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- Yaser Hamed is a product of Athletic Bilbao’s youth academy
- Having impressed with his debut, he is now a key player for Palestine
- Hamed aims for victory over Saudi Arabia in next Tuesday’s qualifier
The Palestinian national team made history in 2014 when they defeated the Philippines in the final of the AFC Challenge Cup to qualify for their first AFC Asian Cup.
At the time, Yaser Hamed was only 17 and a graduate of Athletic Bilbao’s famous youth academy. The budding defender enjoyed magic spells in the youth teams of several clubs in Spain’s lower divisions before signing his first professional contract in 2016.
After their first appearance at the 2015 Asian Cup, Palestine returned to the subsequent edition in 2019, and it was later that year when Hamed made his national team debut. Since then, the center-back has become one of the team’s pillars and has ever been present in his side’s first five qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™.
“All players develop through their careers,” Hamed said FIFA.com. “Personally, I am open to analyzing and learning new things from every player in every game.
“As a central defender, I’m always looking for a chance to score from set pieces, which I did against Singapore. One of my virtues is my aerial play, so I always try to do my best when I’m presented with the chance to convert. “
Yaser Hamed, in brief:
- He was born in the Spanish city of Leioa to a Palestinian father and Spanish mother.
- He made his debut in Palestine on July 30, 2019.
- He played three seasons in Portugalete, which he helped to get promoted to Spain’s Tercera Division (fourth level) last season.
- At the start of the current season, he joined the Bahraini outfit Busaiteen
Palestine is currently at the bottom of Group D in the second round of Asian qualifiers, following a win, a draw and three defeats. Five points separate them from section leaders Uzbekistan, making next Tuesday’s clash with Saudi Arabia a must-win if they are to have a realistic chance of advancing to the next round.
“We were unlucky in our previous matches, but I believe in our abilities as a team and we are determined to give as well as we will,” said Hamed. “I am proud of the group because we have grown together as professionals and are laying the foundation for a promising future.
“We treat this match as if it was a final because we need the victory. Three points would keep our chances of qualifying for the World Cup alive.
“We expect a very difficult match because the Saudi national team and the league have jumped in recent years. Win or lose, we promise to fight with every last breath.”
Despite the difficulty of the task, Hamed and his teammates will encourage from their corresponding homework against the Green Falcons on October 15, 2019. On that occasion, the home defense, arranged by goalkeeper Rami Hamada, resisted everything thrown at them for a valuable fruitless draw.
“It was a combination of tremendous concentration and a good understanding of our opponents’ style of play,” Hamed said. “I have been following the Saudi league for many years and I go into every match with the mindset of giving everything. My motto is. ‘You can rest back in the hotel.'”
Yaser Hamed on:
Influence from Athletic Bilbao’s youth academy …
“I am proud to have been a part of a great club like Athletic Bilbao, where I was able to improve my technical skills and develop a strong personality on the pitch.”
His international debut against Yemen and scored the winning goal …
“It was a great experience for my first cap. I could not imagine it would turn out to be so special. I hope there will be other beautiful moments in my career soon.”
His sharp eye for goal …
“As a kid, I used to play in front when I was kicking around with friends, so I guess I’ve kept some of my skills.”