7-year-old football prodigy from Balochistan dreams of becoming Cristiano Ronaldo [Geo]

7-year-old football prodigy from Balochistan dreams of becoming Cristiano Ronaldo [Geo]

by Faizan Lakhani

KARACHI: A video of a 7-year old kid, wearing a shirt with Cristiano Ronaldo printed at the back, shooting ball towards a tire hanging on wall of his home in Balochistan has gone viral on social media recently. In another video, the kid juggles the ball for more than two minutes as his relative counts 221 kicks.

The kid is Essaullah Khan who hails from the remote Duki district.

However, all the hardships couldn’t stop this 7 year old boy from dreaming high.

“I like Cristiano Ronaldo and want to be like him,” Essaullah told Geo.tv from Dukki as his uncle translated the question for him in Pashto.

Essa’s uncle Nasrullah Khushal is also a local footballer, who says that his nephew developed  interest in the sport after accompanying him to his matches.

“I play football for a local club, we don’t have any basic facilities here, even the ground is not proper here,” Nasr told Geo.tv.

“Essa used to travel with me for my matches, he kept watching me and trained with me when I used to practice and now he practices it whenever he gets time,” he added.

His training and juggling video on social media has impressed a lot of people and subscribers have demanded from government to provide training and other facilities to the naturally talented kid who, they believe, can go places.

Pakistani football stars were also impressed with the kid.

Hajra Khan, the captain of Pakistan’s women football team, said that with proper guidance, the kid can become one of the best footballers from Pakistan.

“With the skill that he has at the age of 7, if given the right training and opportunity could be the one of the best footballers Pakistan has ever produced,” she told Geo.tv.

“Talented guy,” commented Pakistan football player Saadullah Khan when he saw the video on social media.

“I saw the video, he’s an amazing talent,” said Pakistan’s former captain Essa Khan.

“And this is without any proper training, his balance, his body movement, it is just amazing. If this kid can get proper guidance and training then he can do a lot for Pakistan football,” Essa added.

The former captain added that for people in Balochistan, football is like a national sport but it is sad that there are not enough facilities available.

Saddam Hussain, the current captain of Pakistan’s national team, said that the government should make sure that this kid is not lost in oblivion.

“I believe this kid should be sent to an academy of a foreign club,” he said adding that this kid has shown potential and now he needs proper guidance so that he’s not out of sight.

“We don’t have a dearth of talent in Pakistan. There are so many talented kids in Pakistan like this. We need strong infrastructure with top academies in all provinces to train all such talented kids. Such academies can also become a source of talent for all the clubs. But, this has to be collective job of everyone – government, PFF and former players,” Saddam said.

He also regretted that Pakistan has lost so many of its Ronaldos and Messis only because we don’t give proper exposure to our kids.

Pakistan Football Federation Vice President Sardar Naved Haidar says that the federation will ensure that such talent isn’t ignored.

“We couldn’t do much for our talent in last 15 years, especially at the level of junior age group. We will do programmes for U10 and U12 age groups because this is the age where kids need proper training,” Sardar Naved told Geo.tv

“Not only proper training but we also want to provide scholarship with educational and financial support to all such kids. We are planning football school where talented players can come and get education and training, we will send this proposal to government,” he added with a promise that PFF will do its best to support the kid Essaullah.

According to Essa’s uncle, the kid is a student of class two and practises football two to three hours a day.

“If he can get a proper academy to play and learn football, then it will be very great help for him,” Nasr says.

Published on Geo.TV, 13 January 2019