Who is Akram Afif, the first Qatari to join a La Liga club?

Sport360 staff 11:35 09/05/2016
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  • Akram Afif: Highly rated talent.

    With the season coming to a close, La Liga side Villarreal have confirmed their presence in the Champions League next season with a game in hand.

    While celebrations are certainly due, the Yellow Submarine also got their transfer market campaign off and running with a historic signing. Nineteen-year-old Akram Afif will become the first ever Qatari player to feature in La Liga if he turns out at El Madrigal next season.

    Here are 10 facts about the history making Qatari forward.

    1) Afif’s father Hasan was also a footballer. A Tanzanian player of Yemeni descent, Hasan played in the country of his birth and Somalia before joining Qatari club Al-Ittihad (currently Al-Gharafa).

    2) His older brother Ali currently plays for Qatar Stars League side Lekhwiya and is also a prominent member of Qatar’s international squad.

    3) Afif started his short career at the youth team of Al-Sadd Club, where Barcelona star Xavi is currently playing.

    4) The Qatari has played in Spain before – he represented Sevilla during the 2013 Al Kass International tournament hosted by Aspire Academy, an institute nurturing young local athletic talent.

    5) He scored twice for Sevilla against his former academy in the tournament and set up another.

    6) Afif is known for his blistering pace and ability to dazzle opponents near and within the 10-yard box.

    7) In 2015, he signed for K.A.S Eupen, a Qatari-owned Belgium club aiming for second division success.

    8) Afif scored in his opening game for Eupen and went on to assist three of five goals in the next match, helping the club clinch promotion to the Jupiler League.

    9) At the age of 17, he came off the bench to score Qatar’s winning goal against North Korea in the final of the AFC Under-19 Championship.

    10) The young forward made his senior Qatar debut in 2015 and has five caps to his name. He scored his first international goal in a 15-0 World Cup qualifying thrashing of Bhutan.