Zidane Iqbal

Iqbal enjoying the 'rollercoaster ride'

Tuesday 03 August 2021 16:00

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.

Zidane underlines his ambition Video

Zidane underlines his ambition

United youngster Zidane Iqbal tells The FA about striving to make his mark in the game...

“When I was younger, I used to go to watch my dad play football, just at a local five-a-side pitch, and I just used to take shots at him," Iqbal recalls, in a special interview with The FA to mark South Asian Heritage Month.

“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.’’
The teenager admits his upbringing plays a vital part in his drive to continue working hard as he looks forward to a first full season in Premier League 2 with United's Under-23s.

“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.’’