Saddam hopes Dordoi stint will help realise European dream [DAWN]

Saddam hopes Dordoi stint will help realise European dream [DAWN]

Umaid Wasim – DAWN

KARACHI: It’s a feeling Saddam Hussain can’t describe in words — a realisation of a dream for Pakistan’s midfield dynamo.

However, he doesn’t want his dream to end just there. The 21-year-old wants more.

“I can’t describe in words the emotions running through me,” Saddam told Dawn on Monday, a day before he leaves for Kyrgyzstan to join FC Dordoi Bishkek.

“It was a dream for me to play abroad and Dordoi has given me the opportunity to fulfil that dream.”

At Dordoi, Saddam will be re-united with Pakistan and Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) team-mates Mohammad Adil and Kaleemullah who joined the Kyrgyz giants earlier this year.

“It is a good move for me because Adil and Kaleem are already there and it will help me to settle there,” Saddam added.

But he doesn’t want to settle there for long.

The box-to-box midfielder, known for his tireless running and an eye for goal, is hoping his exploits at Dordoi earn him a move to Europe.

“Clubs in Turkey usually send scouts to check players in Kyrgyzstan and if they are impressed, they sign you up,” Saddam said.

“Turkish clubs play in European competitions and the league there is fantastic so if I do well at Dordoi there is a chance of earning a contract in one of the clubs there.

“That is what keeps my motivation going. There is a little chance but who knows maybe I could end up playing in the UEFA Champions League and become an inspiration for players back home.”

Turkish clubs have a history of signing players from Dordoi with the most recent being Mirlan Murzaev who joined second division side Denizlspor earlier this year.

Saddam, however, admits that is a distant dream and for that he’ll have to keep working at the same intensity as he has been over the last few years which has seen his stock rise both domestically and internationally.

His performances caught the eye at Pakistan’s recent two-match series against India in Bangalore where Saddam scored in their 2-0 win over the hosts in the second game following a 1-0 loss in the opener.

He was named man-of-the-series for his exploits and there was some interest shown in him by franchises of the money-spinning Indian Super League (ISL) which will kick off in October.

“There was a sign that they were interested but that didn’t materialise,” he said. “Maybe in the future, I could go to India and rub my shoulders against the big-name players there.”

For now, though, Saddam is focussed on giving his best for Dordoi and Pakistan with the Asian Games on the horizon.

“I’ll try to give my best for the national team at the Asian Games [where Pakistan face North Korea and China in Group ‘F’],” he said.

“The tour of India has raised our morale and hopefully we’ll carry that on to the Games in Incheon.”

With his former side KRL beginning their Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) title defence later this month, Saddam hoped the three-time defending champions would be back as a force despite losing their three star players in the space of seven months.

“KRL will always have a special place in my heart because it is the club which groomed me,” he said. “Of course the fact that Kaleem, Adil and I have left will leave them short-changed.

“But I have no doubt in my mind that [head-coach] Tariq Lutfi, who is the best coach Pakistan, will use all his expertise to lift the team again.”

Published in Dawn, September 2nd , 2014