Bangladesh football has arguably found its newest star in Jafar Iqbal. The U18 youngster has the potential to shine the brightest in the nation’s football sky. Jafar rocketed to the centre of attention among the football fanatics of Bangladesh like a shooting star during the just finished SAFF U18 Championship in Bhutan showing some delightful performances throughout the tournament. With trailblazing performances, Jafar netted a total of 5 goals in just 4 matches helping Bangladesh on its way to become eventual runners-up.
Hailing from Bandarban, the youngster had to go through a bumpy ride to reach the stage he is on at the moment. Starting his journey from playing at a neighbourhood club in Bandarban, Jafar joined Feni Soccer Club in 2015. He then went on to impress academy coach Syed Golam Jilani on a trial organized by BFF and was sent to Dilkusha Sporting Club in Dhaka. The promising winger helped Dilkusha to be crowned as the third division champions with 9 goals coming from 11 matches. Jafar then went on to join Arambagh Krira Sangha where he missed the Independence Cup due to his HSC Examination. However, he performed superbly in the Federation Cup, the tournament in which his team was crowned as runners-up. Jafar’s performance in the Federation Cup was enough to earn him the praises of the then national team coach, Tom Saintfiet, and getting picked for the Asian Cup Qualifying play-off. Jafar is now a part of the squad of Chittagong Abahoni where he joined after stealing the attention for his performances for Arambagh Krira Sangha.
Jafar Iqbal went to Bhutan with the Bangladesh national U18 team to compete in the SAFF U18 Championship which ended just recently. The young dynamite made some major impacts in the tournament with his performances in the unforgettable comeback triumph over India and then against Maldives and then hosts Bhutan. His tally of 5 goals in 4 matches started off with a brace against India which inspired Bangladesh to come back from being 3 goals down at half time and beat India by scoring 4 goals in the second half. Jafar then went on to score the second goal against Maldives in a 2-0 win and a late brace against hosts Bhutan in Bangladesh’s last match of the championship. The two goals that he scored against Bhutan had both individual flair and technical brilliance. Goals of such quality are making the football fans of Bangladesh dream of having a player of such calibre who can be compared to the world’s best young talents.
Although Bangladesh ended the SAFF U18 Championship as runners-up, Jafar Iqbal surely made his chances count ending the tournament as the top-scorer and mesmerizing the Bangladeshi fans in the process with his magical performances. The young winger proved himself as a source of hope for all the football lovers around the country to believe that the future of the Bangladesh Football is not as dark as it seemed for quite some time. Jafar is the newest addition to the locker of Bangladeshi football jewels; the glowing star in the dark sky – whose rays can help bring back the golden days of football in Bangladesh.
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