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Julián Álvarez 16',Di María 24', 35',Messi 43',Joaquin Correa 59'

UAE - Argentina summary: score, goals, highlights, World Cup 2022 friendly

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the friendly football match between Argentina and the United Arab Emirates at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, on November 16, 2022. (Photo by Ryan LIM / AFP)

UAE 0-5 Argentina: as it happened

So, as we bid farewell from Dubai after Argentina brushed UAE aside putting five goals past the Asian side.

Next up for Lionel Scaloni and his side... the 2022 World Cup!

Many thanks for joining us tonight. 

Next up from us on the pre-World Cup games will be Mexico vs Sweden with Wolves striker apparently to get playing time in Girona so make sure to join us as El Tri play their final warm-up match.

So, a decent result for Argentina today with no players apparently sustaining knocks and a hatful of goals against a rival that is supposed to 'mirror' Saudi Arabia. 

Though, I'm totally confident that the 'Green Falcons' will offer more fight next Tuesday in Lusail.

Can Argentina go all the way? Difficult to tell from today's showing but what an end it would be to a dazzling international career for Messi and am sure few would begrudge the Argentina such a farewell.


De Paul happy with Dubai test

Speaking post game, Rodrigo de Paul stated:" We head to the World Cup in good shape. It was a good test, it was important that they don't manages to score against us."

Julián Álvarez 16',Di María 24', 35',Messi 43' and Joaquin Correa 59' among the goals tonight for Scaloni's side.

Next up for Argentina, a Group C test next Tuesday against Saudi Arabia.

No mercy from the South American side as they head to Qatar on the back of a morale boosting victory, albeit against a very average UAE outfit.

The whistle sounds and it ends 0-5 in Abu Dhabi.


We'll have one minute of added time


Free for UAE.... Poor delivery from Ali Saleh and the ball drifts out for a goal kick


Final five minutes of action and the win will serve Argentina well but the scoreline will not exactly be what UAE boss Rodolfo Arruabarrena would have hoped for,​​​​​​.

​​​​​​​UAE are in full preparation ahead of the 2023 Gulf Cup which starts in January next year.

UAE gifted two great scoring chances and on both occasion some desperate defending from the visitors keeps a clean sheet for Argentina.


Just ten minutes remain here in Abu Dhabi and am not sure what conclusions Lionel Scaloni can draw from such a one sided contest. Di Maria impressed and it's likely that Lautaro Martinez will be the preferred striker for Scaloni. 

There was no real conclusion to draw from a defensive point of view with little or no threat from the UAE strikers.

Rodrigo de Paul did look good for Argentina in the first 45' expecially.

Messi free kick..... the ball just grazes the UAE post. Vintage Leo !

Majed Hassan carded for a rash challenge on Correa as he clips the Atlet player with his arm

That's the end of the Argentina changes so it appears that Messi will play the full 90 minutes.


15' left and Paredes is off with Guido Rodriguez is replacement 

Argentina, Brazil and France are the three sides that are tipped by many to lift the World Cup on the 18th of December at the Lusail Stadium with the final also falling on Qatar's national day.

De Lima goes close once again, this time the Brazilian born player clips the ball and it drifts inches wide of the Argentine post.


Approaching the 70 minute mark and it's really a question of when will Argentina feel enough is enough as they could put ten past UAE if they had the hunger. 

The key match in Group C is without doubt the opener between Mexico and Poland with the general assumption being that Argentina will top the group and the battle for second place and a place in the Round of 16 a tussle between the European and Central American sides.


Messi still on the pitch and surely its only a matter of time before the PSG striker is subbed.

UAE attempt to offer a quick reply as De Lima drills the ball over the bar from an acute angle

The Atletico Madrid striker beating three white shirts to the ball after a fina pass from De Paul

Correa makes it 0-5


Drifting towards the hour mark now and the game has transcended into a 'training ground feel' .... limited intensity and very little in terms of noise from the fans here in Abu Dhabi.

Martinez carded for a rash challenge ...first booking of the night.

UAE trying to take some of the impetus away from Argentina with the game now played at walking pace. 

Alvarez off with Fernandez his replacement... Expect he rhythm of the game to take some time to be restored with all these switches.

Otamendi and Acuña also off for the visitors with Correa and Pezella on

Change for UAE as De Lima is on. Mabkhout making way...

Off: MacAllister & Di Maria

On: Molina and Montiel

Changes afoot for Lionel Scaloni's side....


Somewhat surprising to see that the Argentina national side has yet to launch an English language version with the likes of France, Germany and Mexico all carrying English language Twiter feeds.

A decent opening first ten minutes or so from the home team but they soon wilted after the first Argentina goal from Julian Alvarez.


The one minute of added time is up and the whistle sounds for the break.

Goal No.91 for Messi in an Argentina shirt

Gooooooool. Messi gets in on the action with a fine right footed finish

The important thing for Scaloni's men now is to avoid injury. I'd anticipate that the head coach will opt to make sweeping changes to ensure that as many of his squad get match time pre-World Cup.

Problems for the home side as defender Aldhanhani seems to have developed a muscular problem.

And that's 0-3 as Di Maria bags his second of the night

Shots on/pff target: UAE 0-3 Argentina

The possession stats after 33 minutes are pretty revealing from what we are seeing on the pitch at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.

Yellow cards
red cards
fouls won
fouls committed
Contested balls where possession is lost
Ball recoveries

Indeed, the man from Rosario will strike...The PSG forward opts for the shot on goal but fails to get the direction needed to trouble the UAE keeper.


Half an hour gone and Argentina win a dangerous free which will suit Messi given the location....


UAE's bright start seems to be a distant memory as Argentina dominate and the home side are totally unable to thread together any sort of meaning possession as the men in blue control the action.

What a pass from Acuña and what a first time volley from Di Maria

Argentina make it 0-2.. 

Argentina in total control now with the goal seeming to take the wind out of the UAE side. 

UAE 0-1 Argentina

Fine assist from Messi who feeds the City striker.

Argentina go ahead as Julian Alvarez slots home 


Rodrigo de Paul getting plenty of the ball and looking like being the creative player at the heart of the Argentina midfield.

Upon the conclusion of tonight's game, the Argentine World Cup expedition will take the one hour flight from Abu Dhabi and land in Doha later tonight.


Al Maazmi strikes and the ball takes a deflection and UAE win a corner. The home side are not being outclassed by any means despite Argentine dominating possession.


Fine ball from De Paul as the Atletico man almost finds Messi, the delivery was just overhit for the PSG striker.


Fine ball from Messi as he looks to find Alvarez but the ball is just inches away from the Man City striker.


Despite many Argentina shirts in the crowd, they seem to be sported by locals with no discernable away support visible here in Abu Dhabi.

Corner for the home side. Easy for Argentina to clear.


Argentina enjoying the bulk of all the early possession with a major cheer breaking out from the home fans each time Messi comes into contact with the ball.

Argentina looking to extend their unbeaten record of 35 games and are just two away from the record held by Roberto Mancini's Italy who recorded 37 games without defeat, a run which ended in October 2021.


Off we go in Abu Dhabi

A reminder of the teams for today's clash should you just be tuning in.... Messi starts for the Albiceleste!

Argentina looking resplendent in the 2022 away kit which is a hue of purple and dark blue.

Not as smart as that of Mexico but a slick looking jersey it has to be said.

The teams take to then pitch at the Mohammed Bin Zayed and it's not a 100% full house but a decent crowd are in attendance today. 

First up, national anthems with that of the visitors first. 

Just five minutes to go in Abu Dhabi. Most important for Scaloni, a solid performance from his side as they head to Qatar for the World Cup and every bit as vital.... that no players sustain any niggles or knocks with the Albiceleste's campaign starting next Tuesday as they face Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium.

Messi to debut new World Cup boots

Messi will sport hos his signature adidas X Speedportal boots for the first time in a game today. The design, based on a gold upper, is inspired by the adidas F30 boots worn by Messi in the 2006 World Cup.

Argentina's Group C rivals Saudi Arabia were in action earlier today with the Green Falcons falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Croatia with Kamaric getting the only goal of the game.

Mexico too are in action later on Wednesday as they face Sweden in Girona with El Tri set to be Argentina's second opponents at the World Cup.

UAE at the Gulf Cup

The Emirates side are pitted in Group B at the competition which gets underway in Iraq in early January where they will face Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.

​​​​​​​UAE are two times winners of the competition having claimed the title in 2007 and 2013.

The Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi was the venue for the U-20 FIFA World Cup in 2003 and has hosted games as part of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2009 & 2010.

Last Dance for Messi in Qatar?

Everything points to the 2022 World Cup being Leo Messi's final appearance at a major tournament. The PSG star is desperate to add a World Cup winners medal to the Copa America triumph after Argentina beat Brazil in the last final in Rio. 

​​​​​​​In a recent interview the Rosario born player admitted that his playing days were potentially coming to an end.

Messi starts

Scaloni has selected Messi to start from the first minute. Alvarez will spearhead the Albiceleste front line with Di Maria and Messi supporting the Inter striker.

UAE set to sport new white Adidas home kit today

The Emirates side will sport a new white Adidas kit for the test vs. Argentina after they recently unveiled their new home and away shirts.

Argentina today are expected to wear their purple away kit.

Mabkhout starts for UAE

Rodolfo Arruabarrena has named his Al Abyad side that will face Argentina in Abu Dhabi with starts for veteran striker Ali Mabkhout who will earn his 109th cap. The Al Jazira striker will partner up front with Al Ain's Cai Canedo.

Just one win in last five for UAE

The Asian side are in something of a slump as they prepare for the 2023 Gulf Cup which gets underway on 6 January (2023).

UAE's last win was back in January of this year when they beat Syria as part of the World Cup qualification process.

UAE-Argentina: match officials


Today's referee is Egypt's Ibrahim Nour El-Din who will be assisted by Ahmed Hossam El-Din and Sami Muhammad Abu Zeid

Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium awaits

The stage is set in Abu Dhabi with early reports from Argentine media suggesting that Leo Messi will indeed start for the Albiceleste today.

Argentina pitted in Group C

Today's game in Abu Dhabi will be Argentina's last test before their World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia on 22 November and the also face Mexico and Poland in Group C.

Argentina's head coach Lionel Scaloni (L) and Lionel Messi (R)

Argentina's head coach Lionel Scaloni (L) and Lionel Messi (R) / ALI HAIDER / EFE

Messi eager to enjoy World Cup, affirms Argentina coach Scaloni

Argentina forward Lionel Messi is relishing the build-up to the Qatar World Cup, head coach Lionel Scaloni said on Tuesday as he prepares the team for their warm-up clash with the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.

Argentina are looking to win their third world title and first since 1986 and Paris St Germain forward Messi will be expected to play a key role in their campaign.

"I see him as always... eager to enjoy the World Cup," Scaloni told reporters ahead of Wednesday's game.

"He knows how to play wearing this jersey. He's enjoying his team mates, training sessions, the stay and the whole process."

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi / KARIM SAHIB / AFP

Will Messi start?

Many of the fans in attendance in Abu Dhabi this evening will have their eyes fixed on just one man ... Lionel Messi. The PSG star featured in last Sunday's league win for the Parisian giants and is expected to play for a spell in today's friendly game. It remains to be seen if Messi will start for head coach Lionel Scaloni or be used as a substitute. 

The Argentine FA (AFA) announced that today's friendly match against the UAE forms part of a partnership agreement with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, whereby the Supercopa Argentina finals will be played for four consecutive years in Abu Dhabi starting from January 2023 until the year 2026.

UAE preperation

UAE will face Argentina as part of their preparations for the Arab Gulf Cup “Gulf 25″, which will be played in Basra, Iraq, next January. The national team coach Rodolfo Arruebarrena will have all his key players available for the test against the highly fancied 'Albiceleste',

The UAE coach (who hails from Argentina) stated: “The Argentina national team is a big name in the world. They are also playing well but they have to be careful and despite being an Argentine, we have great hopes.”

Today's match gets underway at 6:30 pm local time which is 4:30 pm (CET) and 10:30 a.m. (ET).

The 42,000 capacity Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium is the venue for today's action with the ground home to UAE top flight Al Jazira.

Hello and welcome to our live coverage as Argentina face the United Arab Emirates as their final build-up game ahead of making the trip to Doha for the 2022 World Cup.