Ones to Watch: Musa Al Taamari (Jordan)
Kuala Lumpur: After a stellar 2018 AFC Cup campaign, Musa Al Taamari made the switch to Cyprus. In January, he could be Jordan's only Europe-based player.
Having reached the quarter-finals in two of their previous three AFC Asian Cup campaigns, Jordan have big hopes for the 2019 edition, and 20-year-old Al Taamari is the poster boy for the nation's ambitions.
Date of birth: 10/06/1997
Current club: APOEL (Cyprus)
Previous clubs: Al Jazeera, Shabab Al Ordon (both in Jordan)
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Al Taamari was only 19 years old when he made his debut for the Jordanian National Team, representing his nation in a 1-1 friendly draw against Lebanon in 2016. He went onto make six more appearances that year.
In 2017, Al Taamari bagged his first international goal when he scored in a friendly against Hong Kong. This was followed by another goal, his first competitively, when Jordan defeated Cambodia 7-0 in a 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier.
Al Taamari continued to play for Jordan's age groups, helping the U23 side qualify for the 2018 AFC U23 Championship, with two goals in the qualifiers. During the Finals, however, Jordan came short in the group stage and Al Taamari ended the campaign with no goals to his name.
Style of play
Being a left-footed right winger, Al Taamari has a general tendency to cut inside and take on players with his fantastic dribbling ability. His ability to keep the ball close to his feet even in tight spaces is what makes him very dangerous when attacking defences, as they struggle to take the ball off of him.
The most dribbles completed in the #AFCCup2018 so far! 🏃♂️— AFC Cup (@AFCCup) June 6, 2018
🇱🇧 Mohammad Haidar (Al Ahed) - 3️⃣8️⃣
🇯🇴 Musa Al Taamari (Al Jazeera) - 3️⃣5️⃣
🇱🇧 Hassan Chaito (Al Ahed) - 2️⃣8️⃣
🇵🇭 Stephan Scrock (@CeresNegrosFC) - 2️⃣4️⃣ pic.twitter.com/6a8EYIDCJQ
Al Taamari's pace, trickery and general style of play have seen him likened to Liverpool winger Mohammed Salah. The Jordanian has proved he has an eye for goal, with six goals for his former side Al Jazeera in the 2018 AFC Cup.
What to look for
After the retirement of all-time top scorer Hassan Abdulfattah, the attacking burden for Vital Borkelmans' men will fall on the shoulders of Al Taamari and Hamza Al Dardour, who had netted four in one match against Palestine in 2015.
Where and when to watch him
Jordan vs Australia
Venue: Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Kick-off: January 6, 15:00 UTC+4
Jordan vs Syria
Venue: Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain
Kick-off: January 10, 17:30 UTC+4
Jordan vs Palestine
Venue: Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Kick-off: January 15, 17:30 UTC+4
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