BEIRUT: From the streets to the Lebanese National Youth Team; who is Lama Abdine?
“I started playing on the streets when I was only 5 years old, just as a hobby,” Abdine told Annahar, “and by age 10 I joined my first football club.”
After that, things started going very quickly for the young football player. She started her athletic career joining a boys team. Soon she got curious as to how it would be to play on a girls team, and so she joined a different team and started playing with girls.
This is where she got noticed by the coach of the Lebanese National Youth Team, who happened to be her coach at the girls' team as well. He noticed Abdine' potential and invited her for the try-outs for the Lebanese National Youth Team, which will be held in spring.
When she was in the girls' team she was training on a field near her home. She sadly had to leave this team when they moved training grounds and the club moved too far away.
Her next move landed her in a boys team. But because she is so far ahead of her age peers, she already plays with 16-year-old boys. A remarkable thing, as Lama is only 12 years old.
“At first they did treat me differently because I was the first and only girl in the team, but this changed when they saw me play,” said Abdine. Consistently scoring one or 2 goals every game, and already winning multiple trophy’s, she truly let her feet speak for her.
“Being the only girl in a boys team is not a problem for me. They treat me very friendly, and training with boys helps me develop my skills even better,” says Lama.
The only time she actually gets treated differently than the boys is when playing against other teams, as the opponent often is shy to confront her.
So, who actually is Lama Abdine? Lama Hassan Abdine is a 12-year-old girl born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. She plays as a left winger/striker position for her club Salem Lebnen.
At only 12 years old, this, of course, means that she is still in school. However, balancing school and football is no problem for Abdine. She uses her spare time in the afternoon to study and do homework, so she can always go to training. This caused her to besides being a great football player and at the top of her class.
Using all of her spare time is necessary, as she trains 10 to 12 hours a week in summer and 8 to 6 in winter.
In the future, she hopes to become a professional football player, but playing in Beirut is not the limit to her big dream. Lama dreams of playing for Ajax, in Amsterdam. However, playing for Barcelona wouldn’t be a problem either.
This dream of becoming a professional football player is coming to life very quickly for her, as she has had multiple offers from professional football clubs already. Having played club football for only two years, this just goes to show her great potential and talent.
She hasn’t joined any professional teams yet, because “I am comfortable where I am, and everything is beautiful in its time.”
Barcelona, of course, is a beautiful club with great history, but to Lama, there is another advantage, which is that Barcelona happens to have her idol playing for them, Messi. “He’s just the best in the world,” she says.
Lama Hassan Abdine is certainly one to watch with great potential. Remember the name!
Thijs Seimons, 16, from the Netherlands, is visiting Lebanon for two weeks and is currently a student intern at Annahar English.
Annahar English is officially launching a teen-writing section entitled Gen. Z Voices and invites all students, ages 14 to 18, to submit essays, school-oriented news articles, life commentaries and more. No school assignments or poetry.
Send manuscripts for consideration to Gen Z editor Chiri Choukeir: [email protected]
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