By Abdelaziz Abuhamar
January 22 – They are passionate, close and hail from totally football family. The Afif brothers of Qatar are having a big impact at the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in the United Arab Emirates.
Ali, former Al-Sadd player and now playing for Al-Duhail, and Akram Afif, on loan from Villarreal CF of Spain to Al-Sadd, are both representing their country’s national team.
While junior Akram featured played Qatar’s 5 matches so far in Asian Cup, contributing five assists (a continental record for the first time since 2000 Asian Cup), Ali played 10 minutes as a substitute against DPR Korea in the group stage.
Ali, 31 years old, started his international career in 2007 in an international friendly against Turkmenistan, Akram, 22, played his first international match in 2015 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bhutan.
In a popular scene, TV cameras caught Ali trying to console his younger brother when Al-Duhail defeated Al-Sadd 1-0 in the 2018 Emir Cup semi final. It was few months later that saw Akram doing the same thing, consoling his older brother, when Al-Duhail lost 3-1 to Al-Sadd in an almost decisive league tie.
The two brothers have played together for Qatar national team 8 times, here is some highlights:
8 Matches (together)
1 goal – Ali scored
2 goals – Akram scored
Contact the writer of this story, Abdelaziz Abuhamar, at moc.l1571752245labto1571752245ofdlr1571752245owedi1571752245sni@o1571752245fni1571752245