OmanPride: Ali Al Habsi is an inspiration to all Arabs
November 8, 2017 | 6:25 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan
Al Habsi was the first Omani and Arab from the GCC to play in the Barclays Premier League, when he joined Bolton Wanderers in 2006.

#ReadersResponse: There are many celebrities who influence Oman’s young residents, but few have had as wholesome or inspirational an impact as Ali Al Habsi. 35-year-old Al Habsi is widely hailed as one of Oman’s greatest football players, and is acknowledged by a legend of the sport in the Arab world, not just by Omanis, but by those who live in the rest of the Middle East as well.

“I will always prefer to follow the examples of characters like Ali Al Habsi, who have contributed to improve Oman’s name, based on the achievements and successes that they have accomplished,” said Sabiha Salim.

“I agree with all those who love Ali Al Habsi. He is a very nice man, and is very modest, and he does not grab everything for himself,” added Mohammed Rahof.

Al Habsi was the first Omani and Arab from the GCC to play in the Barclays Premier League, when he joined Bolton Wanderers in 2006, before joining Wigan Athletic in 2011, and Reading in 2015. While on the books of Wigan, he also became the first Omani to win the coveted FA Cup, which he lifted in 2013, when his side beat favourites Manchester City 1-0 at Wembley Stadium.

He moved to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal this summer, and Don Alzid was one of those who was at one of Al Habsi’s most recent performances, one where the Al Hilal fans just couldn’t stop signing his name.

“The crowd echoed the name of Al Habsi today. I hope I keep the memories of this day for a long time,” he added.

“Ali Al Habsi is a worthy captain who always deserves the praise of his audience,” said Saud Al Hammad. “He has a professional mentality that deserves all the respect we can give him.”

“The secret behind the relationship of Ali Al Habsi and the love his fans have for him is the appreciation and support that he always receives from the public, because he is a sincere and friendly guy and his fans really respect him for this,” said Abdulaziz Al Harbi.

His modesty, humility and willingness to help those who were in trouble is a character that endeared many to Al Habsi.

“If any of us thought it was easy to have a celebrity like Ali Al Habsi, I assure you that this is impossible,” added another supporter of Al Habsi, who only went by the name Fatah.

“This is a man who plays football with humility and in an ethical manner. He goes beyond the poor comments that some sports fans and people make against him, and this is a mistake that they are making against him.

“Having a legend like Ali Al Habsi, even if he spends a lot of time only on Al Hilal’s bench, is itself a matter of pride for all of us, because not only does he represent Oman, but he is a representative of all Arabs,” he added.

“Ali Al Habsi truly represents all good morals, among all people, whether they are Gulf, Omani or from some other part of the world, and we are in your debt for the good you have done,” said Aziz Al Rashdi.

Abdulaziz Al Mudir was also quick to praise the captain of Oman’s national football team.

“You are an example of what happens if you work hard. If you have patience, then you become a legend because you get what you deserve and achieve all your dreams with the help of God,” added Abdulaziz Al Mudir.

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