Almoez Ali, a Sudanese naturalized Qatari footballer, has led the tiny Gulf State to win the Asian Cup of Nations for the first time in its history in a match played on February 1 in Abu Dhabi that saw Qatar beat favorites Japan 3/1.
Almoez (22) also won the tournament's scorer title after he netted record -breaking 9 goals, outmatching the powerful Iranian scorer Ali Daei who won the title in 1996.
The young scorer has won the attention of football spectators worldwide, including Argentinean legend Lionel Messi who hastened to gift him the shirt of his Barcelona Club, with Almoez's name and number 18 printed on it in block letters.
Almoez was born in Khartoum on 19 August 1996 and then moved to Doha where his father works.
At 7 he joined the Qatari Club Almesaimeer in 2003. In 2006 he joined the Qatari Aspire Football Academy which is widely acclaimed for the recent progress in Qatari football. Other Academy graduates who now play for the Qatari National Teem include Akram Afif and Asim Madibo.
In 2013 Almoez joined the Lekhwiya Footbal Club for whom he played for a single season after which he moved to Europe, beginning with Belgian Club Eupen. After one season with the Belgian Club he moved to the Austrian Club Lasik Linz that put him on its first team list for the first time. In January 2016 Almoez joined the Spanish Cultural Leonesa. In the summer of the same year he returned to Qatar where he joined Alduhail Club for which he now plays.
In December 2013 Almoez was invited for the Qatari National Team for the first time, starting with a friendly match against the National Team of Bahrain.
His first official showing was a year later when he was invited for the Qatari under 19 squad and played with them in the Asian under 19 tournament won by Qatar. Then he was part of the under 20 squad that played the 2015 World Youth Cup that saw Qatar knocked out from the primary stage.
The young player's achievement in the Asian Cup of Nations 2019 was that he scored 9 goals in seven matches and helped his team win the cup.
News reports reveal the young Sudanese talent is now on the radar of the Italian giants A.C Milan whom the reports say will seek his signature in the coming summer transfers.
An Italian website said that Milan is now closely watching the player, who scored 9 goals in 7 matches, including a super hat trick in the match against North Korea in the recent Asian Cup of Nations groups' stage.
In addition to the scorer title, Almoez also won the title of the Asian Cup's best player.
Sudanese football fans were highly gratified by the player's achievement that scores of them took to the streets here after the final whistle of the Japan match.
The fans were overjoyed by their countryman's performance that included a stunning backward in which he controlled the ball in two kicks (back to the goal) before he netted it in the extreme left corner of the net.
The Sudanese football fans were also widely flattered to see a Qatari national team player waving the Sudanese national flag after the final match. The flag waving is no wonder if we learn that eight other Sudanese Qatari-naturalized players were part of the Qatari national team. Almoez and his fellow countryman Hamid Ismail Hamid were part of the squad that played the final match against Japan and won the cup.
The home of Almoez in Doha was a ground for celebration after the match when Sudanese and Qatari well-wishers gathered to celebrate the victory. Video footages circulating on the social media showed Almoez's father dancing in his home, clad in the traditional attire of a spacious garment and a big white turban.
Almoez Ali Zainalabiddin Abdullah
Date of birth
(1996-08-19) 19 August 1996 (age 22)
Place of birth
1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
AFC Asian Cup
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 January 2019 ‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 1 February 2019
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