x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The Al Jazira striker will follow in his older brother’s footsteps during the next few weeks as he represents the UAE at the Fifa Under 17 World Cup in the emirates. John McAuley speaks to the player.

UAE Under 17 striker, Faisal Hussain. UAEFA
UAE Under 17 striker, Faisal Hussain. UAEFA

Al Jazira striker Faisal Hussain will follow in his older brother’s footsteps during the next few weeks as he represents the UAE at the Fifa Under 17 World Cup in the emirates. John McAuley speaks to the player:

Sibling success

Mohammed Hussain, three years Faisal’s senior, was part of the young Falcons team that reached the last 16 in Nigeria in 2009.

Family ties

“I watched the matches at home with my family. We were all very excited about it. Mohammed would call us before each game and ask us to pray for him and the whole team. I have some good memories of the time we spent in front of the TV set, even if the team didn’t go very far.”

Sibling support

“[Mohammed’s] very excited about me playing in the World Cup and I really look up to him. He’s told me that, before each game, I should set a personal objective in accordance with the team’s overall goals. It’s an honour and a source of pride for my family that we will both have appeared in this tournament.”

Lofty expectations

“We’re aiming for the last four. That’s what we’ve had in mind since we started our preparations and I’m hoping we can achieve it. We’re looking to do big things and the fact that we’re the host nation means we have to give the very best of ourselves.”

Beginning well

The UAE have been drawn in Group A alongside Honduras, Brazil and Slovakia. They face Brazil, the three-time champions, on Sunday in their second match, which places more importance on obtaining a good result in Thursday’s opener against Honduras. Faisal said: “Winning the first game would be a great start and it would see more supporters to get behind us.”

Personal goal

“I really want to score. Luck wasn’t on my brother’s side at Nigeria, but I know I can hit the back of the net in the finals.”

jmcauley@thenational.ae