Watch: Baby Ozil from Kerala has caught Arsenal’s eye all the way in London
If there is one Indian state where the craze and love for football surpasses that for cricket, it has to be god’s own country – Kerala. And this knowledge seems to have reached all the way to London – prompting Arsenal, a football club from the British capital, to send a two-person team to Kerala to interview a diehard fan.
Meet Inzamam Ul-Haq, a Malappuram resident, who loves everything about Arsenal – so much so that he named his infant son after one of the football club’s star players – Mesut Ozil.
When the word of his devotion reached the football club, Arsenal’s media team made it a point to talk to the the Pulpatta native about it.
The video of the interview was even shared on Arsenal’s official Facebook page on Saturday.
Inzamam and his wife Fidha’s son was born in December 2017, and goes by the name “Mehd Ozil”.
“As a kid, I was very interested in sports. But my main interest was always Arsenal,” Inzamam begins.
He talks about his love for the club, their red and white jersey and more. “Whatever I did, had to be related to Arsenal,” he shares.
As soon as Fidha got pregnant, Inzamam’s friends and family knew all too well that if their child was a boy, his name would have something to do with Arsenal – the club’s manager Arsene Wenger was also a strong contender, Inzamam shares with a sheepish chuckle.
He even considered Mohamed Elneny, who is the midfielder for Arsenal. But the first option for was always Ozil. “I’m a big fan of Ozil,” Inzamam says passionately. “The way he creates the chances… he sees spaces that other players don’t see.”
When the couple was blessed with a boy, the choice was clear for Inzamam. His wife, friends and family had no complaints either. ‘Mesut’ was replaced with ‘Mehd’ which, Inzamam says, means “instructor” in Turkish, followed by Ozil, which translated to “genuine”. And his little boy was named after the Mehd Ozil.
Not surprisingly, Inzamam wants his son to be a football player when he grows up – if Mehd so wishes, of course. “Just like Mesut Ozil,” Inzamam smiles.
“He’ll be trained by myself,” he says, “for a short period,” he adds hastily. “And if he gets a chance, and if he is interested, I will obviously choose some coaching and I will make him a football player.”
The video ends with the father and son, both dressed in the red and white Arsenal jersey, looking at each other.
Inzamam tells TNM that his love for Arsenal getting noticed by the club was completely unexpected. "What can I say, I am completely overwhelmed and so happy. I didn't see this coming at all!" the 26-year-old civil engineer says.
(Mesut Ozil photo courtesy: Ronnie Macdonald via Wikimedia Commons.)