Budapest beckons: Saadullah ready to live Hungarian dream

Midfielder has been invited by Somos to play a series of friendlies.

Natasha Raheel August 10, 2016
Saadullah. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Pakistan footballer Saadullah Khan has been invited by Hungarian club Somos Sport Egyesu KFT to play in three friendly matches, giving him a chance to fulfil a lifetime dream of playing in Europe, even if it turns out to be a short stint.

The Pishin native, who is scheduled to leave for Hungarian capital Budapest on Saturday, is currently in Karachi to improve his fitness as the entire Balochistan, including his hometown, lacks grassy grounds to train on.

Ahead of his departure, Saadullah, 22, spoke to The Express Tribune and talked about what the chance to play football in Europe means to him.

“It is a huge opportunity for me. Somos are a Hungarian club and people over there love their football. To be able to spend even 25 days with them is big,” he said.

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“Somos are looking to create a new team for their Division B league and have called up 30 to 35 players from different countries for three upcoming friendlies. If they like what they see in me, who knows what might happen.”

Since all football activities in Pakistan remain suspended due to the bitter legal wrangling between opposing factions within the Pakistan Football Federation, footballers are forced to look abroad for survival.

Saadullah is one of the select few who have offers on the table, and for that he considers himself lucky.

“It’s been a struggle for all of us because we haven’t had any international matches, so we had to really push ourselves and try to make something happen for us internationally,” he said. “It’s why I feel lucky to get this opportunity with Somos.”

Saadullah has a busy few months ahead as soon after his return from Hungary, he will be packing his bags for Brazil, where former Pakistan team coach Shahzad Anwar has arranged for him and a few others to train with some local clubs.

“Brazil is also confirmed, and I’m just glad that things are coming my way. A little time abroad is still better than training here on my own and waiting for PFF to sort out its mess,” concluded Saadullah.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2016.

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