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Ones to Watch: Bashar Resan (Iraq)

Kuala Lumpur: Five years on from helping Iraq win the AFC U22 Championship in Oman, midfielder Bashar Resan has developed into a key player for the Lions of Mesopotamia as they look to impress in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

Such is the talent of Bashar Resan, that the now Persepolis midfielder first represented the senior side at his hometown club Air Force Club seven years ago as a 14-year-old.

Resan’s career has already taken him to bigger places, most recently competing in the 2018 AFC Champions League final. Next challenge for the 21-year-old is making his AFC Asian Cup debut with Iraq in January, where he is set to be one of the key players in the Lions of Mesopotamia setup.

Nationality: Iraq Date of birth: 22/12/1996 Position: Midfielder Current club: Persepolis (IR Iran) Previous clubs: Air Force Club (Iraq)

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Resan has represented Iraq in all age groups since first emerging as a top prospect as an early teenager. After helping the U23 side become Asian champions, he made his debut for the national team in 2014 aged 17. He has since gone on to earn 18 caps. New coach Srecko Katanec has given the midfield player a key role in his starting XI as he prepares to take the Lions of Mesopotamia into the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

Style of play

After starting his career as a right-winger, Resan was moved into a central midfield role. His combination of trickery and tenacity means he is capable of contributing to the attacking and defensive phases of play.

At 176 cm, aerial challenges are not Resan’s strongest point, but he makes up for it with his smart positioning. Meanwhile, his range of passing offers the team an outlet to unlock opposition defences from deeper positions.

What to look for

Having been plying his trade in IR Iran for the past 18 months, Resan will come up against a few of his current and former Persepolis teammates as Iraq prepare to face Team Melli in Group B. Although Katanec’s men are not amongst the top favourites for the title, the Iraqis have proven they are capable of upsets when they stunned the continent to lift the AFC Asian Cup title back in 2007.

Where and when to watch him

Iraq vs Vietnam
Venue: Zayed Sport City, Abu Dhabi
Kick-off: January 7, 17:30 UTC+4

Iraq vs Yemen
Venue: Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah
Kick-off: January 12, 17:30 UTC+4

Iraq vs IR Iran
Venue: Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai
Kick-off: January 16, 20:00 UTC+4

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