Somali Football Star Abdikhafid Mohamed Announces Shocking Retirement

Shocking fans, Abdikhafid Mohamed, a rising star for Somalia’s national football team, has announced his retirement. Making the announcement via a video, he sent shockwaves through Somali social media, with fans grappling to understand why such a promising talent would call it quits.

Explaining his decision in the video, Abdikhafid said, “I’ve achieved a lot in football. I’m not the first young person to retire, but I’m stepping away for personal reasons.” Carrying the weight of disappointment, his tone highlighted the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the sport. Adding, “When a young player gets discouraged, it’s tough to keep playing because football is all about enthusiasm.”

Discussing the internal struggles that led to his decision, the young forward shared his frustrations. Mentioning, “Many factors influenced my decision, including issues within the nation. I faced significant challenges, like conflicts with a coach. When you clash with someone in a superior position, their decisions prevail. This left me without support and feeling resentful,” he offered a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes friction that plagues many young athletes.

Captivating attention last year, Abdihafid was the talk of the town when he netted a crucial goal for Somalia’s under-17 national team in a match against Uganda. Striking controversy, however, he failed an MRI test designed to verify his age, revealing he was older than the under-17 category’s limit, cutting short his triumph.

Recognized as “Hafid Januzaj,” Abdihafid’s name and photos have become hard to miss if you’ve been following the Somali sports scene. Serving as a beacon of hope for Somalia’s under-17 squad, he had confidently predicted that his team would clinch the cup in a special interview with the BBC. Showcasing the best young talent from East and Central Africa, this competition is known as the “Afcon Under-17 Cup of Nations.”

Starting his journey on the national stage in 2018, Abdihafid’s potential was recognized by Abdullahi Mohamud Hirsi, who is in charge of developing young players for Somalia’s national team.

Originating from Kismayo in the Lower Jubba region, Abdihafid’s roots are as humble as they come. Sharing his story with the BBC, he said, “I started playing at a very young age in Kismayo. My teacher encouraged me to play at the national level, and I have now reached that level.”

Currently shining as one of the stars for Elman FC in Mogadishu, Abdihafid is known for his exceptional skills and the admiration he garners from coaches. Reflecting on his journey, he couldn’t hide his pride over the under-17 national team’s success last year, especially after his goal against Ethiopia. Celebrating, which became a viral moment, was inspired by global stars like Aubameyang and Lacazette, as well as his brother and friend, Farhan Hiddig.

Despite suffering a leg muscle injury last year, Abdihafid’s competitive spirit remains unbroken. Holding a particular grudge against the Tanzanian team, which bested Somalia in the 2018 final, he vowed, “I swear to Tanzania, they beat us in the final in 2018, even though I wasn’t playing at that time. Our brothers were playing. I hope we can seek revenge now.

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