Ali Abbas Al-Hilfi
Abbas playing for Marconi Stallions in 2009
|Full name||Ali Abbas Mshehed Al-Hilfi|
|Date of birth||30 August 1986|
|Place of birth||Baghdad, Iraq|
|Height||1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Playing position||Left Winger, Center Midfielder, Left Back|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 November 2014.
In November 2007 Ali Abbas, along with Ali Mansour and Ali Khudhair grabbed global headlines by seeking asylum in Australia after playing against the Olyroos for the Iraqi Under-23 side in an Olympic Games qualifier in Gosford.
He had talks with Marconi Stallions at the time but returned to Iraq early in 2008 after discussions with the Iraqi Football Association and joined Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in Baghdad. In February 2009, Marconi reached an agreement with Iraqi club, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, for Abbas to join them permanently.
In the opening game of the NSW Premier League season, Abbas scored a stunning curling free-kick for the Marconi in his first game for the club in their 2–0 victory over Penrith Nepean United at Marconi Stadium. He also helped Marconi secure second spot in the 2009 New South Wales Premier League season before signing with A-league side, Newcastle United Jets.
On 18 September 2009, Abbas Signed for Newcastle Jets as an injury replacement player for Shaun Ontong. He scored his first Jets goal on 12 February 2010 in a 2–1 loss to Adelaide United. He had trialed with the club before the start of the regular season, under then Newcastle coach, Gary Van Egmond, but was ultimately not signed. Abbas re-signed with the Jets for another season seeing him play until the conclusion of the 2010–2011 A-League season. His contract finished at Newcastle Jets at the end of the 2011–2012 season, May 2012 he signed with Sydney FC.
It was announced he had signed for Sydney FC on a 2-year deal on 21 May 2012. Notably a left winger and having spent his entire pre-season playing in that role, Abbas was shifted into the central midfield role by manager Ian Crook early in the 2012–13 season. He scored his first official goal for the club against Central Coast Mariners on 3 November 2012 after latching onto the end of a reverse pass by Yairo Yau to volley it over goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.
On 12 August 2014, Abbas scored two extra time penalties for Sydney FC in the club's first ever FFA Cup match away to Melbourne City. The game was locked at 1-1 at full time and looked to be set for penalties before firstly Corey Gameiro and then Terry Antonis were fouled in the penalty area, allowing Abbas to slot home in the 111th and 114th minutes respectively, giving Sydney FC a 3-1 win at the end of extra time.
Despite playing only one of Iraq’s six matches in the 2008 Asian Olympic qualifiers, the 20-year-old midfielder was called into the senior national team in the 2007 WAFF Championship. After starting his career with Al Talaba, he joined Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in July 2006. He lifted the Asian Cup Trophy in 2007.
As of 26 January, 2012, Abbas is an Australian citizen. As a result of his Australian citizenship, Abbas will no longer count against foreign player quotas.
- Iraq says 3 soccer players seek Australia asylum
- Jets sign Iraqi international
- Iraqi international back on Jets radar
- Judiciary revamp on cards for A-League
- "Abbas back on radar: Jets reopen talks with discarded Iraqi midfielder". Herald Sun. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- "Sydney FC Sign Ali Abbas On 2 Year Deal". Football Federation Australia. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- "Sydney FC Win Inaugural FFA Cup Tie". Sydney FC. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.