TEric ten Hag at Manchester United started with a lot of positive things. In their debut two friendly matches they beat Liverpool 4-0 and Melbourne Victory 4-1.
The Manchester United team has a name that stands out from the rest: Zidane Aamar Iqbal which is one of the biggest positives of the preseason.
First player from South East Asia to play for United.
On December 8, 2021, the youngster made his official debut at Manchester United. Ralph Rannik. It was against young boys in the Champions League (1-1), at the age of 18 years, seven months and 11 days. He made history by becoming the first United player from Southeast Asia.
After that, he “disappeared”, but now sparkles again. I played Anthony Elanga one on one with a 40 yard pass and left Fabinho scrambling with dribbling to remember against Liverpool. On the other hand, he managed to pull off a Zinedine Zidane-style 360-degree spin against Melbourne Victory.
“This is my first tour with the first team and I’m excited,” Iqbal joked after the Liverpool game.
“It’s great to start with a victory over Liverpool. I would like to thank the coach for his trust.”
So good they used him as a goalie
For those who have known him since he began playing as a junior player, his height is not surprising.
Manchester United, City and Liverpool were next to him. He had a lot of talent with the ball. I remember in 6v6 tournaments we had to shoot him. He was so excellent that it seemed unfair to the opposing team. even kicked it into the net,” recalls Stuart Hamer, his first coach at Sale United.
Zidane decided to join Manchester United at the age of nine, having grown up two miles from Old Trafford. He recently extended his contract until 2025, and for Hamer, Zidane’s story has only just begun.
“That’s the icing on the cake of his time at the academy, but hopefully that’s just the beginning of the story,” Hamer boasted proudly after his debut against the Young Boys.
“I grew up rooting for this club and making my Champions League debut for Manchester United at Old Trafford is an incredible honour,” said Zidane, who became the 241st academy player to make his senior debut.
His idol is Mesut Ozil.
Apart from having the same name, Zidane Iqbal plays the same as Zinedine Zidanebeing extremely gifted and resourceful, like a legend in France.
But the new “pearl” of “United” has another idol.
“I respect Mesut Ozil because he is a Muslim, just like me,” Zidane said.
English, Iraqi and Pakistani
His name makes clear his origin. Zidan Aamar Iqbal was born in England, but his father and mother are of Pakistani and Iraqi descent respectively.
“I grew up in Manchester all my life so I would say I am a proud Mancunian. But I’m also proud of my heritage. I am proud to be English, Pakistani and Iraqi,” he admitted.
He had the option of playing for Pakistan or England but ultimately decided to represent Iraq. He made his official debut in a 1–0 victory over Iran on 27 January 2022.
“I believe this is the right decision for my career,” he said.
“I am honored to represent Iraq. My family is proud of me and I feel that participating in the World Cup qualifiers will be a step forward in my career.”