Ali Abbas (footballer)

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Ali Abbas Al-Hilfi
Ali Abbas Al-Hilfi.jpg
Abbas playing for Marconi Stallions in 2009
Personal information
Full name Ali Abbas Mshehed Al-Hilfi
Date of birth (1986-08-30) 30 August 1986 (age 31)[1]
Place of birth Baghdad, Iraq
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[2]
Playing position Left Winger, center midfielder, left back
Club information
Current team
Wellington Phoenix
Number 17
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2006 Al-Talaba 25 (5)
2007–2008 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 30 (11)
2008–2009 Marconi Stallions 29 (8)
2009–2012 Newcastle Jets 60 (4)
2012–2016 Sydney FC 68 (5)
2016–2017 Pohang Steelers 10 (1)
2017– Wellington Phoenix 8 (0)
National team
2007 Iraq U-23 4 (0)
2007– Iraq 12 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 October 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 September 2016

Ali Abbas (Arabic: علي عباس مشيهد الحلفي‎ , born 30 August 1986) is an Iraqi footballer who plays for the Wellington Phoenix in the A-League and the Iraq national team.

Club career[edit]

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.[3][4]

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.

Marconi Stallions[edit]

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.

Newcastle Jets[edit]

Abbas trialled with Newcastle Jets before the start of the 2009–10 regular season under then Newcastle coach, Gary Van Egmond, but was ultimately not signed.[5][6] However, on 18 September 2009, Abbas signed for the club 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.[7] Abbas re-signed with the Jets for another season seeing him play until the conclusion of the 2010–11 A-League season. He gained a contract extension which ended at the close of the 2011–12 season.[8]

Sydney FC[edit]

On 21 May 2012, it was announced Abbas had signed for Sydney FC on a 2-year deal.[9] 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 competitive 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.[10] On 29 November 2014, in the Sydney Derby at Parramatta Stadium, Abbas suffered a severe knee injury which would prevent him playing for the rest of the season. The incident occurred in opening exchanges of the game when Iacopo La Rocca collided heavily with Abbas. The injury caused tears to both his anterior cruiciate and medial collateral ligaments of his knee.[11][12]

After being sidelined for 405 days, Abbas returned to the squad on 9 January 2016 for a match against his former club, Newcastle Jets. He netted Sydney's second goal of the night, much to the appraisal of the fans, concluding the 2–0 win.

On 1 May 2016, Sydney FC released Abbas to allow him to pursue a career opportunity overseas.[13]

Pohang Steelers[edit]

On 12 May 2016, Abbas Joined South Korean Club Pohang Steelers on one and a half year contract.

Wellington Phoenix[edit]

On 23 August 2017, Abbas signed a two year contract to play for Wellington Phoenix as an injury replacement for Louis Fenton.[14]

International career[edit]

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.

In September 2014, Abbas was recalled by the national team for the first time in 7 years as part of an extended squad for friendly games against Bahrain and Yemen.[15][16]

Abbas was called up to the national squad for the final stage of World Cup qualifying against Australia in Perth in September 2016.

Personal life[edit]

On 26 January 2012, Abbas became an official Australian citizen and from then on was not counted against foreign player quotas in the A-League.[17]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 1 May 2016[18]
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Talaba SC 2006–07 Iraqi Premier League 24 4 0 0 24 4
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 2007–08 Iraqi Premier League 30 11 0 0 30 11
Marconi Stallions 2009 NSW Premier League 29 8 29 8
Newcastle Jets 2009–10 A-League 17 1 17 1
2010–11 A-League 24 1 24 1
2011–12 A-League 19 2 19 2
Total 60 4 60 4
Sydney FC 2012–13 A-League 24 1 24 1
2013–14 A-League 28 2 28 2
2014–15 A-League 7 0 3 3 10 3
2015–16 A-League 9 2 0 0 4 0 13 2
Total 68 5 3 3 4 0 75 8
Career total 211 32 3 3 4 0 218 35





  1. ^ "fifa tournament player". 
  2. ^ "Ali Abbas". Sydney FC. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Iraq says 3 soccer players seek Australia asylum". 18 November 2007 – via Reuters. 
  4. ^ GARDINER, JAMES; Media, Australian Community Media-Fairfax (13 December 2010). "Ali's new lease on life". Newcastle Herald. 
  5. ^ GARDINER, JAMES; Media, Australian Community Media-Fairfax (16 September 2009). "Iraqi international back on Jets radar". Newcastle Herald. 
  6. ^ "Judiciary revamp on cards for A-League - Football - Sport -". 
  7. ^ "Newcastle Jets Home". Newcastle Jets. 
  8. ^ "Abbas back on radar: Jets reopen talks with discarded Iraqi midfielder". Herald Sun. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Sydney FC Sign Ali Abbas On 2 Year Deal". Football Federation Australia. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sydney FC Win Inaugural FFA Cup Tie". Sydney FC. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Dominic Bossi (30 November 2015). "Sydney FC's Ali Abbas facing year on the sidelines due to horror knee injury". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "Ali Abbas to miss rest of Sydney FC's A-League campaign with serious knee injury". AAP Routers. ABC News. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Sky Blues release Iraqi midfielder". Football Federation Australia. 1 May 2016. 
  14. ^ Hyslop, Liam (23 August 2017). "Wellington Phoenix bring in Ali Abbas as injury replacement for Louis Fenton". 
  15. ^ Cockerill, Michael (25 September 2014). "Sydney FC midfielder Ali Abbas recalled to Iraq's national team for first time since defecting to Australia" – via The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  16. ^ "Abbas 'proud' to get call to represent Iraq". 25 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "True-blue Ali Abbas hoping to reunite with family in lucky country". The Newcastle Herald. 9 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Ali Abbas Analysis by Team". Retrieved 8 September 2015. 

External links[edit]