KARACHI: With the country’s football in turmoil courtesy infighting within the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), it’s not less than a miracle that a national team player will get to play the game in Brazil.
Highlanders FC from Islamabad, featuring striker Murtaza Hussain, were crowned ‘Neymar Jr’s Five Pakistan Champion 2017’ on Monday.
The winners will now head to Brazil to lock horns with 52 teams from as many countries for the ‘Neymar Jr’s Five Global Champion 2017’ crown.
Murtaza, who has been the part of the Pakistan national roster, would not have been able to wear the international colour in Brazil considering the current conditions — but is ready to make the most of the opportunity through the amateur level tournament.
“I just can’t wait to meet Neymar,” he told ARYSports
Murtaza, 24, represents Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) in the domestic circuit and is considered one of the hottest attacking prospects of the country.
The Pakistan Premier Football League has not taken place since three-time defending champions KRL lost the title to rivals K-Electric in the 2014-15 season with the PFF splitting into two factions ahead of its presidential elections in June 2015.
Murtaza believed ‘Neymar Jr’s Five’ comes as a rare opportunity to put on display Pakistan’s footballing talent in the ‘Home of Football’ and also to attract the attention of scouts which eventually might get him signed with a foreign club.
“Obviously, in a place like Brazil, I would be expecting scouting eyes around me and I’ll try to do my best,” said Murtaza, who hails from Gilgit-Baltistan region of the country.
“I’m really excited to play against good quality players from around the world too,” he added.
The Highlanders FC side, along with Murtaza, also featured four players from the Pakistan Under-16 and Under-14 sides — namely Hassam Khan, Abdullah Shah, Ruhullah, Baqir Ali and Manzoor Ali.