From the second tier of football in Oman, Ali Al Habsi went on to become the first player from the Arabian Gulf to play in the English Premier League.
The Omani goalkeeper also became the first player from his country to play football in Europe when he left Al Nasr in Salalah to join Norwegian club Lyn Oslo.
A former fireman at Muscat International Airport, Al Habsi spent three seasons in Norway before earning a move to the then Premier League side Bolton Wanderers. He made his Premier League debut against his current club Wigan Athletic in 2008, and eventually joined them in 2010.
At international level, Al Habsi is the current captain of the Oman national team, and has made over 100 appearances for his country. A fans’ favourite, he has been regularly linked with a move back to the Premier League. Al Habsi is also the co-founder of Safety First, a road safety organisation in Oman that aims to reduce deaths as a result of traffic accidents.