Omar Abdulrahman seared himself onto a nation’s conscience in January when he scored an astounding goal for the UAE in the final of the Gulf Cup in Bahrain.
The UAE went on to pick up the trophy, defeating Iraq in the process, and the talk since then has been all about Abdulrahman’s consistently excellent performances in midfield.
He is already considered to be the finest player that the UAE - and possibly the Gulf - has ever produced. Commonly known as ‘Amoory’, Abdulrahman was born in Riyadh, to a family of Yemeni descent. Saudi club Al Hilal were initially interested him, but he signed for Al Ain’s academy team in 2007. He quickly made the step up to the first team under the guidance of the then coach, Winfried Schaefer.
While he has had interest from two European sides - Spain’s Espanyol and English Premier League champions Manchester City no less - he has thus far elected to stay with the team that nurtured him, Al Ain.
If, however, he helps Al Ain to a league title and an AFC Champions League title this year, you can expect that Abdulrahman will heed the call of Europe.