Three of Ali’s brothers earn top-tier promotionIf our goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi needed some added encouragement to try and earn promotion to the Premier League with Reading this season, he can take plenty of inspiration from three of his brothers who created history in Oman last week!
Al-Mudhaibi – Ali’s hometown and the Omani club where he began his playing career – have never played in the country’s top tier in their 31-year history… despite going close on a number of occasions. But a week ago, a goalless draw against Al-Salam was enough to ensure that the side would be promoted to Oman’s professional division!
It’s a remarkable achievement for the club where Ali began his playing career… it was the side where our stopper made his name in his homeland, before moving to Europe to join Lyn Oslo and then Bolton Wanderers.
And Ali’s family have had a big hand in Al-Mudhaibi’s rise; brothers Anwar, Harib and Sultan have been an integral part of their success. Anwar is team manager, Harib (who has also represented the Omani national team) is goalkeeper and captain, and Sultan plays as a striker for the Maroons.
Once they had secured the result they needed, Reading boss Jaap Stam also sent a message of congratulations to the team and Ali’s family as they made history in their homeland!
Later today, they finish their season with a trip to Nizwa, where a win would also ensure that they clinch the league title and more silverware for the family.
Now, Ali is under special instruction from his mum to try and match the success of his brothers by achieving promotion with the Royals this summer…
“My parents are very happy and proud – they sent a message to me saying, ‘your brothers have done the job – it’s just you left!’ We are very happy for them… they’ve put the pressure on me now!
“It is a fantastic moment for everyone and it will be remembered for many years. Now the club has to think about next year – every game will be shown on TV, there will be more media following the club… it will all come together.
“Today they play the final game and if they win, they will be champions. I’m looking forward to it and I’ll be watching on TV!”
He continued: “I spent a lot of years there when I was young – I played with the first team since the age of 16 and I was the only player from the third division to play with the national team!
“It was a nervous day last week when I was following the lads and how they was going, and at the end I was very happy. We are a small village, but it is a huge moment for everyone.”
Congratulations to the Al-Habsi family and all involved at Al-Mudhaibi in creating history and earning promotion!