Ali Al-Habsi

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Ali Al-Habsi
Ali Al Habsi portrait, Wigan Athletic v Birmingham, 19 March 2011.jpg
Al-Habsi with Wigan Athletic in 2011
Personal information
Full name Ali Abdullah Harib Al-Habsi[1]
Date of birth (1981-12-30) 30 December 1981 (age 32)[1]
Place of birth Muscat, Oman
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current club Wigan Athletic
Number 26
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2002 Al-Midhaibi ? (?)
2002–2003 Al-Nasr ? (?)
2003–2006 Lyn Oslo 62 (0)
2006–2011 Bolton Wanderers 10 (0)
2010–2011 Wigan Athletic (loan) 34 (0)
2011– Wigan Athletic 81 (0)
National team
2002– Oman 92 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 05:21, 13 March 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10:54, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Ali Abdullah Harib Al-Habsi (Arabic: علي بن عبد الله بن حارب الحبسي‎; born 30 December 1981) is an Omani footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for the English Championship club Wigan Athletic.

Al-Habsi is the current captain of the Oman national football team, whom he has represented in 91 matches since 2002, including at two AFC Asian Cup tournaments.

Club career[edit]

Norway[edit]

After playing a season at Al-Nasr, Ali Al-Habsi signed to Lyn Oslo, and played three seasons for the Norwegian club. Following his signing with the club, he became the first Omani to play international football in Europe. He was also voted "Norwegian Goalkeeper of the Year" in 2004.[2]

Bolton Wanderers[edit]

His transfer from Lyn Oslo to Bolton Wanderers in January 2006 was a transfer highlighted in the Stevens inquiry report, in June 2007. The report expressed concerns because of the apparent conflict of interest between agent Craig Allardyce, his father Sam Allardyce – and the club itself.[3]

Al-Habsi did not make any first team appearances in his first year at Bolton. Al-Habsi made his full Bolton debut in the 2–1 extra time League Cup victory over Fulham in September 2007.

Al-Habsi then went on to make a further 15 appearances during the course of the 2007/08 season, most notably his performance against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup against whom he produced several good saves against the star studded German team. He made his first Premier League start against Wigan Athletic.[4] In December 2008, he was rewarded for his work with an extension to his contract until 2013. Despite this, Al-Habsi lost his place when Jussi Jääskeläinen returned from injury.

Wigan Athletic[edit]

Al-Habsi warming up for Wigan Athletic, prior to their match against Birmingham City on 19 March 2011

In July 2010, Al-Habsi joined local rivals Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan.[5] He made his debut on 24 August 2010 in a League Cup match against Hartlepool United[6] and made his League debut four days later against Tottenham Hotspur. He was named Wigan's player of the season for the 2010–11 season,[7] and joined the club permanently, signing a four-year contract for an estimated £4 million transfer fee from Bolton.[8] Al-Habsi established himself as an outstanding penalty saver, saving approximately 50% of all the penalties he faced since joining Wigan. Robin van Persie, Carlos Tevez, Javier Hernández and Mikel Arteta are among the penalty takers Al-Habsi has stopped.[9] This earnt him links to Liverpool and Arsenal.[10] During the back end of the 2012–13 season, Al-Habsi was dropped to the bench as his position as Wigan's number one was threatened by the arrival of the athletic, young Spaniard Joel Robles on loan.[11] Wigan were relegated at the end of the season.[12]

International career[edit]

Al-Habsi began playing in his native country Oman at the age of seventeen, and joined the ranks of the Oman under-19s squad, before he was spotted by John Burridge in 2001. Due to the difficulty of securing a work permit, he was unable to move to Europe at this early stage of his career.

He was called up for Oman, and played in all of their three group matches at the 2004 AFC Asian Cup in China and also made four appearances for the team in their qualifying campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which they excelled in the first group stage after finishing second in a group with Japan, India and Singapore. He was also Oman's first-choice goalkeeper at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, appearing in all of their three group matches.[2]

Al-Habsi also has appeared as main keeper in 4 consecutive Gulf Cups. In each tournament he earned the award for best goalkeeper, most recently at the 2009 Gulf Cup of Nations. He kept a clean sheet throughout the 2009 tournament that Oman eventually won.

Al-Habsi has been capped 91 times for Oman.

Personal life[edit]

Ali Al-Habsi is a practicing Muslim.[13] and says that his faith plays a big part in his life.[14] He is also married and has one daughter, Ranad.

After finishing high school,[15] Ali was a fireman in the Seeb International Airport in Muscat.[16] In an interview with Al-Jazeera Sports, Ali accredited his previous profession with teaching him patience, hard work, and patriotism.[17] In another interview with AMF, Ali says if he hadn't played professional football, he would have most likely continued with being a fireman.[18]

Al-Habsi is the co-founder of Safety First, a nonprofit road safety organization in Oman that seeks to decrease car accident fatalities in the country.[19]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 12 March 2014[20]
Club Division Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Lyn Oslo Tippeligaen 2003 13 0 3 0 2 0 18 0
2004 24 0 4 0 0 0 28 0
2005 25 0 2 0 0 0 27 0
Total 62 0 9 0 2 0 73 0
Bolton Wanderers Premier League 2005–06 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006–07 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007–08 10 0 2 0 4 0 16 0
2008–09 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009–10 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0
Total 10 0 4 0 4 0 18 0
Wigan Athletic 2010–11 34 0 6 0 0 0 40 0
2011–12 38 0 2 0 0 0 40 0
2012–13 29 0 5 0 0 0 34 0
Championship 2013–14 14 0 4 0 0 0 18 0
Total 115 0 17 0 0 0 132 0
Career total 187 0 30 0 6 0 223 0

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

FK Lyn Oslo
Wigan Athletic
National Team

Individual awards[edit]

  • Best Goalkeeper of the Gulf Cup: 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011
  • Arab Goalkeeper of the Year: 2004
  • Norwegian Goalkeeper of the Year: 2004
  • Wigan Athletic Player of the Year: 2011

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0. 
  2. ^ http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=1300694.html – FIFA – Al-Habsi won Norwegian Goalkeeper Award
  3. ^ "What Stevens said about each club". London: www.telegraph.co.uk. 16 June 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2007. 
  4. ^ Goal.com – Asia – Ali Al-Habsi Focused On Bolton Survival
  5. ^ "Latics sign goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi on loan for the season". 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Hartlepool 0–3 Wigan". BBC Sport. 24 August 2010. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Al Habsi Signs Permanent Deal at Wigan". 4 July 2011. 
  9. ^ http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/ali-al-habsi/elfmeter/spieler_26633.html
  10. ^ Law, Matt (17 November 2012). "Arsenal will rival Liverpool for Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi". Mirror. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Wigan sign Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Joel Robles on loan". BBC Sport. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  12. ^ McLeman, Neil (14 May 2013). "Wigan relegated: This is the lowest of lows, I never expected it says Roberto Martinez". Mirror. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Ronay, Barney (9 December 2011). "Ali al-Habsi of Wigan Athletic is a goalkeeper with a difference". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  14. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpk-dQQsOEY - AMF interview
  15. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bQj5YD5lZo - 6:30 -- Al-Jazeera interview
  16. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bQj5YD5lZo - 6:35 -- Al-Jazeera interview
  17. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bQj5YD5lZo - 6:50 -- Al-Jazeera interview
  18. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpk-dQQsOEY - 6:30 -- AMF interview
  19. ^ Mrudu Naik (23 May 2012). "Sport stars blow the bugle of road safety". Times of Oman. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  20. ^ "Ali Al-Habsi". soccerway.com. 

External links[edit]