Zahid Ali Khan, the current captain of National Fighters Football club, is very passionate footballer of Pakistan, who has been playing the game since childhood, took me from the journey of player who used to sit at bench to a player who has been playing for Army Football Club to Captain of his hometown football club metaphysically when we had a meet up and he told me about his career and Pakistan’s role in promoting football.
When asked about age and for how long he has been playing, the player told me that he has been playing for around 20 years. He took me to a very Pakistan where the toddlers and passionate have no support by telling me that how he and his friends at the age of 11 years used to make ball from cricket’s ball and knee pads from cartons of plastic water bottles and cloth.
He further told me that how he, who was once a bench player or a player who used to sit on benches instead of playing, proved himself in his very first match which he played around 1998 or 1999 in KPT, Kimari, for National Fighters when asked about his first match.
Zahid also discussed his experience in Army, which he joined after matriculation and played for its football club for 5 years from 2004 to 2009. He pointed the advantages a player get in army. He told me that army gives chances to its players which the team selects on merit and give him or her chance to rise up. And because of such benefits, the current captain received 6 to 7 gold medals in Army FC and chance to play on national level in all tournaments organized by PFF in those five years.
While telling about his experience in army, he also told me about his being selected as part of United Nations Peace Force for a year and chance of visiting Liberia where he attended the party of Fifa in 2010.
He, further told me that currently he is doing wind surfing for soldiers for which he trained himself for a year. The key player of his team is thankful to Allah for winning 5 to 6 silever medals in this game too.
While discussing his experience in club on the other hand, he shared his views that it is very different to play for clubs and to play for departments. In departments, the players get salaries but in clubs players don’t get salary. They play because of having passion.
The player further discussed, when asked about his captaincy, that he has been captain of his club which he joined at a very young age since two years and he took the charge of it because the team was not performing well.
Moreover, he told me about his brother, Tahir Hussain, who was also in football and captain of the same club before him.
After having a sip of tea, we discussed about his goals and duties on which he said that he has scored around 250 goals, 200 in army and 50 in clubs. He reasoned for this huge difference that because of being a forward player from 2004 to 2009, he was able to score more goals than being defender today for a club.
His role as defender and captain when discussed, he shared his experience that today he has more responsibilities than before because he has to alert all players to come and practice for upcoming matches along with training them out of the fields. He also pointed out his duties as captain during match in the field. He told me how he has to cover the mistakes of his players who sometimes don’t play well and be observant all the time but he also pointed positive aspects of captaincy. According to him, captaincy matured him. It has made him teacher and alert.