Mustafa Zazai from a refugee to a professional footballer

មាស សុផាណារ៉ុង April 16, 2020


Phnom Penh៖ Mustafa Zazai was introduced to the Metfone Cambodian League by Phnom Penh Crown as he joined the six-time champions of Cambodia in the second round of last season.

The midfielder was impressed by the competitiveness in Cambodia’s top flight and made up his mind to extend his stay in the Metfone Cambodian League for another season as he joined Visakha this season.

The Afghanistan international started his football career in 2000 at the age of six when his family moved to Germany to escape from war in Afghanistan.

In Germany, he had encountered several issues including culture shock and language, but nothing could stop him as he had a strong desire to become a professional footballer.

Mustafa Zazai told “My career started in Germany. In Germany, I started to play in small teams. I did well, and then I moved to Hamburger SV that is the biggest team in North Germany, where I played five years until U19.

“My dream was to be a professional football player when I was a child. I really wanted it, so I worked very hard to achieve my dream.

“In my whole life, I fought for everything. I was born in Afghanistan. There was a war, so my family and I flew to Germany to live there as refugees.

“In Germany, it was not easy in the beginning with new culture, new country, and new language that’s totally different to Afghanistan. I learned the language. I started to play in football clubs. I always wanted to be the best in my team, so I could move from small teams to big teams.

“Thank God that I got better and better from year to year, so I got an offer from the best team in my town. When I was 16, there was a trial for the Germany national team U16. My coach chose 5 players from my team, but he didn’t choose me, which was one of the hardest times for me. I was so disappointed.

“Also, there were other coaches who didn’t believe in me, but I never quit. I fought even harder, and it only motivated me even more. In football, there are always coaches who like you and who don’t, so don’t quit or give up if someone doesn’t like you or doesn’t let you play. It is important that your mind is strong and that you believe in your own quality. I have always followed this since I was a little boy until now. I always believe in myself, and that’s why I am still playing football.

“Football provided me a lot with new friends all over the world. I went to so many countries and played against many teams and many good and quality players. I am thankful that I can make my hobby become my job. I enjoy every minute on the pitch because I know it’s not forever.”


By: Sophak Huy