Goalkeeper visits aspiring players in the Middle EastDuring the international break, Reading goalkeeper and Omani national team captain Ali Al-Habsi visited the football school which he set up in his homeland to provide some inspiration for the aspiring young players – and to join in with their training session!
As the only player from the Middle East to have lifted the FA Cup, Ali has a legendary status in the region. He has 118 international caps for Oman, many as skipper.
And the school, which Ali opened in January 2016 in Ma’abela (just outside Muscat), has 136 players between the ages of 8 to 13 – he hopes that helping the youngsters to learn the basics and to begin to express themselves on the pitch from an early age can have a lasting impact for the future of football in the region.
The theme of the visit was to help teach the players the importance of ethics, discipline and respect for their teammates and opponents – and Ali also gave a motivational speech to the players to give some extra encouragement!
He helped the boys give something back to their community too, as they helped to clear litter from the beach on Oman’s north coast.
And Ali also acted as an ambassador for Reading Football Club as well – he signed plenty of Royals photos as a keepsake for the young players.
They were also joined by Mr Saif Al-Tobi, the CEO of Oil Inspection Services, who are the principal partners of the school.
Take a look at some of the photos in our Facebook gallery below…