As most of you may know by now Mohammed Al-Masri has called time on his career due to a heart condition that required surgery to insert a pacemaker. Al-Masri is one of the lucky ones alongside the likes of Real Madrid's Rubén De La Red and Bolton's Fabrice Muamba. The former captain of Yarmouk (JOR) experienced heart palpitations whilst warming up before Shabab Al-Dhahrieh's Yasser Arafat Cup semifinal match against Thaqafi Tulkarem. If it were not for the quick thinking of the medical team on the ground (A result of full-scale professionalization)- Al-Masri may not be alive to tell his story.
Al-Masri had to bide his time on the bench or at home under Moussa Bezaz despite being highly rated by fans of The Oryxes. His first cap coincided with the worst loss in Palestine's modern history a 7-0 loss to Iran in a game that Palestine played without a manager and some key players (for political reasons the players with Israeli travel documents were omitted from the squad). That said, Al-Masri's performance at the Pan Arab Games whilst playing with injury is nothing short of heroic. He might be retiring with only five caps but he will be remembered for the size of his metaphorical heart.
In an interview with Capitano Al-Masri told of his plans to remain affiliated with the footballing world and he is seriously considering obtaining his coaching badges. The defender may have retired but he is looking forward to moving on: He will become a father for the second time in a couple of months and there is the small matter of a testimonial match Al-Dhahrieh is sure to organize after the end of the season.