Cult heroes, Nashat Akram and Hawar Mulla Mohammed, have both embarked on a new quest to return Iraqi football to its golden era. Known for their tremendous footballing skills on the pitch, fans can now look to Nashat and Hawar to guide Iraqi football once again, just as they did whilst they were donning the famous green jersey.
Both players have been viewed as footballing icons in the Middle East – with that comes great responsibility. Given the horrible state of Iraqi football right now, Nashat Akram and Hawar have taken steps to continue progressing the nation’s game by thinking outside of the box. Like many players of his generation, the Asian Cup 2007 winners were offered numerous positions as managers and football coaches after retirement. Both declined these offers, but instead looked for roles that offered greater power and influence in the game. By bringing something different to the table, Iraqi football can finally push forward with new philosophies and untested ideas rather than repeating the same mistakes over and over again, which is what we currently do.
Step forward FC Twente, Nashat’s former club, who offered both players a taster session into the life of a footballing director. This included an intense theoretical and practical crashcourse that involved workshops, discussions, analysis of live matches and meetings with key Dutch footballing figures. By learning from the very best in world football, Nashat and Hawar can continue growing their expertise and slowly implement their newly acquired knowledge into the Iraqi game.
Speaking to Nashat’s former agent and friend of IraqFootball.me, Behrooz Dezhbod said the following:
“Nashat really grew into the role and made a very successful impression whilst in Holland. We have already made a strategic plan for Nashat and Iraqi football, which we will publish very soon. We have teamed up with the leading experts in Europe and hope this new opportunity will allow Nashat to give back to Iraq and Iraqi football.”
This is a huge opportunity for both Hawar and Nashat, who can work alongside top footballing experts in Europe. Football directors are able to have a greater say in the way clubs and teams are managed, with particular emphasis on recruitment, youth development and club ethos.
IraqFootball.me is extremely excited to see what the future holds for these two Iraqi legends. We wish them the very best and are delighted to see them taking such brave steps into unknown territory for Iraqi football. We hope that this will set an example for other Iraqi players to follow suit.