Mohanad Ali

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Mohanad Ali
Mohanad Ali.jpg
Mohanad Ali in 2019
Personal information
Full name Mohanad Ali Kadhim Al-Shammari
Date of birth (2000-06-20) 20 June 2000 (age 22)
Place of birth Baghdad, Iraq
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Number 9
Youth career
2006–2010 Ammo Baba School
2010–2013 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
2013–2014 Al-Shorta
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2019 Al-Shorta 77 (36)
2016–2017Al-Kahrabaa (loan) 31 (12)
2019– Al-Duhail 9 (1)
2020Portimonense (loan) 6 (0)
2020–2021Al-Sailiya (loan) 19 (7)
2021–2022Aris (loan) 3 (0)
2022–Al-Sailiya (loan) 1 (1)
National team
2013–2014 Iraq U14 10 (12)
2014–2015 Iraq U16 4 (5)
2018– Iraq U23 2 (0)
2017– Iraq 37 (17)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23 May 2022
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 7 September 2021

Mohanad Ali Kadhim Al-Shammari (Arabic: مهند علي كاظم الشمري, born 20 June 2000), commonly known in Iraq as Mimi (Arabic: ميمي), is an Iraqi professional footballer who plays as a forward for Qatari club Al-Sailiya, on loan from Al-Duhail, and the Iraq national team. He is known for his positioning, shooting, heading, close ball control and dribbling.[2]

Club career[edit]

Youth career[edit]

Mohanad became interested in football as a child and started playing for a local team in the Baghdad Al-Jadida district called Timsah Al-Amin.[3] He enrolled at the Ammo Baba Football School[4] at the age of six without a trial after coaches had been impressed with the striker. He then joined the Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya youth team,[5] and he represented them in the Al-Zawraa Youth Championship;[6] he was top scorer at two local tournaments, and was then called up by the Iraq FA to play for Saad Hashim's under-14 team, and with an outstanding performance,[7] he grabbed the attention of the managers of Al-Shorta.[8]


Early years[edit]

On 24 September 2013, the player signed a five-year contract with Al-Shorta.[8] His competitive debut for the club was under Brazilian coach Lorival Santos in the 2013–14 Iraqi Premier League wearing the number 26 shirt, being substituted onto the field on 85 minutes in the Baghdad Derby against Al-Talaba on 26 March 2014,[9] making him the youngest player to represent Al-Qitharah in the club's history at 13 years and 279 days old, and also the youngest player in the history of the Baghdad Derby matches.[10] Al-Shorta topped the league standings with 43 points from 21 games, although the league was ended prematurely due to the war situation in the country.[11] In the 2014–15 season, Mohanad played in a four-team friendly competition called the Tournament for the Armed Forces, scoring a penalty in the semi-final shootout which Al-Shorta lost to Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya.[12] Mohanad was given the number 8 shirt for the 2015–16 season under coach Hakeem Shaker and he scored his first goal for Al-Shorta on 20 September 2015 against Al-Sinaa in the 2015–16 Iraqi Premier League with a header.[13] He made two starts and nine substitute appearances in the group stage of the league, where Al-Shorta finished 4th in Group 2 to qualify to the Elite Group. In the Elite Group, the club finished in 7th position and Mohanad was used as a substitute for three of their six matches.

He spent the 2016–17 season on loan at Baghdad club Al-Kahrabaa,[14] and finished as the top scorer for the club with 12 goals in 31 league matches,[15][16] including scoring four goals in the same match against Al-Karkh on 4 January. The club finished 13th in the league.

2017–18 season[edit]

After the loan, he returned to Al-Shorta and renewed his contract in October 2017 for three years, taking the number 18 shirt. He scored his first two goals of the season against Naft Al-Junoob in a 2–1 victory in January 2018.[17] He continued to score regularly throughout the season, forming a partnership with fellow striker Alaa Abdul-Zahra. He scored his first Baghdad Derby goal against Al-Zawraa on 20 January and scoring in another Baghdad Derby against Al-Talaba on 30 January. He finished his season with the team with 16 goals and assisted 8 times in 32 appearances in the league. The team finished in 4th position.

2018–19 season[edit]

He began his season with his team with a new coach, Nebojša Jovović, to exploit his speed as he also took on increasing defensive and creative duties. Mohanad scored his first goal and provided an assist in a 3–1 away win over Naft Al-Junoob on 21 October. He scored his second and third in a 3–0 win against Al-Sinaat Al-Kahrabaiya. On 7 November, Mohanad scored his fourth goal against former club Al-Kahrabaa.[18] His fifth and sixth goal with his team came on 24 November including an impressive solo effort,[19] and he scored another extraordinary goal against Al-Naft on 4 March 2019.[20] Mohanad scored 20 goals and 10 assists in 31 games; he won league with the club.

His good form at club level saw him on the radar of many of European and Asian clubs.[21] After his successful 2019 AFC Asian Cup campaign with the national team, there were official offers made from Italian clubs Juventus[22] and Cagliari, Czech club Slavia Prague, Danish club Midtjylland, Belgian club Genk,[23] Turkish club Galatasaray,[24] Greek club AEK Athens, Emirati club Al-Ain and Qatari club Al-Duhail[25][26][27] but Al-Shorta rejected the offers on 29 January 2019, meaning he would spend the rest of the season at Al-Shorta.[28]

The end of the winter transfer window did not stop clubs from expressing their interest in Mohanad, with Al-Shorta's vice-president Abdul-Wahab Al-Taei stating that offers had also now been made by English club Manchester City, Turkish clubs Fenerbahçe, Hatayspor, Yeni Malatyaspor and İstanbul Başakşehir who sent a delegation in April,[29][30] Russian club Akhmat Grozny, Qatari club Al-Wakrah and an unnamed Japanese club. After months of speculation about which club Mohanad would sign with, he completed a move to Qatari side Al-Duhail in July who agreed to pay an undisclosed fee.


"We contracted with Mohanad because we know his great abilities and we saw him with his national team and today he proved this, and he suffered continuous pressure from Doha and from outside Doha but he had great abilities and everyone saw his special goal today."

– Portuguese coach Rui Faria.[31]

On 15 July 2019, he transferred to Qatari side Al-Duhail on a five-year contract,[32] for a reported fee of $1.2 million. Mohanad made his debut for Al Duhail in the AFC Champions League against Al Sadd on 6 August, coming on as a second-half substitute. He scored his first goal with a solo effort after dribbling past Kara Mbodji and George Kwasi in the 89th minute on 3 October,[33] coming on as a substitute in the 71st minute, in a 2–1 home win against Al-Sailiya.[34]

Portimonense (loan)[edit]

On 30 January 2020, he was sent on loan to Primeira Liga side Portimonense for the rest of the 2019–20 season.[35] Nineteen days later, Mohanad joined the team.[36] He made a debut five days later, coming on as a late substitute for Bruno Tabata in a 0–1 away loss against Porto.

Al-Sailiya (loan)[edit]

On 29 August 2020, he was loaned to Al-Sailiya in Qatar.[37] Mohanad scored on his debut in a 1–1 draw against Al-Rayyan on 3 September.[38] Mohanad helped Al-Sailiya win the Qatari Stars Cup for the first major honour in the club's history, scoring a goal in the final.[39] He also played the first three matches of Al-Sailiya's QFA Cup-winning campaign before suffering a head injury that kept him out of the semi-final and final. Mohanad played 27 games and scored 12 goals and had 3 assists in all competitions.

Aris Thessaloniki (loan)[edit]

On 31 August 2021, Ali was loaned to Super League Greece side Aris Thessaloniki F.C. in the form of a one-year loan and with a purchase option from Al-Duhail.[40] However, after only a few games, Ali damaged his cruciate ligaments, causing him to be sidelined for at least 6 months, to not only miss the majority of the season, but also miss the rest of the World Cup Qualifiers with Iraq National Football Team.

International career[edit]


Mohanad made his debut for Iraq's Under-14s in 2013 at the age of just 13. He was the joint-top scorer at the 2013 Asian Youth Games with six goals in Nanjing in August 2013, where the Iraq U-14s beat Singapore,[41] Kuwait and Thailand in the quarterfinals before they lost to Iran in the semis and the third and fourth match on penalties to North Korea.[42][7] In the first ever edition of the AFC U-14 Championship in 2014 in Iran,[43] Mohanad won the top scorer award with six goals[44] and his team won the cup.[45] In the 2015 WAFF U-16 Championship, Mohanad won the top scorer award with five goals and his team won the championship.[46][47]


Mohanad playing for Iraq at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

He played his first match for the Iraq national team in a friendly against United Arab Emirates on 17 December 2017,[48] however the match was not counted as an official international game, and so his official debut came against Bahrain in the 23rd Arabian Gulf Cup on 23 December 2017.[15] He scored for Iraq in an unofficial friendly game against Iraqi Premier League club Naft Al-Junoob on 24 February 2018.[49] His first and second international goals for Iraq were in a friendly match against Saudi Arabia on 28 February 2018.[15]

He played against Argentina on 11 October 2018,[50] coming on as a second-half substitute.[51] He was nominated by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as one of the top young talents;[52] he was described as the youngest player who has the potential to changing the shape of the game before 2019 AFC Asian Cup.[2]

He scored his seventh goal against Vietnam on 8 January 2019,[53] and his eighth against Yemen on 12 January 2019,[54] followed by a goal against Jordan to help Iraq win the 2019 International Friendship Championship. Mohanad went on to score five more goals by the end of 2019. After his performance at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, he was voted the 2019 West Asian Footballer of the Year[55] and was also included in Chinese newspaper Titan Sports "Best Footballer in Asia 2019", which listed 26 of best footballers.[56]

Style of play[edit]

“We always trust Mohanad. He has good feet, he can connect powerfully with headers and he is very clever in the box."

– Iraq youth coach Saad Hashim speaking on Mohanad.[44]

Mohanad is talented player with good technique and close control, who is an adept header of the ball, and who has an ability to score impressive goals, in the air or with either foot, courtesy of his shooting ability and positional sense. He is physically strong, and is gifted with dribbling skills, anticipation, and confidence in going at opponents with numerical superiority. He is also known for his speed, and his ability beat defenders with sudden turns, as well as his vision, which gave him the ability to link-up with and provide assists for teammates.[2][7][52][57][58]

Personal life[edit]

Mohanad is a Shammari Shiite born in Baghdad. The former international striker Ali Salah is one of his cousins.[59] Mohanad played under the name of his brother Hassan Ali during the 2015–16 season with Al-Shorta and the 2016–17 season with Al-Kahrabaa.[60] While at Al-Kahrabaa, he told the Football-IQ newspaper: "My official data and official documents in the records of the Asian Football Confederation are under the name Mohanad Ali, which is my real name. All it is is that an error in my personal data then led to me being called the name Hassan. I do not want to return to this issue which bothered me a lot, especially after my forms have been resolved by legal means".[61] Football-IQ confirmed later in the year that an Iraqi court had ruled that his AFC documents under the name Mohanad Ali were correct,[62][63] granting him the right to cancel his erroneous passport and obtain a new corrected one, thus allowing him to represent Iraq again.[64][65] In late September 2020 he tested positive for COVID-19.[66]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 17 September 2021[67][68][15]
Club Season League Cup[a] Continental Other[b] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Al-Shorta 2013–14 IPL 1 0 0 0 1 0
2014–15 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015–16 14 1 14 1
2017–18 32 16 32 16
2018–19 30 19 1 1 31 20
Total 77 36 1 1 0 0 78 37
Al-Kahrabaa (loan) 2016–17 IPL 31 12 2 0 33 12
Al-Duhail 2019–20 QSL 9 1 2 0 2 0 13 1
Portimonense (loan) 2019–20 Primeira Liga 6 0 6 0
Al-Sailiya (loan) 2020–21 QSL 19 7 2 3 6 2 27 12
Aris (loan) 2021–22 Super League 3 0 0 0 3 0
Career total 145 56 5 4 2 0 8 2 160 62


As of 7 September 2021[15]
National team Year Apps Goals
2017 1 0
2018 10 6
2019 17 8
2020 2 1
2021 7 2
Total 37 17
Scores and results list Iraq's goal tally first.[15]
List of international goals scored by Mohanad Ali
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 28 February 2018 Basra Sports City, Basra, Iraq  Saudi Arabia 3–0 4–1 Friendly
2. 4–1
3. 27 March 2018  Syria 1–0 1–1 2018 International Friendship Championship
4. 10 September 2018 Ali Sabah Al-Salem Stadium, Farwaniya, Kuwait  Kuwait 1–0 2–2 Friendly
5. 15 October 2018 King Saud University Stadium, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  Saudi Arabia 1–0 1–1 2018 Superclásico Championship
6. 24 December 2018 Suheim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar  China 2–1 2–1 Friendly
7. 8 January 2019 Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  Vietnam 1–1 3–2 2019 AFC Asian Cup
8. 12 January 2019 Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates  Yemen 1–0 3–0
9. 26 March 2019 Basra Sports City, Basra, Iraq  Jordan 3–1 3–2 2019 International Friendship Championship
10. 5 September 2019 National Stadium, Manama, Bahrain  Bahrain 1–1 1–1 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
11. 10 October 2019 Basra Sports City, Basra, Iraq  Hong Kong 1–0 2–0
12. 15 October 2019 Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh, Cambodia  Cambodia 2–0 4–0
13. 14 November 2019 Amman International Stadium, Amman, Jordan  Iran 1–0 2–1
14. 5 December 2019 Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha, Qatar  Bahrain 1–0 2–2 24th Arabian Gulf Cup
15. 17 November 2020 The Sevens Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Uzbekistan 1–1 2–1 Friendly
16. 29 May 2021 Al Fayhaa Stadium, Basra, Iraq    Nepal 5–2 6–2
17. 7 June 2021 Al Muharraq Stadium, Arad, Bahrain  Cambodia 1–0 4–1 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification





Iraq Youth team[43][45][46]



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  25. ^ بالارقام.. مبالغ العروض الاحترافية المقدمة إلى نادي الشرطة لشراء "ميمي"
  26. ^ نادي الشرطة العراقي يرفض انتقال "ميمي" إلى يوفينتوس الإيطالي
  27. ^ العروض الفعلية التي وصلت لغرض شراء نجم هجوم العراق ولاعب الشرطة #مهند_علي نادي الدحيل القطري
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  30. ^ الشرطة العراقي يرفض الجلوس مع متصدر الدوري التركي بشأن "ميمي"
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  42. ^ "Mohanad against South Korea, Asian Youth Games". 15 August 2013.
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  66. ^ @alkasschannel (25 September 2020). "الفحوصات الطبية تثبت إصابة العراقي #مهند_علي محترف نادي #السيلية بفيروس #كورونا" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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  68. ^ Mohanad Ali at Playmakerstats
  69. ^ "Asia's Choice – Fan Awards: Best Young Player in 2020". AFC. 6 January 2021. Archived from the original on 6 January 2021.

External links[edit]