Ahmad Zohaib Assel Afghan Footballer story
“I was just 13 when I first started kicking the ball around without knowing how to play in the streets of Islamabad, Pakistan. At that time I had never touched nor seen a football. It was my father who introduced us the football game by showing us the World Cup. He would gather my brothers and I
around the television and make us watch the game. He would explain the schematics of the game to us, with 32 teams from all over the world, would compete to win the cup to make their country proud and show the world their love and passion for their country.
Since then began my love for football I told my father that I wanted to play football too. He put his hand around my shoulder and replied, “ I will always support you”. And the next day we went on to buy me all the necessary football gears to help start me practice. I was so excited that when I reached home I quickly wore my new football shoes and went to the streets to play.
Eventually I joined the football team but only Pakistanis were allowed to register to play on the teams. I was heartbroken as this was one of the ways I could learn with a coach. But I had to find a way to join a team, so what I did next was not what I would advise anyone. My friend helped me get a fake ID. In Pakistan they use a form called “B-form” which includes date of
birth, your name, parents name but no picture. So I memorized all of my friend’s details incase they got suspicious and the next day I signed up for the team. I know what I did was wrong but I was so passionate to play that I didn’t want to miss the chance of playing with other great players.
After 4 years of football in Pakistan, it was finally time to leave and go back to Afghanistan. Shifting back home was all new for me so I had to learn everything from scratch. Luckily I began playing in Nangarhar and in the first season I was awarded as the best goal keeper. From there I was
selected to move onto the Nangarhar provincial team. After that, I joined the De Spinghar Bazan team in Afghanistan’s premier league and I had the chance to prove my skills. In 2015 our team became champions and I was thus awarded as the best goal keeper of the year.
Now after playing football for so many years, my only dream is to see my beloved country become World Cup champions. All I want to do is play for my beloved country Afghanistan and make my beautiful people proud.
Ultimately, I hope to continue to give great performances and one day work with world renowned coaches and get offers from big clubs, at least that is the dream for every sportsman”
Ahmad Zohaib Assel, 24, Jalalabad