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Van Marwijk says his only goal as coach of United Arab Emirates is World Cup qualification

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on March 21, 2019 - Duration: 00:49s
World Cup qualification the only goal for newUAE coach Van Marwijk
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Van Marwijk says his only goal as coach of United Arab Emirates is World Cup qualification

SHOWS: ABU DHABI, UAE (MARCH 21, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BERT VAN MARWIJK SAYING: "I'm happy to be here.

It's not my first time in the Emirates, I was a few times before here in Abu Dhabi and also in Dubai.

"I'm looking forward to having this job.

I know the Emirates, I know the team because with the Saudis we played four times against each other, so I know the strengths also.

I heard there were some young talents so I'm anxious to know how good they are.

"I'm only here for one thing and that's to qualify for the World Cup.

It takes a long time and the first thing we have to deal with is the first qualification round and that's why I'm here." STORY: Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk said on Thursday (March 21) that World Cup qualification was his only aim as he was presented to the media after being appointed the new coach of the United Arab Emirates national team.

The 66-year-old former Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Australia coach succeeds Italian Alberto Zaccheroni, who departed seven weeks ago when the hosts were knocked out of the Asian Cup by Qatar in the semi-finals.

Van Marwijk took the Dutch to the World Cup final in 2010 and, more importantly perhaps for the Emiratis, also led Saudi Arabia to qualification for last year's finals, their first trip to soccer's showpiece event since 2006.

The former Feyenoord, Borussia Dortmund and Hamburg SV manager was let go by the Saudis before the finals after a row over terms and conditions, however, and he ended up leading Australia to a first-round exit in Russia.

The UAE has only qualified for the World Cup finals once in 1990 but could end up hosting some matches in the 2022 tournament if a political and economic rift with Qatar is healed and FIFA decides to hold a 48-team tournament.

(Production: Andy Ragg)

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