Manchester: He was arguably the man of the match against Uruguay yesterday. His reward: the shirt of Luis Suarez after the match was over.

And that prompted Omar Abdul Rahman, one of the youngest players in the UAE squad, to say: “He [Suarez] dealt with me like a brother and offered to swap shirts with me. It is a good feeling.”

The nippy midfielder from Al Ain was all over the place during the Group A encounter against the Uruguayans. He set up the first goal for his skipper Esmail Mattar and then two minutes later produced a beauty of a pass that Al Ahli striker Ahmad Khalil failed to convert.

“We can be proud of the fact that we got the English fans to support the UAE. We wish we could have had a positive result, even a draw, but then this is destiny,” the fuzzy-haired player said.

“It was an unbelievable feeling no doubt as we used to see the stadium on television and here we are playing on the same ground.”

The 20-year-old UAE playmaker further insisted that the tournament is far from over for the UAE, with games against Great Britain on Sunday and Senegal on Wednesday. “We have gained the respect of the world with our display. Now is our time to go out there and win in the next two. We play as a team. It is not just about me,” he added.