Ismail Matar

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Ismail Matar
Ismail Mattar.jpg
Matar in UAE training in 2014
Personal information
Full name Ismail Matar Ibrahim Khamis Al Mukhaini Al Junaibi
Date of birth (1983-04-07) 7 April 1983 (age 34)
Place of birth Abu Dhabi, UAE
Height 1.67 m (5 ft 5 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 10
Youth career
1997–2001 Al-Wahda
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001– Al-Wahda 231 (85)
2009 Al Sadd (loan) 2 (1)
National team
2003 United Arab Emirates U-20 5 (1)
2003–2012 United Arab Emirates U-23 23 (8)
2003– United Arab Emirates 114 (36)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 30 December 2014.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 November 2016

Ismail Matar Ibrahim Khamis Al Mukhaini Al Junaibi (Arabic: إسماعيل مطر‎‎; born 7 April 1983 in Abu Dhabi) is an Emirati footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder or forward for Al Wahda and captains the UAE national team.

Matar was awarded the Golden Ball at the 2003 World Youth Championships after being voted the tournament's best player even though the UAE only reached the quarter finals. He is best known for leading the UAE to their first ever trophy, the 2007 Gulf Cup of Nations, which was held in Abu Dhabi. Matar scored 5 goals in 5 games, and was named player of the tournament and the top scorer.

Club career[edit]

Al Wahda[edit]


The first game was in the season against All Jazira, which he also scored his first in the match. This goal was the equalizer for Al-Wahda in the second half, but the joy did not last, Al-Jazira made the second goal and the winning goal latter. Matar continued his brilliant presence in that season and scored 14 goals, as he was named the Best Emarati Young Player in the UAE League and led Al-Wahda to the UAE Pro-League and the President's Cup titles. He was the only player in that season that has been scored in the Goal of Muhsin Musabah five goals including two goals in the first round and two in the second round and a goal in the cup final from penalty shot out.


The Golden Boy did not shine strongly because of his involvement with the national team and the UAE Olympic and UAE Under-20, and he is the only Emirati player who participated in four games with the Al-Wahda and the national team and UAE Under-20 and UAE Olympic and distributed his effort in the four teams, which could not shine with Al-Wahda and he scored three goals with Al-Wahda, the club was ranked sixth in the league, and began the fatigue and exhaustion on Ismail making the press pounce on the United Arab Emirates Football Association to merciless the player from involved with the four national teams. But his effort did not go waste with the UAE Under-20, who was playing in the FIFA World Youth Championship 2003 in the UAE, but he achieved with the UAE Under-20 eighth place, and was the best player in the tournament, which was nominated for the best player and has achieved what he wanted. And has many offers from European clubs including the Chelsea reserve and Inter Milan and Asian Clubs including Japan clubs and Qatari Club Al-Sadd.


Ismail was shown a good form for Al-Wahda at 2004–05 season and scored 11 goals including doubles against Al-Nasr, Al Jazira and Al-Shabab and a winning goal against Al Ain. He was most prominent in the ranks of Al-Wahda players, help the club to win the league title and finished as runners-up in the Domestic Cup. Al-Wahda had the strongest line of attack in that season, and Matar was playmaker of heavy caliber, which he was nominated for the Best Emarati Player. Ismail was more vigor and vitality and strength and fitness and determination to win and was serious player at the same time at the season. In match against Sharjah in the quarter-finals of the President's Cup, he scored hat-trick with the club and ascended to the semi-final.

Al-Sadd Club (loan)[edit]

On 6 May 2009, Al-Wahda announced that Ismail had been moved to Qatari club Al-Sadd on loan until the end of the season to participate with the club in the Emir Cup.[1] Commenting on his move, Matar said:

"The professional experience in Al-Sadd club will be useful to me on both, a technical and moral level. I am now 26-years old and it is difficult for professionalism in Europe, and I hope to be lucky with Al-Sadd in my short tenure."

Ismail took part in the Emir Cup quarter-final, coming on as a substitute for Hassan Al Haidos after 22 minutes. At the time of coming on, Al Ahli were leading two goals to none, and Al Sadd were a player down after Ibrahim Majid got sent off after 13 minutes. Ismail played a great match, scoring Al-Sadd's third goal in extra time, as well as creating the other two goals. He scored a penalty in the penalty shootout, which Al Sadd won 4–2 to ensure a place in the semi-finals. He was named the Man of the Match, in addition to being immediately awarded two thousand dollars by the Qatar Football Association.[2] Qatari media played down Ismail's ability, and suggested he would add nothing new to Al Sadd's squad, as well as claiming he was a very average player.

Return to Al Wahda[edit]


On 11 June 2009, rumors spread that Al-Wahda has received an offer of amount 50 million dirham from the arch-rivals Al Ain,[3] and offers from other Arabic clubs specifically from Saudi clubs Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad for Ismail, but Al-Wahda denied the rumors and extended Ismail's contract until 2014. To be the seventh player to extend his contract for five years, in an interview with club's website, Ismail has said that he had received offers from Saudi clubs and has offers from other clubs too but he rejected all because he loves the club that help him to improve.[4]

On 28 September 2009, during Al-Wahda's 3–1 win against Al-Ahli, Ismail assisted Fernando Baiano. On 4 October 2009, Al-Wahda defeated Ajman 5–1 which Ismail scored one goal and assisted Fernando Baiano again. On 10 October 2009, Ismail injured in UAE's friendly match against Palestine, and wasout for almost five weeks. On 24 November 2009, Ismail returned from injury[5] and play against Baniyas in the UAE President's Cup and played in the last minutes.[6]

On 1 December 2009, in week 7 of the season in match against Al Ain which known as UAE's El classico, he replaced Fahad Masoud in the 64th minutes., he had a chance in the last minutes but he did not succeed in the elusive and Waleed Salim which beyond ball. The match was ended 1–0 in favor of Al-Wahda. On 17 December 2009, Ismail named as The Most Popular Arab Player, commented Ismail, when received the award "This award is dear to his heart of pride and honor him, because the love of the fans and a badge on his chest and thanked everyone who voted him".[7] On 20 December 2009, he played a key role in the match against Baniyas after scoring in 32 minutes, and was substituted on 79th minutes. The match ended 1–0 for Al-Wahda. Ismail had received invasion from Al-Ittihad to participate in the ceremony to retire star Hamzah Idris against Juventus on 30 December 2009.[8][9][10]

AFC Champions League[edit]

On 30 January 2010 during AFC Champions League qualifying play-off, he played against Al-Karamah. He assisted Mahmoud Khamees to score the only goal in the match in the 72nd minute. Seven days later, on 6 February 2010, he scored against Churchill Brothers SC in the 85th minute and assisted twice, one for Fernando Baiano in the 45th minute and again to Abdulrahim Jumaa in the 63rd minute. The win helped Al Wahda qualify for the group stage of the tournament.


On 19 February 2011, Matar scored his first hat-trick of the season in a 5–3 loss against Ittihad Kalba, he overtook Mohamed Salem as Al Wahda's all-time greatest scorer in the Pro-League. In 2016, Matar has been rumoured to join Selangor FC in Malaysian Super league.

International career[edit]

2003 World Youth Championships[edit]

Ismail was part of UAE's squad for 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship which held in home country. He began his stardom to reach to the quarter-finals when he scored the only goal in the tournament against Australia. However, UAE knocked out from tournament in match against Colombia. He won the Golden Ball award and became the first Arab player to wins this award.[11] [12]

2007 Gulf Cup[edit]

Ismail Matar better than me, He has won the Gulf Cup and I have not earn this honor as a player But you arrived with the "white" to the World Cup?, Ismail succeeded in drawing the joy and smiles to the faces, has led the "white" for the title Worthily with the other players, and I hope to continue the march with the players succeed and reach the World Cup in the future.
Adnan Al-Talyani, after winning the Gulf Cup - Al Khaleej Newspaper

Known Ismail when he leading United Arab Emirates national football team to their first ever trophy at the 2007 Gulf Cup of Nations, and his goals was critical in the tournament. When he scored against Kuwait in the 90+1 minute, UAE qualify to semi-final and against Saudi Arabia in the 90+1 minute, UAE qualify to final. In the final match, he scored a goal against Oman in the 72nd minute to lead UAE to win their first title in the Gulf Cup, Matar was named as MVP player of the tournament after scoring five goals in the tournament that makes him top scorer of the edition. He is the third player to win both titles on the best player and top scorer in the tournament after Iraqi player Hussein Saeed in 1984 and Qatari Mubarak Mustafa in 1992.


Ismail called up for two friendly matches against Palestine on 10 October 2009 and Jordan on 14 October. He was injured in match against Palestine and was replaced in 30th minute. On 5 November 2009, UAE coach Srečko Katanec announced the squad for the next training camp in November 2009, but Ismail was not called up because of injury.[13] He was returned to the squad for the friendly match against Kuwait on 16 December 2009.

Career statistics[edit]


As of 10 September 2011[14][15]
Club Season League Cup[nb 1] Asia[nb 2] Club World Cup Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Al-Wahda 2001–02 7 1 2 6 3 2 2 0 1 15 4 5
2002–03 19 14 7 4 1 3 0 0 0 23 15 10
2003–04 11 3 4 5 1 3 6 0 3 22 4 10
2004–05 18 11 7 4 2 1 0 0 0 22 13 8
2005–06 17 10 9 7 3 6 4 2 3 28 15 18
2006–07 13 6 5 6 2 8 8 1 0 27 9 13
2007–08 14 5 4 2 0 1 4 0 2 20 5 7
2008–09 19 8 7 6 1 4 6 0 0 31 9 11
Total 118 58 45 40 13 28 30 3 9 188 74 82
2009 2 1 1 2 1 1
Total 2 1 1 2 1 1
Al-Wahda 2009–10 18 5 9 6 0 6 7 2 5 31 7 20
2010–11 13 6 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 17 6 8
2011–12 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Total 31 11 17 9 0 6 7 2 5 3 1 0 50 14 28
Career Totals 149 69 62 51 14 35 37 5 14 3 1 0 240 89 111


As of 19 November 2013[16][17]
United Arab Emirates national team
Year Apps Goals
2003 10 2
2004 16 3
2005 9 3
2006 9 3
2007 16 7
2008 17 5
2009 8 3
2010 4 1
2011 9 2
2012 6 3
2013 8 2
2016 2 2
2017 2 0
Total 116 36



  • Al Hadath Most promising Arab player of the Year: 1

Personal life[edit]

Ismail Matar belongs to the Al Mukhaini family where his origins can be traced from the Sur city in Oman, he has a close relationship with the midfielder of Oman national football team and Al Ittihad player Ahmed Hadid as they are cousins. Ismail has two footballer brothers. They are Ahmed (retired) and Yasser (born in 1987, playing for Al-Jazira since 2009). Matar is married to the daughter of Adel Khalifa Al Shamsi, they married in Abu Dhabi on 13 July 2007, the couple have two children, Alia (born 4 December 2008) and Ali (born 1 November 2010). His father died on 2 January 2009 and Matar was in the 2009 Gulf Cup of Nations in Oman, he did not participate with the national team and instead left to the UAE to attend the funeral of his father.[18]



  1. ^ "Ismail Matar joins Al-Sadd Club.". 06-05-2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Qatar: UAE's Ismail Matar Already A Big Hit For Al Sadd.". 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  3. ^ "Transition Ismail Matar to Al Ain Club for 50 million....It's a rumor.". 08-07-2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "Ismail Matar: We depend on luck, so we fail ..!". 08-09-2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ "Matar to return after injury layoff". 2009-11-23. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  6. ^ "Hiksberger: participation of Ismail, was to kill time.". 3-12-2009. Retrieved 4-12-2009.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  7. ^ "Ismail Matar: winning the Super Award pride to me.". 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  8. ^ "Ismail Matar participate in the festival retire Hamzah Idris.". 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  9. ^ "Matar, Chico and Al-Shater participate in the ceremony to retire star Hamza.". 2009-12-21. Archived from the original on December 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  10. ^ "Ismail Matar in the interest of the Al-Ittihad Club". 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  11. ^ "Ismail Matar.. The first Arab player wins this Award in Youth Championships". 
  12. ^ "Ismail Matar best player.". 2003-12-19. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  13. ^ "exclusion Matar and Al Hamadi from squad against Manchester City". 05-11-2009. Retrieved 2009-11-27.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "Ismail Al Junaibi Career Stats". uaefootballleague. 
  15. ^ "Player – Ismail Matar". scoresway. 
  16. ^ "Ismail Matar Al-Mukhaini". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 January 2011. 
  17. ^ Roberto Mamrud. "Ismael Matar Ibrahim Khames Al-Junaibi - Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  18. ^ "The death of his father forced him to leave". 

External links[edit]