team eliminated from the qualifying stage of the Asian Club Championship. After winning the League title in 1983–84 season, Al Ain failed to win any trophies till 1989 and won Federation Cup and loss the President Cup final in 1990.

The 1992–93 season began with several new signings, Saif Sultan (Ittihad Kalba), Salem Johar (Ajman), Majed Al Owais (Al Thaid), Saeed Juma (Emirates), Helped Al Ain won their fourth League title before three rounds, after a 5–0 win at Al Khaleej, and get all individual awards. In the following season, they finished second in the Football League and lost the 1993 UAE Super Cup 1–2 for Al Shaab. They also reached the President Cup final but were beaten 0–1 by Al Shabab, failing for the fourth time to win the Cup. Between 1994-1995, Al Ain lost two President Cup final, and finished a second place in League and won the 1995 UAE Super Cup and lost out in the Asian Cup Winners' Cup second round to the Kuwaiti team Kazma. In the 1996–97 season, Al Ain were eliminated in the round of 16 of the President Cup by Hatta 1–2 and finished fourth in the Football League.

The Golden Age (1997–2003)[edit]

Before the start of the 1997–98 season, the honorary board was formed in 7 June 1997.[9] After this important quantum leap, Al Ain won the league championship. In the following season, they finished runner-up in the league and secure third place in the their second appearance in the Asian Club Championship, after the 1986. Ilie Balaci took charge in 1999. He won the President Cup in his first season and led them to their sixth league championship, while in the Asian Cup Winners' Cup they were eliminated by Al Jaish on the away goals rule in the first round.

In 2003, Al Ain won the AFC Champions League competition with a 2–1 aggregate victory over BEC Tero Sasana of Thailand, become the first Emirati club to win the Champions League.


Hazza Bin Zayed
Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.jpg
Capacity 25,000
Field size 45 m × 50 m (148 ft × 164 ft)
Opened 14 January 2014 (2014-01-14)
Architect Pattern Design Limited (2014)

Al Ain first playground was set up on the main street near the Clock Roundabout. Took the shape of a square sandy plot of land.[10]

Al Ain owns three home ground, Tahnoun bin Mohammed, Sheikh Khalifa International, Hazza Bin Zayed which opened on 14 January 2014.

Crest and colours[edit]

The Al Jahili Castle considered as a symbol of the club, because it reflects the history of the city and also was formal headquarters to his highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, since 1946 when he was a ruler's representative. Become officially a crest for the club since 1980.[11]

The team began playing in green and white in 1968. After merged Al Ain with Al Tadhamun in 1974. Al Tadhamun red color became Al Ain color from season 1974–75 till the start of season 1976–77. During the first team training camp in Morocco in 1977, Friendly tournament was held by Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca with the participation of the Nice, and Sporting CP, and Anderlecht, during matches Al Ain admired Anderlecht's purple colors, Idea came to change Al Ain's colors to purple, the idea presented to Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, who agreed to changed the club colors officially to the purple with the beginning of the season 1977–78.[12]


Current technical staff[edit]

Position Name
First team head coach Croatia Zlatko Dalić
Assistant coach Croatia Dražen Ladić
United States Hisham Sorour
Croatia Branimir Ujevic
Goalkeeping coach Iraq Bashar Abduljalil
Fitness coach Croatia Frano Leko
Club doctor Croatia Jurica Rakic
Nutritionist Morocco Mohsen Belhoz
Physiotherapist Croatia Miroslav Jamnic
Croatia Ivica Orsolic
Croatia Marin Polonijo
Egypt Abdul Nasser Al Juhani
U-21 team head coach Croatia Borimir Perkovic
Team Manager United Arab Emirates Matar Obaid Al Sahbani
Team Supervisor United Arab Emirates Mohammed Obeid Hammad
Team Administrator United Arab Emirates Nasser Al Junaibi
Director of football United Arab Emirates Khalifa Suleiman

Last updated: July 2014
Source: Al Ain FC


Board members[edit]

President United Arab Emirates Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Vice President United Arab Emirates Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Chairman of Board of Directors United Arab Emirates Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Khaled Al Nahyan
Vice Chairman of Board of Directors United Arab Emirates Rashed Mubarak Al Hajeri
Board of Directors Member United Arab Emirates Mohammed Salem Omair Al Shamisi
Board of Directors Member United Arab Emirates Mohammed Abdullah Bin Bdoua Al Darmaki
Board of Directors Member United Arab Emirates Mohamed Obaid Helal Al Dhaheri

Last updated: 1 May 2011
Source: Al Ain FC

In the past HH Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, half brother of Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Mohammed also chaired the club in the 1970s.[14]

In the 1990s, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan was Chairman of the Board, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan vice-chairman.[14]

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
3 Ghana FW Asamoah Gyan
4 United Arab Emirates MF Sultan Al Ghaferi
5 United Arab Emirates DF Ismail Ahmed
7 United Arab Emirates MF Ali Al-Wehaibi (3rd Captain)
8 United Arab Emirates MF Rashed Eisa (on loan from Al Wasl)
9 France MF Jirès Kembo Ekoko
10 United Arab Emirates MF Omar Abdulrahman
12 United Arab Emirates GK Waleed Salem (Vice Captain)
15 United Arab Emirates DF Khaled Abdulrahman
16 United Arab Emirates MF Mohammed Abdulrahman
17 United Arab Emirates GK Khalid Eisa
18 United Arab Emirates MF Ibrahim Diaky
19 United Arab Emirates DF Mohanad Salem
20 United Arab Emirates MF Helal Saeed (Captain)
21 United Arab Emirates DF Fawzi Fayez
No. Position Player
23 United Arab Emirates DF Mohamed Ahmed
24 United Arab Emirates MF Ahmed Barman
29 South Korea MF Lee Myung-Joo
30 United Arab Emirates MF Mohammed Al Saadi
33 United Arab Emirates FW Hamad Raqea
35 United Arab Emirates FW Yousef Ahmed
36 United Arab Emirates GK Dawoud Sulaiman
38 United Arab Emirates DF Saeed Mosabah
40 United Arab Emirates GK Mohamad Busanda
43 United Arab Emirates MF Ryan Yslam
44 United Arab Emirates DF Faris Jumaa
50 United Arab Emirates DF Mohammed Fayez
77 United Arab Emirates DF Mohamed Fawzi
99 Slovakia MF Miroslav Stoch (on loan from Fenerbahçe)

On loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
27 United Arab Emirates MF Salem Abdullah (at Al Wasl)
31 United Arab Emirates MF Hazza Salem (at Al Wasl)
33 United Arab Emirates MF Mohammed Salem (at Al Wasl)
11 United Arab Emirates MF Abdulaziz Fayez (at Al Wasl)
No. Position Player
77 United Arab Emirates MF Haddaf Al Aameri (at Ajman)
2 United Arab Emirates DF Mohammed Ali Ayed (at Al Shabab)
25 United Arab Emirates MF Ahmed Al Shamisi (at Al Wasl)

Managerial history[edit]

* Served as caretaker coach.

Top Scorers[edit]

Note: this includes goals scored in all competitions.[15]

No. Nationality Player Goals
1 United Arab Emirates Ahmed Abdullah 180
2 Ghana Asamoah Gyan 105
3 United Arab Emirates Matar Al Sahbani 93
4 Tunisia Mohieddine Habita 71
5 United Arab Emirates Majid Al Owais 70
6 United Arab Emirates Salem Johar 60
7 United Arab Emirates Saif Sultan 55
8 United Arab Emirates Abdul Hameed Al Mistaki 45


Bruno Metsu, who led the club to their first AFC Champions League title in 2003

Domestic competitions[edit]

Winners (11) (record): 1976–77, 1980–81, 1983–84, 1992–93, 1997–98, 1999–00, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2011–12, 2012–13
Runners-up (7):[18] 1975–76, 1977–78, 1981–82, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1998–99, 2004–05
Winners (6): 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2014
Runners-up (6): 1979, 1981, 1990, 1994, 1995, 2007
Winners (3): 1989, 2005, 2006
Winners (1): 2008–09
Runners-up (1): 2010–11
Winners (4) (record): 1995, 2003, 2009, 2012
Runners-up (3):1993, 2002, 2013
  • Abu Dhabi Championship Cup[16]
Winners (2): 1974, 1975
  • Joint League Cup[16]
Winners (1): 1983

Gulf competitions[edit]

Winners (1) : 2001

Asian competitions[edit]

Winners (1) : 2003
Runners-up (1) : 2005
Third place (1) : 1999

AFC competitions history[edit]

2002–03: Champion
2004: Quarter-Finals
2005: Finalist
2006: Quarter-Finals
2007: Group Stage
2010: Group Stage
2011: Group Stage
2013: Group Stage
2014: Quarter-finals
1986: Qualifying Stage
1999: 3rd place
2001: Second Round
1995/96: Second Round
1999/00: First Round
2001/02: Quarter-Finals


  1. ^ a b "club Foundation3". Archived from the original on 1 August 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Al Ain look to the future". Fifa. 
  3. ^ "40 years of UAE Football". EmaratAlYoum. 
  4. ^ "Al Ain "The Boss" with 58 titles". EmaratAlYoum. 
  5. ^ a b "The Beginning". Archived from the original on 1 August 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "club Foundation4". Archived from the original on 1 August 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "club Foundation5". Archived from the original on 1 August 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "club Foundation - 2". Archived from the original on 27 March 2005. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "The honorary board". (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 11 December 2004. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "first playground". Archived from the original on 1 August 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Club Emblem" (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 11 May 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "The Purple Story". (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Club Management". Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Al Ain.. The Past, the Present and the Future". Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Top Scorers". Archived from the original on 20 January 2004. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Club Milestones". Al Ain FC. 
  17. ^ "List of Cup Winners". RSSSF. 
  18. ^ "List of Champions". RSSSF. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Suwon Samsung Bluewings
South Korea
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
Saudi Arabia