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Firas Al Khatib: Syrian footballer plays for Shanghai Shenhau

08-07-2013 17:02 BJT

Well footballers are often very rich, and you may say a little bit spoiled. But there's one man playing for Shanghai Shenhua who's got his feet firmly on the ground. The reason, is that he was born in Syria, and as he struggles to make an impression on the Chinese Super League, his family are thousands of miles away struggling in a very different way.

Shanghai is China’s financial capital -- a place where dreams have come true for many in the world’s most populous nation -- and the latest to search for success is Firas Al Khatib -- a professional footballer who plys his trade for Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League.

"Shanghai is a beautiful city and I was surprised when I arrived here how big and beautiful it is. Also they are good people here, who love guests, all that made my life easy here in China."said the Shanghai Shenhua Forward.

He has been able to find the net 7 times in 19 games, but his heart is thousands of miles away from Shanghai -- born in Syria, he has witnessed his country fall into a mire of violence and unrest under the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

"As a Syrian citizen I hope peace comes back to Syria and the Syrian people have full freedom. For sure we can’t live without peace, and that’s the least we hope to come back for the Syrian people."said Firas Al Khatib.

Firas has an impressive international record with 31 goals in 51 appearances, but hasn’t played for Syria since 2011 and is unsure when he will play for them again.

"I hope for success for the Syrian team, and I will not play for the Syrian now for many reasons, I hope success for all players who represent the Syrian people, and we are always going to support them."said Firas Al Khatib.

Football is an outlet for him, helping him get his mind away from the situation in his homeland -- but it is not a true escape because his wife and four kids, currently live in Egypt, which is also undergoing its own uprising.

So football is an outlet, a place where he can forget his problems for 90 minutes at least.

 

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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