VILLARREAL

Villarreal become first Spanish club to sign a Qatari player

Promising 19-year-old striker Akram Afif started out with Al Sadd and spent this season in Belgium with Eupen. He also spent time in Sevilla's youth team.

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ASTV

Villarreal become the first Spanish club to sign a Qatari player. The coastal side have lured striker Akram Afif who is widely considered to be one of the most promising talents to have emerged from the Middle East in recent years.  The 19-year-old spent this season in Belgium with Liège-based outfit Eupen.

Afif is a product of the prestigious Aspire Academy and belongs to Al-Sadd, the club where Raúl spent two years and where Xavi Hernández is currently enjoyed his football post-Barça. Those who have closely followed the player confirm that he Afif has the potential to succeed in Europe's major league and apart from Villarreal's scouting department, he has also impressed several other Spanish clubs as well as Porto and Zenit.

The teenage striker won't have any problems at all with the language barrier - he already speaks Spanish: he spent time in the youth academies of Villarreal and Sevilla before establishing himself at Eupen, in the Belgian Second Division. During his time at the Kehrwegstadion, Afif has made 17 appearances and scored six goals in the league. He has already been training with Qatar's national side, and scored on his debut in the rousing 15-0 victory over Bhutan when the two sides met in the 2018 World Cup qualifier on 3 September last year.