Q&A: Adel Abdullah

Adel Abdullah, the Al Shabab captain, talks about his career high, Diego Maradona and why he loves Italy.

Adel Abdullah in action, right, for Al Shabab.
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What has been the best footballing moment of your career to date?
When we lifted the league trophy in 2008. If you ask me a particular game, I would say the match against Sharjah in that season because I scored. It was really the turning point for us because Sharjah were also in the running for the title. If we had lost that game, it would have been really difficult.

Who is your favourite football player of all time?
Diego Maradona. To just see Maradona in flesh is a dream; to have Maradona on the pitch, I cannot describe the feeling. It's a lot bigger than a dream. I am jealous of the Al Waslplayers really; they are able to shake his hand and hug him. We get really jealous when I see the Wasl players jumping on Maradona. He is the best thing to happen to the league.

Moving away from the football field, what is your interest in politics and current affairs?
Honestly, I try to stay away from all that. I don't want to give myself a headache. But time to time, I watch the news on TV to know what is happening around. You cannot just close your eyes and play football. You need to know what's happening around you. When you go to some majalis or your friends, and when they are talking, you should have something to share. You cannot just go there and sit, and talk only when they are talking about football or sports.

What kind of literature do you read and what is your favourite book?
I am sorry to say this, but I don't read a lot. I obviously read the Holy Quran, which is definitely my favourite book, but I don't read a lot outside that. I take the newspaper, read a bit and then throw it away. Sometimes I just pick up a book randomly to read, but I cannot focus a lot on it. This is a very bad. I have to start reading more because it gives you more knowledge. The first words of the Holy Quran to come down was Iqra, which means to read. So it is really important, but unfortunately not many people read these days.

What is your favourite holiday destination?
I have been to Italy with my wife. I have visited Italy six times, but with the club. When you are travelling with the club, you are bound by rules and timings. So it was great to be able to go there with my wife. I spent nine days there and I really like Italy. I went to Lake Garda and it is a beautiful place. The weather is also great and I love Italian food. I love the green mountains and villages. I feel at peace in such places.

* Ahmed Rizvi