From a Refugee to a Football Super Star: Muqdad Hassoo

mascot, lion, football

Early Childhood

Muqdad Hassoo was born and raised in Sinjar, a small town in the North East of Iraq. He lived there with his family. Muqdad belongs to the Yazidi community, a small ethnic-religious minority from ancient Mesopotamia.

Yazidis have witnessed a lot of persecution and genocides because of their religious beliefs. ‘’Life in Iraq was very hard for my family and me, for all Yazidis. But I survived, and I hope to be able to represent my community, to be able to be what I have always dreamed of; becoming a football player’’ Muqdad Hassoo.

New in the Netherlands

In early 2012, Muqdad and his family fled Iraq, just like thousands of other Yazidis. He came to the Netherlands, where they got a lot of support, and integration processes started immediately. He attended the Dutch language school for almost two years. After that, Muqdad began to study to become a hairstylist. After graduating, he worked in a barbershop in the Netherlands.


After ten days of being in the Netherlands, Muqdad started playing football. In the beginning, he played in an amateur football club in the Eastern part of the country. Quickly after that, he attracted the interest of Dutch football clubs. Among others, John van den Brom, former AZ Alkmaar trainer, said being interested in joining Muqdad to the club. Muqdad met Van den Brom during a football tournament organized by the Dutch national and ING bank. From around 400 football players from all parts of the country, Muqdad was selected as the winner.

From that moment until now, Muqdad plays at the highest level of semi-proof football in the Netherlands. ‘’when I was in Iraq, it was a dream to become a football player, but now I am in the Netherland, that dream has become a goal. One day, I will play in the top European football clubs. Everything starts with believing in yourself, and I believe in myself as never before. I will be one of the best football players ever’’ Muqdad Hassoo.

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