“Give him a million!”
Cristiano Ronaldo was very impressed by Shazad Ali Shah, who correctly predicted all eleven players on the 2016 FIFA FIFPro World 11.
Ronaldo praised Shazad when they met in Zurich, Switzerland.
“I always play lotto,” the 4-time world player of the year said. “You only have to predict six numbers, but I never win."
"And he predicted 11 players correctly ... Give him a million!”
Shazad’s hug with Ronaldo was the highlight of a day-to-remember for the 20-year old student from Birmingham, UK.
Accompanied by his father, Mohammad Latif, Shazad was invited by FIFPro to meet World 11 players..
Shazad also met Luka Modric, Manuel Neuer and Dani Alves. He took some selfies and chatted with them. “Dani Alves was really nice”, he said.
Alves appreciated Shazad’s decision to take his father to Zurich instead of a friend. “That decision took me a week”, Shazad explained. “If I was to pick a friend, others might get jealous. I did not want that. Six friends offered me money if I would pick them, one tried to bribe me with a thousand pounds.”
“You did the right thing”, Alves said. “Or did your father give you 2,000?”, the Brazilian defender joked.
Later that day, Shazad received a shout-out from actress Eva Longoria during the television show when the World 11 was officially announced.
Shazad describes himself as a “massive” football fan. He has supported Real Madrid since he was 8 years and has even visited the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
In Zurich he had hoped to meet his favourite player, Sergio Ramos. Unfortunately Real Madrid’s plane arrived too late to allow Ramos (and Toni Kroos and Marcelo) to drop in, while Barcelona’s four players on the World 11 cancelled their trip to Zurich at the last moment.
But Shazad looked on the bright side: “I am just gobsmacked. Players are walking into the room and shaking my hands. They pose with me for photos. It is weird. But it is a really good experience.””
- Published: 13 January 2017