CANBERRA (AFP) – United Arab Emirates goal-machine Ali Mabkhout said Saturday he hopes a scoring spree at the Asian Cup could help him win a big-money move to Europe.
Marksman Mabkhout arrives in scintillating form after top-scoring at November’s Gulf Cup with five goals, helping UAE finish third.
He also hit the net more times than any other player during Asian Cup qualification, again scoring five to see his country make the tournament in Australia with ease.
Now the Al Jazira frontman hopes another goal blitz will boost his chances of making the leap to European football, where a number of clubs have Arab owners. “Being a top-scorer makes me even more determined and motivated to do my best in this competition,” Mabkhout said ahead of UAE’s opener with Gulf rivals Qatar on Sunday.
UAE’s most notable involvement in European football is in the English Premier League, where an Abu Dhabi group own reigning champions Manchester City.