Insight

Rising star: Zidane Iqbal

As the group stage comes to a close, it marks the time to select another rising star, this time it's the turn of Zidane Iqbal of Manchester United

WORDS Dan Poole

Age: 18
Club: Manchester United
Nationality: English
Position: Midfielder
Senior appearances/goals/assists: 1/0/0 

There were a few Manchester United debuts on Wednesday night, weren’t there?

There were.

That Tom Heaton in goal showed a lot of maturity.

That would be because he’s 35.

But he’s a trainee!

He was a trainee. Small matter of 19 years ago. Now, aged 35, he’s back at the club where it all began.

I thought he looked quite developed for a 16-year-old. Who else?

Charlie Savage went one better than his dad Robbie in making the step up from academy to senior side. But we’re here to talk about Zidane. 

Now come on, he’s retired, you’re not getting me with that one.

Not Zizou – Zidane Iqbal, 18 years of age, who has become the first British South Asian footballer to play for United at senior level.

That’s brilliant.

Really brilliant. He was born in Manchester to an Iraqi mother and Pakistani father; the latter is a qualified football coach and has been involved in nurturing his son’s abilities. 

If things progress well from here, who might he represent for at international level?

All we know at the moment is that he has played and scored for – and captained – the Iraq U23s, but he’s still eligible to play for England if he so chooses.

Any other titbits?

He’s a very talented futsal player, he’s part of the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (helping young, Asian would-be footballers) and when he was a kid, his Sale United coach used to put him in goal when he was too good for the opposition. Which was often.

And he’s called Zidane, just to reiterate.

Oui. On the subject of which, he’s said, “To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t really think anything of it. But, as I got older, I found out there was a great, great player called Zinédine Zidane.”

I’ve just worked out that Zizou was 30 when Iqbal was born.

Zut alors.

Age: 18
Club: Manchester United
Nationality: English
Position: Midfielder
Senior appearances/goals/assists: 1/0/0 

There were a few Manchester United debuts on Wednesday night, weren’t there?

There were.

That Tom Heaton in goal showed a lot of maturity.

That would be because he’s 35.

But he’s a trainee!

He was a trainee. Small matter of 19 years ago. Now, aged 35, he’s back at the club where it all began.

I thought he looked quite developed for a 16-year-old. Who else?

Charlie Savage went one better than his dad Robbie in making the step up from academy to senior side. But we’re here to talk about Zidane. 

Now come on, he’s retired, you’re not getting me with that one.

Not Zizou – Zidane Iqbal, 18 years of age, who has become the first British South Asian footballer to play for United at senior level.

That’s brilliant.

Really brilliant. He was born in Manchester to an Iraqi mother and Pakistani father; the latter is a qualified football coach and has been involved in nurturing his son’s abilities. 

If things progress well from here, who might he represent for at international level?

All we know at the moment is that he has played and scored for – and captained – the Iraq U23s, but he’s still eligible to play for England if he so chooses.

Any other titbits?

He’s a very talented futsal player, he’s part of the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (helping young, Asian would-be footballers) and when he was a kid, his Sale United coach used to put him in goal when he was too good for the opposition. Which was often.

And he’s called Zidane, just to reiterate.

Oui. On the subject of which, he’s said, “To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t really think anything of it. But, as I got older, I found out there was a great, great player called Zinédine Zidane.”

I’ve just worked out that Zizou was 30 when Iqbal was born.

Zut alors.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Age: 18
Club: Manchester United
Nationality: English
Position: Midfielder
Senior appearances/goals/assists: 1/0/0 

There were a few Manchester United debuts on Wednesday night, weren’t there?

There were.

That Tom Heaton in goal showed a lot of maturity.

That would be because he’s 35.

But he’s a trainee!

He was a trainee. Small matter of 19 years ago. Now, aged 35, he’s back at the club where it all began.

I thought he looked quite developed for a 16-year-old. Who else?

Charlie Savage went one better than his dad Robbie in making the step up from academy to senior side. But we’re here to talk about Zidane. 

Now come on, he’s retired, you’re not getting me with that one.

Not Zizou – Zidane Iqbal, 18 years of age, who has become the first British South Asian footballer to play for United at senior level.

That’s brilliant.

Really brilliant. He was born in Manchester to an Iraqi mother and Pakistani father; the latter is a qualified football coach and has been involved in nurturing his son’s abilities. 

If things progress well from here, who might he represent for at international level?

All we know at the moment is that he has played and scored for – and captained – the Iraq U23s, but he’s still eligible to play for England if he so chooses.

Any other titbits?

He’s a very talented futsal player, he’s part of the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (helping young, Asian would-be footballers) and when he was a kid, his Sale United coach used to put him in goal when he was too good for the opposition. Which was often.

And he’s called Zidane, just to reiterate.

Oui. On the subject of which, he’s said, “To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t really think anything of it. But, as I got older, I found out there was a great, great player called Zinédine Zidane.”

I’ve just worked out that Zizou was 30 when Iqbal was born.

Zut alors.

Rising star: Zidane Iqbal
Insight

Rising star: Zidane Iqbal

As the group stage comes to a close, it marks the time to select another rising star, this time it's the turn of Zidane Iqbal of Manchester United

WORDS Dan Poole

Age: 18
Club: Manchester United
Nationality: English
Position: Midfielder
Senior appearances/goals/assists: 1/0/0 

There were a few Manchester United debuts on Wednesday night, weren’t there?

There were.

That Tom Heaton in goal showed a lot of maturity.

That would be because he’s 35.

But he’s a trainee!

He was a trainee. Small matter of 19 years ago. Now, aged 35, he’s back at the club where it all began.

I thought he looked quite developed for a 16-year-old. Who else?

Charlie Savage went one better than his dad Robbie in making the step up from academy to senior side. But we’re here to talk about Zidane. 

Now come on, he’s retired, you’re not getting me with that one.

Not Zizou – Zidane Iqbal, 18 years of age, who has become the first British South Asian footballer to play for United at senior level.

That’s brilliant.

Really brilliant. He was born in Manchester to an Iraqi mother and Pakistani father; the latter is a qualified football coach and has been involved in nurturing his son’s abilities. 

If things progress well from here, who might he represent for at international level?

All we know at the moment is that he has played and scored for – and captained – the Iraq U23s, but he’s still eligible to play for England if he so chooses.

Any other titbits?

He’s a very talented futsal player, he’s part of the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (helping young, Asian would-be footballers) and when he was a kid, his Sale United coach used to put him in goal when he was too good for the opposition. Which was often.

And he’s called Zidane, just to reiterate.

Oui. On the subject of which, he’s said, “To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t really think anything of it. But, as I got older, I found out there was a great, great player called Zinédine Zidane.”

I’ve just worked out that Zizou was 30 when Iqbal was born.

Zut alors.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

Age: 18
Club: Manchester United
Nationality: English
Position: Midfielder
Senior appearances/goals/assists: 1/0/0 

There were a few Manchester United debuts on Wednesday night, weren’t there?

There were.

That Tom Heaton in goal showed a lot of maturity.

That would be because he’s 35.

But he’s a trainee!

He was a trainee. Small matter of 19 years ago. Now, aged 35, he’s back at the club where it all began.

I thought he looked quite developed for a 16-year-old. Who else?

Charlie Savage went one better than his dad Robbie in making the step up from academy to senior side. But we’re here to talk about Zidane. 

Now come on, he’s retired, you’re not getting me with that one.

Not Zizou – Zidane Iqbal, 18 years of age, who has become the first British South Asian footballer to play for United at senior level.

That’s brilliant.

Really brilliant. He was born in Manchester to an Iraqi mother and Pakistani father; the latter is a qualified football coach and has been involved in nurturing his son’s abilities. 

If things progress well from here, who might he represent for at international level?

All we know at the moment is that he has played and scored for – and captained – the Iraq U23s, but he’s still eligible to play for England if he so chooses.

Any other titbits?

He’s a very talented futsal player, he’s part of the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (helping young, Asian would-be footballers) and when he was a kid, his Sale United coach used to put him in goal when he was too good for the opposition. Which was often.

And he’s called Zidane, just to reiterate.

Oui. On the subject of which, he’s said, “To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t really think anything of it. But, as I got older, I found out there was a great, great player called Zinédine Zidane.”

I’ve just worked out that Zizou was 30 when Iqbal was born.

Zut alors.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Age: 18
Club: Manchester United
Nationality: English
Position: Midfielder
Senior appearances/goals/assists: 1/0/0 

There were a few Manchester United debuts on Wednesday night, weren’t there?

There were.

That Tom Heaton in goal showed a lot of maturity.

That would be because he’s 35.

But he’s a trainee!

He was a trainee. Small matter of 19 years ago. Now, aged 35, he’s back at the club where it all began.

I thought he looked quite developed for a 16-year-old. Who else?

Charlie Savage went one better than his dad Robbie in making the step up from academy to senior side. But we’re here to talk about Zidane. 

Now come on, he’s retired, you’re not getting me with that one.

Not Zizou – Zidane Iqbal, 18 years of age, who has become the first British South Asian footballer to play for United at senior level.

That’s brilliant.

Really brilliant. He was born in Manchester to an Iraqi mother and Pakistani father; the latter is a qualified football coach and has been involved in nurturing his son’s abilities. 

If things progress well from here, who might he represent for at international level?

All we know at the moment is that he has played and scored for – and captained – the Iraq U23s, but he’s still eligible to play for England if he so chooses.

Any other titbits?

He’s a very talented futsal player, he’s part of the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme (helping young, Asian would-be footballers) and when he was a kid, his Sale United coach used to put him in goal when he was too good for the opposition. Which was often.

And he’s called Zidane, just to reiterate.

Oui. On the subject of which, he’s said, “To be honest, when I was younger I didn’t really think anything of it. But, as I got older, I found out there was a great, great player called Zinédine Zidane.”

I’ve just worked out that Zizou was 30 when Iqbal was born.

Zut alors.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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