Anwar Ali: From braving career-threatening heart disease to shining for India – SportsMediaz

As India made it to the main round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup tournament, it looked back at the heroic performances of some of its young players. Anwar Ali’s name should be figuring on top of the list of the outstanding performers whose presence on the ground sealed the issue for India.

The realisation of the Asian Cup main round berth for a second consecutive occasion was a watershed moment for India football, which has been looking for an acknowledgement of the development projects that started with the hosting of the Under-17 FIFA World Cup in 2017.

Anwar Ali is one of the brightest products of this development initiative and made his mark as a brilliant central defender who can shoot with deadly accuracy with both legs. He proved this on Tuesday when scored his first international goal to give India the crucial lead against Hong Kong in the first minute of the match.

India blanks Hong Kong in AFC Asian Cup Quaifiers to enter finals as group leader

When Indian head coach Igor Stimac asserted that India should be winning the qualifiers to secure the main round berth, the Croatian World Cupper definitely counted on abilities of players like Anwar Ali.

Anwar Ali was definitely one of the biggest gains in the final round of the Asian Cup qualifiers as the brawny centre-back provided solidity to the team’s defence with a remarkable show of temperament, anticipation and great tackling ability.

For Anwar this will be a great moment of reckoning as he braved a heart condition that threatened to end his career before it could really start. The player was grounded in 2019 by the All India Football Federation after being diagnosed with a congenital heart condition – Hypertrophic Cardio Myopathy. Anwar did not sit back and consulted medical experts before approaching the court to seek a reprieve from the AIFF embargo.

AIFF accepted his depositions and Anwar was allowed to play in August last year. Since then the player has been making giant strides with his performance with the ISL giant FC Goa. Anwar Ali has announced his arrival with a bang and it is expected that the player will go a long distance in becoming one of the best defenders of the country.

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