Iqbal enjoying the 'rollercoaster ride'
Everyone’s introduction into professional football comes from a different avenue and can lead you down a different path.
Manchester United youngster Zidane Iqbal can vouch for that, having started his journey into the game just by watching his father play five-a-side football.
The attacking midfielder has impressed throughout his time in the club's Academy and is embarking on an important chapter in his career, having signed his first professional contract with the Reds in April this year, the month in which he turned 18.
“As I grew older, I started playing more and more and joined a team called Sale United.
“I was in and around the development centres when the coach pulled me in and said I’m going to take you to The Cliff [the Reds' former training ground]. Since then I’ve just kicked on and progressed through each age group.’’
“I come from such a hard-working family," he added. "My parents are always working hard, my brother, my grandparents. When we came to this country, they all inspired me to give my best at everything I do.’’
For inspiration on the pitch, Iqbal says he looks to footballers who share the same religion as him.
“Mesut Ozil, because he’s a Muslim like me as well. Just seeing another Muslim footballer is a good thing,” he explained.
“The journey is different for everyone, and I can tell you it’s not easy. It’s like a rollercoaster, up and down.
“You just have to enjoy the ride and whatever’s meant to be is meant to be.’’