The incredible, if not implausible, story of Al-Jawiya’s forever-young player Bashar Resan

Tomorrow, Bashar Resan will make his international debut against Peru in Dubai. He’s a player regarded by many, including the Iraqi national coach Hakim Shaker to be one of the talented young players in the Iraqi league and a certain player for the future. His story is really astonishing, if not somewhat incredible. In the 2010-2011 season Bashar was plucked from the Jawiya junior side where at 14 was playing with boys much older than himself to train with the first team after he was seen in a game by team coach Thair Ahmed and his assistant Walid Dhahid, and he has been a first team member since. The winger has become the youngest player in the history in their 83 year existence and went onto sign a senior contract with the club and is about to go into his fifth season at the club.

The Mother of All Prodigies

Bashar Resan is the son of former Iraq and Sikak Al-Hadeed player of the 70s, Resan Benyan. He started playing on Palestine Street in the Iraqi capital and had the privilege of being a student at the Ammo Baba Football School from the age of 12 and spent two years at the school before joining Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya at 13. He first played for the club’s ishbal and then the nasheen and in the space of just nine months he found himself in the first team.

The player, who has played for Iraq U-14, U-17, U-19 and now U-23 at just 17, has fervently denied he has altered his date of birth, and fired back at people critiquing him and other Iraqi youth players, biting back by asserting that they were “not Iraqis”, harming Iraq and its football, while questioning the ages of young players, without providing evidence unlawfully defamed the reputation of Iraq.

Last year Bashar represented Iraq at the FIFA Under 17s World Cup in the UAE at 16 and was called-up to the national team for the first time in October 2013, only a month before turning 17.

He will make his full international debut for Iraq at the age of just 17 years, 8 months and 13 days after first coming to prominence in the Iraqi league in 2010 at the age of 14.


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