Muscat: When you're travelling to Jabal Shams next time and pass by the village of Bilad Sayt, do keep an eye out for a stunning football pitch nestled amongst the Hajar Mountains.
Captured by Roberto Piraino, the pitch is located very close to Bilad Sayt, on a road that connects the village to the city of Nizwa. 47-year-old Piraino, an artisan who hails from Italy, came across the immaculate pitch when he was holidaying in Oman earlier this year, and he seems to have left the Sultanate with more than just fond memories.
"I really enjoy travelling and photography is my real passion!" said Piraino. "This football field is located on the road from Bilad Sayt to Nizwa, very close to the town Bilad Sayt. I discovered it by pure chance when I was passing by and when I saw it, I was fascinated by the landscape."
Piraino, who lives in Milan, and is a die-hard supporter of Italian football giant AC Milan, saw his stunning photo do the rounds on social media, where it has received plenty of praise from photography and football aficionados.
He also sent the photo to a website called Old Football Pictures, which curates plenty of historical football photos from yesteryears. On the website’s Facebook account, the photo received 523 likes, and was shared 40 times. When uploaded onto the site's Twitter account, his photo received 47 likes, in addition to being retweeted 29 times.
"This photo was taken during the trip I made for the Easter holidays in April," recalled Piraino. "I was very impressed by the beauty of your country, which is extraordinarily rich in natural beauty, from the mountains to the deserts and the seashore. What impressed me above all was the welcoming nature of the people of Oman."
Although many people did ask him specific technical questions about the photo, Piraino humbly said he wasn't a professional photographer, but just someone who liked taking good photos, and added that he was glad to have brought out this side of Oman.
"I am not a professional photographer, but a simple enthusiast and therefore I cannot answer specific questions, but I hope to have been of help," he added. "It's amazing to see how peoples' passion makes it possible to play football even in such unthinkable places."