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Ivan Jovanovic named UAE head coach, beating Thailand and Vietnam is the top mission

Ivan Jovanovic named UAE head coach, beating Thailand and Vietnam is the top mission

In the last days of 2019, UAE appointed Ivan Jovanovic to become the manager of the national football team.

"With the experience in the past, Ivan Jovanovic understands Emirati football very well", said Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, chairman of the Transitional Committee of the UAE FA.

Moreover, the 57-year-old coach was also chosen because of his ambition for achievements with the team in the 2022 World Cup qualification round next year.

Playing at midfield as a player, Ivan Jovanovic has started his coaching career since 2001. His most impressive achievement came when he managed the Cypriot club APOEL from 2008 to 2013.

Under his guidance at that period, APOEL achieved three Cypriot First Division titles, one Cypriot Cup, and three Cypriot Super Cup. Moreover, in 2009, Jovanovic also helped the team qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time.

Three years later, he guided his players to advance to the quarter-finals by beating French club Olympique Lyonnais in the last-16 stage. After leaving APOEL, Jovanovic moved to UAE to coach Al Nasr football club.

His career in the Middle East was not smooth as it was in Cyprus; however, he was still the man who can be counted on when they needed someone to help the national team.

Recently, UAE sacked coach Bert van Marwijk after poor results in the 2022 World Cup qualification round. As a result, the top mission of Jovanovic is to improve the performance at that competition, including beating Vietnam and Thailand.