THE Omani soccer star Ali Al Habsi has achieved the goal of becoming the first Arab player to captain a club side in English football when he led his team, Reading FC against Leeds United.
The 34-year-old who also captains the Oman national team, skippered Reading FC in its Championship League game against Leeds United, at the Yorkshire club's Elland Road stadium, last Saturday, 16 April.
Soon after the match, Al Habsi tweeted on his official handle: “Very proud being the captain of my team. Thanks to everyone gave me the trust. It’s an honorable moment.”
Reading Club tweeted, “Goalkeeper @AliAlhabsi became the first Arab footballer to captain a club side in England this afternoon.”
Unfortunately, in spite of the occasion, Reading lost to Leeds 3-2, when Chris Wood scored twice in 16 minutes as Leeds snatched a dramatic late victory.
Reading manager Brian McDermott, who formerly managed Leeds, said: "The Leeds fans are genuine, good people and Leeds United is a fantastic football club. Apart from the result, I enjoyed being back.
"We have a very young team (at Reading) and they will learn from playing in this environment. In the first half we were good value and maybe could have been two goals up.
"But we didn't come out for the second half as well as we should have done. We have more points than last season, so that is a positive sign. We need to improve results away from home."