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Ones to Watch: Hassan Matouk (Lebanon)


Monday, December 10, 2018
Hassan Matouk-Lebanon-AFP

Kuala Lumpur: Lebanon qualified for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time after playing in the 2000 edition as the host country. And Hassan Maatouk’s contribution has been crucial to their success.


Despite boasting a host of foreign-based players, Maatouk, who returned to Lebanon after six years in UAE football, remains Lebanon’s talisman. He helped the Cedars qualify for UAE 2019 with five goals in six matches.



Nationality: Lebanon


Date of birth: 08/10/1987


Position: Forward


Current club: Nejmeh SC (Lebanon)


Previous clubs: Al Ahed (Lebanon), Ajman, Al Shaab, Fujairah (All UAE)

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International background



Maatouk made his Lebanon debut in 2006 and went on to make 16 appearances for Lebanon over the next five years, before he scored his first international goal against Bangladesh in 2011.

From that match onwards, Maatouk became a key part of the national team, and when Lebanon legend Roda Antar retired in 2016, Maatouk succeeded him as captain. The seasoned striker now has 19 international goals, just one less than Antar.




Style of play



Maatouk initially started out as a centre-forward before moving out to the wing, but as seen by his stats at club and country, he hasn’t lost his goalscoring touch, excelling at cutting inside from the wing to create opportunities.

Even at 31, Maatouk remains an agile player, meaning that his off the ball play is an important part of his game too. However, it is his ball-carrying skills that make him so important to the national team as he dribbles and goes past opposition defenders.







What to look for



After an impressive qualifying campaign under coach Miodrag Radulovic, Lebanon will continue to rely on Maatouk as the fulcrum in their quick counter-attacking style as they look to create an upset against more experienced sides like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Where and when to watch him:



Lebanon v Qatar


Venue: Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain


Kick-off: January 9, 20:00 UTC+4



Lebanon v Saudi Arabia


Venue: Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai


Kick-off: January 12, 20:00 UTC+4



Lebanon v DPR Korea


Venue: Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah


Kick-off: January 17, 20:00 UTC+4

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