Yaya Toure, as we all know him, is a World class player and has gifted Manchester City a title in our beloved Premier League last season scoring 20+ goals in 2013-14 season. However, as you would expect, situation was dire for Toure when he started the up-hill journey playing in his homeland Ivory Coast. When he joined the Belgian club FC Beveren after coming from a youth ranks in Ivory Coast league, it was the scout that showcased the talent to the world and turned the skinny young fella into a millionaire.
If you consider Pakistani players chances playing in the league are dire, than just let me tell you Premier League have players from countries like Kenya, Angola and Congo – – meaning no disrespect. So certainly we have a dim ray of hope.
When seeing the Pakistan team winning against India and seeing them celebrating like we have won the World Cup, I was amazed like any other who didn’t follow the Domestic structure that what’s the big deal. Still looking at our team and knowing only a scant number of one had played abroad since then, the action was justified.
Coming back to the Toure story, a millionaire in Ivory Coast invested heavily into the Belgian club, just like the Pakistani turned American Shahid Khan, who invested into a foreign club. However one thing that separates Guillou – – – Toure footballing grand-father – – – – from the American Pakistani is the spirit he held next. After buying the Belgian club FC Beveren, Guillou decided to showcase local talent and took 11 players to Belgium, all at his own cost and 10 years from that date, he has players like Kolo Toure, Gervinho and Eboue to his credentials. Quite an impressive Resume for a billionaire hah!
When they say our Pakistani players should showcase the talent into the Premier League, it should be kept in mind that first of all they deserve the money more than the backing they receive back home to go abroad and shine. When Faisal Saleh Hayat – – – you know whom – – – proclaimed that Pakistan will feature in Qatar World Cup in 2022, it was considered a dream of a saint still believe me if we can’t do that we can pull off a Guillou in our ranks.
It is up to the Mian Mansha’s of Pakistan to showcase the World what their country have got in footballing world.
Scouts are the most important part of today’s football world, and players like Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have come from this system from one of the remotest regions in South America to one of most developed in Europe. Keeping in mind the differences we have with South America on the football level as they have more than six World Cups to their name, one thing where we can match them is the scouting Network.
Those who follow Premier League and other European leagues closely know there is always a middle man who arrange auditions for the up-coming players to their dream team. Sometimes these auditions go good but most of the time, it goes against as every club has its own level and want to develop local talent. That middle man which we call as scout can be the game-changer as far as Pakistani football is concerned. Look at India for instance, 1st of all they got the middle man, then they organized some International matches over-looking the wage structure and paying out of the box, and at-last they have earned academies from teams like Liverpool and Manchester United and believe it or not, an Indian player in Yan Dhanda has already made a mark in Liverpool youth.
While over-looking the wage barrier as our Departments isn’t strong enough, we still got money from FIFA as a part of their global appeal. So if for once, we manage to send our player Europe and make him stand on the audition stand, certainly our chances are that bright. While our players cannot get the YES call from big clubs, still division two clubs or maybe down the division teams can get them as they are always looking for talent that is affordable. SO certainly there is a gap to be filled.
But one more thing that might over-take this ambitious journey is the Visa role, however, as Faisal Saleh Hayat himself claims that the Government support is fully behind him, the Government should prove its worth in the most watched and played game in the World. So now, it’s the turn of the big horses sitting at their thrones to stir the laminar waters.
Amir Bashir is a passionate football fan and a regular columnist at www.footballnewsguru.com.