Yasser Al Qahtani – a sniper’s tale
After Saudi Arabia’s glorious campaign at the 1994 FIFA World Cup™, few would have believed that anyone from the “Sons of the Desert” would emulate that success. However, Yasser Al Qahtani has turned heads, changed the opinions of many and convinced pundits that the skills of Saudi Arabian footballers should never go unnoticed.
Many successful strikers in Saudi Arabian football, such as Majed Abdullah, Fahad Al Harifi, Saeed Owairan and Sami Al Jabcr have made their mark on their generations with several achievements and Al Hilal striker Yasser Al Qahtani is no exception, having been recently crowned the best footballer in Asia.
Al Qahtani was the fourth player from the kingdom to win the prestigious honour but only the second striker after Owairan, who became the inaugural Saudi player to win the accolade in 1994.
At the young age of 25, Al Qahtani became the captain of the Saudi Arabia national team and he will be hoping to achieve mote in the coming years with both Al Hilal and the Green Falcons.
As a striker, Al Qahtani provides a constant threat to opposing defence and is well known for his decisive goals, which have earned him the title of ”The Sniper”.
After each goal, the prolific striker celebrates with a trademark move which consists of going down on one knee, reaching for an imaginary arrow from his back and firing it with a restive flourish.
“The first time I did the sniper move was against Kuwait in the 2004 Gulf Cup,” AJ Qahcani recalls. “I did it unintentionally after snatching the ball between a defender and the goalkeeper and from then on I continued doing it after scoring each goal.” After that move, Saudi football fans gave Al Qahtani several nicknames including “The Sniper”, “Robin Hood” and “The Mighty Yasser”.