DUBAI // Saeed Abdul Gaffar Hussain has confirmed the UAE Football Association is in talks with Arrigo Sacchi. The former coach of the Italian national team and AC Milan, watched the UAE in training last week for their 2010 World Cup qualifier against Iran. Saachi, 62, a former director of football at Spanish giants Real Madrid, spoke with the UAE players, including Ismail Matar, during his visit and was impressed with the talent available.
"We have invited him here to discuss the future of football in the UAE; to discuss strategic planning for the future," said Hussain, the vice-president of the UAE FA. "The negotiations are still ongoing and we will see how we can go about this. Sacchi is a very big name in the world of football and we will be proud to have him on board, but nothing has been finalised as yet. "We hope that we will get Sacchi, or someone of that status."
According to Hussain, Sacchi, who guided Italy to the 1994 World Cup final, was really impressed with the youth team's performance at the AFC Under 19 Championship and that could probably influence his decision. "When we were playing Australia in the semi-finals, Sacchi watched the game with us on television," revealed Hussain. "He was astonished by the way our team performed. "He was asking about the coach, he was asking about the players. He was really impressed with the talent the players have. He said, 'if this is how good your players are, I wish I can work with them. These are the sort of players I like to work with; players who have discipline and hunger'." email@example.com