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Saturday August 11, 2007 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday July 7, 2013 MYT 3:56:19 PM
by eric samuel
KUANTAN: Looks can be deceiving. Seventeen-year-old Ayub Daud is one example.
The Somalia-born midfielder looks frail but is full of energy and he is the one running the engine room for Italian giants Juventus in the ongoing Champions Youth Cup.
In the Group B match against Qatar on Thursday, Ayub was all over the field and showed off his wide array of skills. Unfortunately. Juventus could only manage a 0-0 draw.
Ayub was recruited by the club at the age of nine. He is grateful to the Italian side for giving him a chance to show off his skills.
“I will repay the club for nurturing me from young into what I’m today,” said Ayub after a training session at the Kuantan Municipal Council field yesterday.
Ayub is a huge fan of France and Barcelona striker Thierry Henry. He wants to follow in the former Arsenal striker’s footsteps.
“I like his style of play so much that I am wearing the same No. 14 jersey,” said Ayub, whose father Daud Hussein played for the Somali national team.
Besides Ayub, there are two other foreigners in the Italian side. They are Ivory Coast defender Adboulaye Bamba and Burkina Faso Under-20 international Bassaoule Yobie.
On today’s match against France’s Paris St Germain, Ayub said: “We want to make amends and go for a win to keep our hopes of making the quarter-finals alive.”
PSG have also vowed to bounce back after losing 1-2 to Barcelona in their opening match.
PSG coach David Bechkoura said the battle for places to the knockout stages was far from over. “We have to go all out against Juventus to put ourselves back in the race,” said Bechkoura.
Leaders Barcelona face Qatar in the other Group B match today and a win will put the Spanish giants in a strong position.
Barcelona coach Marc Hueget Cots said a tactical change made against PSG in the second half did the trick.
“We have taken a giant step forward and we are looking forward to qualifying for the knockout stages,” added Cots.
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