When you think of international players, you would think of players plying their trade in top-flight football. Though, finding those from lower divisions is not an absolute rarity.
However, its highly unusual to find an international playing in the fifth tier, which is currently the case of Mustafa Hadid, an Afghan international, who is currently representing Altona 93 in Germany’s Oberliga, the fifth tier of the German game.
His family had moved to Germany in 1996, when he was just eight, fleeing the civil war that had gripped the Afghans. He had not visited the country since then and knows little of what’s happening in it, other than that he hears from either his parents, or now his football colleagues.
At 23, Mustafa had represented the war torn country, 15 times adding five goals to his international tally. His first goal came against Sri Lanka in the South Asian Championships in 2008.
It’s even more interesting as his current duty for the national team is to prevent the opposition from scoring. He is currently filling in the position of right back, temporarily. The team itself, like many national teams out there, is facing difficulties in arranging training camps, given the existing security concerns and the feasibility of gathering these players together as most of them are workingmen. These problems again are in no way greater than their need to survive for themselves and their families.
Now, we have heard of numerous stories of players coming up from adverse situations to make it big in the global stage. Although, the fact that Mustafa has had a more comfortable beginning than most of his compatriots, he still remains an ambassador for the whole country of Afghanistan. At least, in the amateur football scene of Hamburg, where he has gained a little bit of fame for his national representation. Why not? How often would a footballer either play with or come against a fully-fledged international.
At the end of the day, we wish good luck and hope that, Mustafa who currently works in a Kindergarten and is a part-time student turns out to be the footballer that can play a role in bringing about change, even if its minute, in the lives of the people back in Afghanistan.