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Sheikh Saeed: Uplifting Abu Dhabi’s football & youth academy

Late Sheikh Saeed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler’s Representative, was a sports enthusiast, particularly passionate about football. During his presidency, Al Wahda, the Abu Dhabi-based football club, achieved remarkable success, securing four local league titles in 1999 and the esteemed President’s Cup in the following season.

Under Sheikh Saeed’s leadership, Al Wahda FC reached new heights, excelling in local leagues and continental championships. Since 2000, they have consistently participated in prestigious Asian tournaments like the AFC Champions League, even reaching the semifinals in 2007. Additionally, Sheikh Saeed served as the Chairman of the UAE Football Association.

One of his enduring legacies was the establishment of the Al Wahda Football Academy in 2003, which quickly became a breeding ground for talented young footballers. Many players from the academy, including the club’s star Ismail Matar, featured in the national squad and played crucial roles in the UAE’s successes, notably winning its first-ever Gulf Cup in 2007.

Mourning the loss of this passionate and visionary leader, Sheikh Theyab bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the current president of Al Wahda Sports and Cultural Club, fondly recalled Sheikh Saeed’s loyalty to his homeland and his significant humanitarian contributions.

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