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Zidane Iqbal, Pakistani footballer, makes it to Manchester United FC

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British-Pakistani Zidane Iqbal footballer has become the first British-South Asian to play for Manchester United. He made his debut for the club on Wednesday night.

He came in on the 89th minute of United Champion’s League against Young Boys, which they drew 1-1. Iqbal replaced England’s international Jesse Lingard. The 18-year-old was among the number of young players given the opportunity during the game.

Zidane Iqbal was born in Manchester but has Iraqi and Pakistani roots. He became the first British South Asian to sign a professional contract with Manchester United in April. Iqbal is now the first member of the team to play first-team football for the club.

The young footballer has never played for England. He was called by Iraq to captain Under-23s for the WAFF (West Asian Football Federation) Championship. He captained them against Lebanon.

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He shared his words on Twitter with his fans and followers on his achievement. “Unbelievable feeling to make my professional debut at Old Trafford. I have grown up supporting this club and to represent Manchester United in the Champions League is an incredible honor. This would not have been possible without the support of my family, friends, and coaches,” wrote Zidane on Twitter.

Fans have expressed delight in watching in action during the match. “Marshes or local estates or any power league pitch, they are full of South Asian people playing football but that hasn’t yet translated to the highest level. Such a historic moment + rightfully has been recognized and celebrated over last 24 hours,” wrote a fan on Twitter.

“Mashallah! What an achievement. Putting South Asians on the map. Thrilled to have the representation even if for United,” said another fan on Twitter.

“Can’t wait to see you in the 1st tier football. The name Zidane excites me brother,” said another fan.