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Former Man United and Real Madrid assistant Rui Faria could be UAE candidate

Rui Faria is a potential candidate to make the step-up into the UAE job

Matt Monaghan 2018/09/11

Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Internazionale assistant Rui Faria’s first steps into senior management could be taken with the UAE after he emerged as a potential candidate to replace Alberto Zaccheroni if preparations for the 2019 Asian Cup remain troubled.

Faria, 43, worked alongside manager Jose Mourinho for the past 17 years before he decided to “move on” at the end of last season. The Portuguese cited a desire to spend more time with his family, before “pursuing any new challenges”.

This stance could lead the respected coach – who lifted 25 trophies alongside ‘The Special One’ – to Al Khawaneej. Summer links to the No1 roles at Benfica and Sporting Lisbon came to nought.

The UAE Football Association issued a public of vote of confidence about Zaccheroni after last week’s alarming 2-0 friendly defeat to Trinidad and Tobago. But with less than four months to go until they host the continental competition, panic has set in about the build-up.

Legendary former Al Jazira tactician Henk ten Cate is chief among potential suitors for the role. Al Ain’s double-winner Zoran Mamic had to issue a denial on Saturday about links to Zaccheroni’s position.

Faria does not boast any managerial experience. He has, however, worked successfully at many of Europe’s biggest clubs and helped guide many of the sport’s biggest names.

This pedigree could appeal to the UAE FA if Zaccheroni is removed before the Asian Cup opener on January 5 against Bahrain at Zayed Sports City.

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Arabian Gulf League Manchester United Real Madrid Rui Faria