Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Sydney: Veteran Younus Mahmood has dismissed speculation that he is set to retire from international football by reiterating his desire to help Iraq qualify for the next FIFA World Cup in 2018.
The 31-year-old Mahmood, who was the talisman for Iraq when he scored the winning goal in the final of the AFC Asian Cup against Saudi Arabia in 2007, has remained upbeat despite his national side crashing out of the semi-finals of the ongoing Asian Cup in Australia at the hands of Korea Republic.
Without a club for a year, Mahmood scored two goals at the tournament and played the role of mentor to a young and inexperienced Iraq squad looking to emulate the heroes of 2007.
"I know they (Korea Republic) won and went to the final, but we also won," fifa.com quoted Mahmood as saying. "We won 20 players - they will benefit the national team for the next ten years. I think if the same group stays together then our dream will come true and we'll qualify for the World Cup."
"I'm not retiring after this cup (Asian Cup 2015). We're now building a new generation and we need to have experienced players with them in the national team.
"The World Cup qualifiers start in four or five months. Hopefully I'll be with the team in the World Cup qualifiers.
Mahmood added that he is looking to continue his club career, with several teams currently chasing his services.
"I have several offers, seven in fact. I am studying them." he explained.