by Mashal Riaz - Jul 17, 2017
Q. When did you start playing?
I have been very fond of football since a very young age. I used to play with my neighborhood kids in my childhood. Then in 2009-10, I got selected for the Under 19 Team of Pakistan and started playing professionally. Later, I became the captain of Under 23 Football Team of Pakistan. In 2011, I made my first international debut where I represented Pakistan in a match against Palestine.
Q. What motivated you to start playing football?
Like I said, I had always been fond of football. I used to play for local clubs in Karachi who recognized my talent and pushed me to take this game more seriously and start playing it professionally.
Q. Were there any hurdles during your journey?
I had to face a lot of obstacles to reach where I am today. I don’t belong to a very well-off family and convincing my parents, especially my dad, to let me become a footballer was very hard for me. My cousin and uncle, however, supported me through these difficult times and pushed me to believe in myself. They told me to polish my skills, work harder and that if I were nothing but honest with myself, success would reach me. I took their advice and worked harder and I’m proud of where I am today.
Q. How was your experience playing with Rohnaldino?
It was a great honor for me to play with such a great international player. Seeing me on the same team as someone as skilled and experienced as a footballer as Ronaldinho, made my parents extremely proud and happy and the local villagers appreciated me a lot. It was a great experience and I’m grateful to God for giving me this opportunity.
Q. What advice would you like to give to the youngsters who want to pursue a career in football?
I would just like to say that work hard and never lose hope. If you put your heart into something and are honest with your own self and your struggle, there is no way you won’t succeed. I would also like to tell the young generation wanting to opt for football that education is very important. You might be talented in this field but that does not mean that you discontinue your studies. Study, work hard and you will reach the sky.