This Morsalin is made out of tough time

Bangladesh's Sheikh Morsalin celebrates a goal against Lebanon on 21 November in 2023
Prothom Alo

It’s like veni, vedi, vici. A comeback like a king. For Sheikh Morsalin, the word ‘comeback is perhaps a bit hasty. The word is too early to use for a player whose international career is just eight-match long till date.

Morsalin was banned from the national side due to disciplinary issues.

While playing in Maldives for his club Bashundhara Kings in the AFC Cup, Morsalin breached discipline with some of his teammates. His ban, however, was not long as the level of his crime was low. He came back to the national fold last week but did not get the chance in the first XI against Australia in that match. He came on as a substitute but could not show anything significant as Bangladesh got a drubbing of 7-0.

Morsalin resurrected at his home ground on Tuesday. He scored a screamer against Lebanon in the World Cup Qualifying match to earn Bangladesh a point and gave a loud and clear message of his comeback.

Morsalin made his mark in the international level through scoring a goal against Maldives in the SAFF Championship at Bengaluru last year. He also scored a spectacular goal against Bhutan in the last match of the group stage. He scored another one for Bangladesh during a friendly match against Afghanistan at the Kings’ Arena last September. It seemed the country’s football had found a player with immense potential after a longtime.

But, then the crash. He was caught red handed with alcohol while returning from the AFC Cup at Maldives with his club-mates. Morsalin scored a long-range shot on Monday against Lebanon. He had once said he wanted to score many goals for his country. It seems the young teen, who is turning 18 next Saturday, has come back to the right track.

As a matter of fact, the whole Bangladesh team played brilliantly against a higher ranked Lebanon. Bangladesh, who are ranked 183, could even snatch a victory against 104 ranked Lebanon. That is Morsalin is not fully content with the result. He, as a matter of fact, wasted two chances in both halves. However, he would find solace with the fact that his goal at least salvaged a point.

“Alhamdulillah for everything. Today we left the field with a draw thanks to my goal and that is why I am feeling very good.”

Due to the ban, he could not play two matches against Maldives in the preliminary round. By forgetting that awful time the youngster took an oath to return strongly. “I felt very bad but I kept myself prepared mentally. My target was whenever I would get a chance with the national shirt, I would give my hundred percent."

Rakib Hossain could not play due to suspension as he received two yellow cards in previous matches. The absence of one of the main strikers increased the pressure on Morsalin and Foysal Ahmed. Morsalin did his job brilliantly by wreaking havoc in the opposition ranks and he felt happy,

“I had extra responsibility as Rakib vai was not there. We all were aware. Others also gave more than a hundred percent today.”

Morsalin, who got a scholarship for his outstanding result in the primary school final, was brilliant both at studies and sports. He bought his boots with the scholarship money to become a footballer. He did not play in any age-level team. Bashundhara Kings discovered him from BKSP. Then straight into the national team. He played for some time for Mohammedan Sporting Club in the Premier League as a loanee. Whenever he got a chance, he wanted to prove himself. He was once again successful with the national team jersey on Tuesday.