Qatari star's magic trick after goal in Asian Cup final was for his wife

By Hoang An   February 11, 2024 | 02:25 am PT
Qatari midfielder Akram Afif’s magic trick with cards to celebrate his opening goal in the Asian Cup final against Jordan was for his wife in the audience.

In the 20th minute of the game on Saturday night, Afif was fouled from behind by midfielder Abdallah Nasib in the box and referee Ma Ning awarded a penalty to Qatar.

Afif scored from it, sending the ball to the bottom left corner, took a card with his photo out of his socks, stood in front of the cameras and quickly flipped it.

Akram Afif mừng bàn mở tỷ số cho Qatar trước Jordan tại chung kết Asian Cup 2023 trên sân Lusail, tối 10/2/2024. Ảnh: AP

Akram Afif celebrates his goal for Qatar in the Asian Cup final against Jordan on Feb. 10, 2024. Photo by AP

It turned into another card with the letter S.

After the match, the 28-year-old explained that the celebration was for his wife, who was present at the Lusail Stadium.

"S is the first letter of my wife's name. She is Kuwaiti. I also want to dedicate all the awards I won today to my wife."

Akram Afif's goal and celebration. Video by FPT Play

Afif scored a hattrick in the final, all from penalties, helping hosts Qatar win 3-1 and successfully defend the title they had won in 2019.

He was named both man of the match and tournament.

Afif was also the top scorer with eight goals.

In 2019 another Qatari player, striker Almoez Ali, was player of the tournament and top scorer.

Afif's magic trick became a hot topic on social media. The Saudi Pro League posted the video on X and got two million views.

Akram Afif's magic trick after opening the score for Qatar in the Asian Cup 2023 final against Jordan.

On Reddit, Afif’s magic trick topped the trending list, with people considering it a top 10 celebration of all time. English sports website COPA90 said it had never seen a goal celebration like it.

Afif is a product of the Aspire football academy in Qatar. He started his career at Eupen in Belgium, before moving to topflight Spanish team Sporting Gijon.

But for the last seven seasons, he has been playing for domestic club Al Sadd.

When asked about the possibility of playing football abroad in the near future, he said he would try but never accept being a reserve player.

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