Kirkuk Messi – Looking to Europe at 11


He’s touted as the next big thing on Kirkuk’s local football scene, standing at just 4 foot 4 inches and weighing just under 5 stone, Yar Saeed has been interesting clubs in Belgium and the Netherlands and at the age of just 11 it seems he has the world at his feet.

Yar Saeed Wahid Abbas was born in Arbil on October 24, 2002 and his ball skills and goalscoring ability with junior teams in Kirkuk have earned the youngster plaudits and last year was commended by the Iraqi Olympic Committee.

With his close ball control and the trickles of goals, the locals bestowed the name of ‘Messi’ on the young goalscorer, and when he met the Iraqi Olympic Committee representative in Kirkuk Harbi Khalild last year, he told him ‘You play just like Messi, I’ll name you Messi of Kirkuk’.


Recently he caught the attention of several European clubs after an Iranian Kurdish coach Ata Abdullah Bokani Yarahmadi based in the Netherlands, spotted his talent after watching some of his videos online and contacted several football clubs to give the Kirkuk Messi a trial.

He was offered a chance to train at the De Jong Academy in Tilburg by the head of the academy Marco De Jong, with trials with K.V. Turnhout and Royal Antwerp, and also made contact with scouts from PSV Eindhoven and Willem II Tilburg to watch the player. According to De Jong, Yar will arrive in the Netherlands in May for 14 days to train at the Academy and have trials with Dutch and Belgian clubs.

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