Kozhikode, September 2: Afghan player Sharif Mukhammad will lead Gokulam Kerala FC in the upcoming season.
The Afghan national midfielder played a pivotal role for the Malabarians’ previous season to help the club lift its maiden I-League title.
Sharif, who played in the defensive midfield position, scored four goals in the 14 matches he played for the Malabarians. He was also the anchorman in Italian coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese’s attacking style with a whopping 799 passes.
He was a crucial component in the three-man midfield of Gokulam Kerala FC. His free-kick goal paved way for the Malabarians comeback win against TRAU FC in the last match of the I-League and win the championship.
Born and brought up in Russia, Sharif started his football journey at the age of seven with the academy of Anzhi Makhachkala, a Russian Premier League club. He was promoted to their senior team and remained at his boyhood club for five years. At Anzhi, he has played along with top footballers such as Roberto Carlos, Willian, and Samuel Eto.
He later joined Spartak Nalchik, AFC Eskilstuna, and Maziya. At Maziya, he has played AFC Cup. Sharif is a regular starter for the Afghan National team and has made several appearances for them.
“We have won I-league and we have made Kerala fans proud. We have shown everybody that we can play beautiful football. I know that it won’t be easy to defend titles. But we will play with the same aggressive and attacking style, and we won’t’ let our fans down this season,” said Sharif Mukhammad after being selected as captain.
“He is an experienced player with exceptional leadership qualities. His experience in midfield will help the Malabarians to scale new heights in the season. We wish him all the best this season as captain,” said Gokulam Kerala FC head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese.