It was eight years ago at the AFC U-19 Championship that Humam Tariq pulled on the Iraqi national team shirt for the first time. And although the team’s fans could not have imagined it at the time, the tournament would witness the emergence of a talented generation of players.
Among them was a young Tariq, who demonstrated an exceptional left foot, boundless energy and an ability to glide effortlessly around the pitch – all with a fierce passion to do his utmost for the national team cause.
Unbelievably, over the past eight years Tariq has participated in every tournament Iraq has taken part in, and in more than one edition of some; the AFC U-19 Championship, the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the Gulf Cup, the FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers, the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, the AFC Asian Cup, AFC U-23 Championship, the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, as well as having professional stints with clubs in IR Iran, UAE and Egypt. All very impressive from a young man who has not yet turned 24.
In an exclusive interview with FIFA.com, Tariq said: “I thank God for what I’ve achieved so far. I’ve been lucky as I’ve had the honour of wearing the Iraqi jersey in all these competitions. I still have a long way to go. Our next goal is to qualify for the World Cup and I’m sure that’s what we all want. Iraq is a great country and Iraqis deserve our sacrifice. So as players, our focus will be on making this happen.”