By Shahrukh Sohail, Chief Editor, Islamabad.
Ever since their exclusion from the National Team squads since October, 2013, the fans and results have missed foreign-based players turning out for Pakistan. But nobody more than the players have missed the green jersey.
Yaqoob Butt, who last played in Pakistan’s 2-1 win against Bangladesh in the 2013 SAFF Championship, revealed that he is doing well with his club in Denmark and would be thrilled to play for his country against Afghanistan, for which the PFF are expected to hold a 10-day camp.
“My current form is at its best! I am playing as a defensive midfielder in VIF (Vanlose) now and playing every match. We are hoping to win the league this season or next! It’s a very young team but the players are very talented!”
“My driving force of playing for Pakistan is my heart! I lived there for several years in Lahore and my entire family lives in Pakistan. I have always wanted to play for my country, and my country is Pakistan! The time that I was playing for the national team was wonderful. We won a lot of matches, and our team was new. The boys on the team are like brothers to me! And I think that we could get Pakistan back on track if we play with the same team for 1-2 years! ”
“I will always be willing to play for my country! But it is very hard to get free 10 days. But if the coach wants us to do that, Then I will try to get free for 10 days to take part in the camp,” he stressed.
Ace goalkeeper Yousuf Butt, who also turned down Canada U-19s to play for Pakistan, added that he was plying his trade in the Danish 1st Division with new club Bronshoj, where the level of football is very high and that could help the Shaheens immensely in the goalkeeping department.
“It’s been more than one year without national team football. But i am a professional who trains and does his best everyday I have moved up and now i am at the 1 division club Bronshoj, where the level is high. I train and play everyday with some decent footballers, who come from different places across the world. InshaAllah, this will benefit me and our national team of Pakistan when playing.”