You might have heard about the abundance of football talent in Pakistan, despite the dire state the country’s football is in. Well, talent truly does not know any boundaries, and with hard work and a bit of luck, you can achieve great things. The same is the story of a 10-year old boy from Malir, Karachi.
Safar, a young boy who lives with his father, was playing football on the streets one day when Karachi United coach, Nabeel, witnessed his talent. Nabeel noticed something special about the boy and his playing style at such a young age was nothing like he had seen before.
Karachi United was preparing a squad of young boys to take part in an upcoming competition in Qatar. Nabeel invited Safar to the trials for their training camp. The youngster impressed the management of Karachi United and was quickly recruited.
The tournament in Qatar was right around the corner as another coach, Kareem, noticed that Safar had uncharacteristically missed a couple of training sessions and was nowhere to be found.
They went to Malir to inquire about Safar where they found him selling ice on the streets. Belonging to a poor family, Safar’s father worked as a caretaker in a local school. After his retirement, the school refused to pay his pension, putting the family into financial turmoil.
Not being able to pay Rs.500 to Karachi United to arrange his travel documents for Qatar, he started selling ice on the streets to raise money and fulfill his dreams of playing at a higher level.
Coaches at Karachi United were impressed with his ‘never say never’ attitude and commitment towards football and they told Safar to concentrate on football only, leaving the rest to them.
Safar traveled to Qatar for the tournament, becoming the first from his family to travel abroad. His performances in the tournament were remarkable and according to the coaches, he has a very bright future ahead of him. Safar said that his ambition in life is to make his father proud, which he is most definitely doing.