Exclusive Interview with Iraqi Football Talent Alexander Aoraha

In an exclusive interview with the Iraq International News Agency, Alexander Aoraha of Queens Park Rangers (QPR) delves into the trajectory of his career, tracing his progress from his formative years at the age of 10 to his current standing at 21. Apart from his contributions to his English club, Aoraha has emerged as a distinguished figure within the Iraqi National team, showing unwavering dedication and passion in representing his nation on the international stage.

Hi, can you introduce yourself and the position you play on the field?

Hi, I’m Alexander Aoraha. I play centre midfield for QPR.

How does it feel to represent the Iraq national team and what does it mean to you personally?

I was very proud for me and especially my family because obviously my father’s Iraqi. So, anytime I play, play for them, whether it’s the first team or the under 23s, it’s like a very proud moment for me and yeah, I love playing for them.

What aspects of your game do you feel like you’ve improved the most over the years?

Maybe in the past two years, my physical play, because as you get older you get stronger physically and faster and quicker and fitter and I’d probably say so I’d say my physical aspect of the game and probably like my tactical aspect of the game, like spatial awareness, spatial positioning, off the ball and on the ball as well.

Who are your football idols and how have they influenced your playing style?

I have two or three mainly so, I always supported Liverpool as a kid. So Stephen Gerrard was like one of my main idols. Like just a box to box midfielder like, he did everything, he scored goals, he stopped goals, he set up goals. So yeah, probably Stephen Gerald is one of them and then another one, probably Kevin De Bruyne. Like just the way he plays the game. He’s a great player, like passing ability, running with the ball as well. So I think probably them two are the two players I base my game off the most.

Do you have any memorable moments you’d like to share from your career?

I’d certainly say number one, making my debut for QPR. So when I came on, that was an amazing feeling because obviously I’ve been there since I was ten years old. So just going through the academy, all you want to do is end up playing. So I’d certainly say that. And then also making my debut for the national team as well against Ecuador. That was an unreal feeling. Crazy.

How do you maintain a balance between your football career and your personal life?

I think it’s something that comes quite naturally to me because I’d say my friends and family understand the sacrifices that it takes to make a career in the game. So I feel like because they never pressure me to do things and they see me at the moment, I can and stuff like that, I never have to kind of work on it. I feel like it’s something that just comes naturally because maybe the sacrifices they make for me, which I’m thankful for. So yeah, it comes naturally, thankfully.

And what advice would you give to aspiring football players looking to follow in your footsteps?

I just feel like from a young age, if you feel like you want to become a football, you’ve got to try and be all in on it. You have to give 100% every training session. You have to do extra things outside, because they’re the things that. Because they’re the things that when people do that one, because you only have one shot and you have to give it all you can and you have to do things even when people aren’t watching, because that’s the things that will push you above other people. Like, you need to do things outside of training, like when you’re at home and things like that.

What goals do you have for your football career in the next few years?

The next few years? Well, firstly, I want to get back to full fitness because that’s the aim. So hopefully just getting back to full fitness and then after that, pushing on and trying to break through into the first team, play more games in the league and stuff like that, and then hopefully play more games for Iraq because, that’s what I want to do.

How does the sense of national pride influence your performance when playing for Iraq?

I feel like it’s. Especially when you play in front of the fans, like in Baghdad or Basra. It’s a crazy feeling because you feel everyone is there to support you and everyone’s there to support the country no matter what. So, it’s like the feeling you get when you hear everyone singing the national anthem or when they’re cheering you on for an attack. Honestly, you can’t describe it, you can’t put it into words. It’s literally unreal, an unreal feeling.

How has your success as a footballer affected your personal life?

I don’t know. I wouldn’t say it’s affected it that much. I feel like. Like I said before, I’ve always had a close group of friends and stuff and my family always supported me, so I feel like it hasn’t really affected it that much, to be honest.

You’ve made the Iraqi people proud, so I’m sure you are also proud of that.

Yes, I didn’t know how big it was. Do you know what I mean? Obviously, when I went out there, I realised it’s literally, the love for football is unreal. It’s like Morocco, do you know what I mean? Their love for football is unreal.

The Iraqi National Team is also doing quite well at the moment.

Yes, they beat Japan the other day. I wish them all the best; I keep in contact with the coach now. They’ve been asking about me and I call the players all the time, so literally, I just hope they keep doing well because I want them to win, do you know what I mean? So, we’ll see, hopefully they win, Inshallah.

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