Pakistani-origin Etzaz Hussain talks about his roots in an exclusive interview with www.moldefk.no.
Q: Is true you are the first Pakistani to play in the UEFA Europa League?
Ans: I’m quite sure, yes. That’s what I’ve heard so I presume it’s true.
Q: But you’re a young man, why is it like that?
Ans: Well it must have something to do with the fact that Pakistanis usually like playing cricket. Football is not as popular, but now you have more and more people turning to football.
Q: When did you decide to play football?
Ans: Well, I’ve always liked playing football and then I was picked up for the national youth teams and so on… so I feel quite privileged to have become a footballer.
Q: How did your family react when you decided to opt for football and not pursue studies or something else?
Ans: Well, two of my sisters are doctors so it was a step down in that terms (laughs). But it has gone well so far.
Q: Do you have Pakistani fans? Does it happen that you receive fan mails?
Ans: Yes, it happens. I receive messages here and there… but it hasn’t exploded yet (chuckles).
Q: You are among the 10 most promising footballers of Pakistani origin according to a Pakistani newspaper called the Express Tribune. How do you feel about that?
Ans: It’s fun, but it would have been a bigger achievement if I wasn’t there because you don’t have many Pakistanis in football yet. I hope there will be more Pakistani players in Europe in a couple of years making a name for themselves.
Q: Do you want to be a role model for them?
Ans: Of course, somebody gotta take that responsibility and I’m fine with doing that.