Saturday Jan 29, 2022
Manchester United player Zidane Iqbal, who also has Pakistani and Iraqi roots, made his international debut on Thursday as he played for the Iraqi side against Iran.
Iqbal hit headlines in December when he became the first player of Manchester United who is of South Asian origin.
Zidane Iqbal's father belongs to Pakistan and his mother is of Iraqi origin while he himself grew up in Manchester.
During an interview with the Manchester United website, Zidane Iqbal expressed pride and honour over his Pakistani heritage.
“I’ve grown up in Manchester my whole life so I’d say I’m a proud Mancunian, but I’m also proud of my heritage as well. I’m proud of being English, Pakistani and Iraqi,” he said.
He also talked about his preference to play for Iraq while being brought up in Manchester.
“Me choosing to play for Iraq doesn’t mean I’m not a proud Mancunian or a proud Pakistani. I just feel this is the right opportunity for me as a player, the right step in my career and an honour, but it doesn’t take away the fact that I’m a Mancunian and a Pakistani as well,” he added.
Zidane Iqbal further said, “I feel that this is the right decision for me in my career. It’ll be such an honour to represent Iraq. My family is proud of me and I just feel that it’ll be a forward step in my career, playing in the World Cup qualifiers, in big games. It’ll be a massive honour.”