Iraqi brothers out to make history
Perhaps it is not abnormal to witness two brothers playing together for national teams across the world, but Hawar and Halkard Mulla Mohamed will become the first from Iraq should they turn out in tandem at the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009.
And as they told FIFA.com, they are eager to emulate Denmark's Laudrups, the Vidmars of Australia and Egypt's Hassans, who played together at the 1995, 1997 and 1999 editions of the competition respectively.
"My ambition was always to play with Halkard in the national team and hopefully this dream will come true in the Confederations Cup," said Hawar, who rose to fame in Iraq's run to the semi-finals of the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004. "Our parents are happy to see us together here and they are supporting us."
"I'm glad that I'm with the national team with Hawar as he is my idol," added Halkard, who is seven year's younger than his brother. "I can't wait to play with him in the same game and hopefully we can do this against Spain or New Zealand."
Having played for several clubs outside Iraq, such as Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, Al Khor of Qatar, and Cyprian teams Appolon Limasol and Anorthosis Famagusta, his current employers, Hawar is in a position to pass on advice to his brother.
"Halkard is a good player and he has made a lot of progress in the recent years. He has a lot of talent and I'm confident that there is a big future for him. I usually give him advice when needed and I hope that he can carry on with the same good performances," said Hawar.
While the 27-year-old midfielder has turned out at Athens 2004, the AFC Asian Cup 2007 and last season's UEFA Champions League, Halkard hopes the FIFA Confederations Cup will the perfect stage to showcase his talent.
"The Confederations Cup is the second biggest tournament in football after the World Cup and it is really an honor for me to be with the national team. Hopefully I can play against Spain or New Zealand because this will be my chance to have a good start with the national team," said Halkard, who has only five Iraq caps to his name.
"This tournament is good for Iraq because we are playing against big teams like Spain who are the European champions and it is something great to play against stars from different teams who play in big tournaments like the UEFA Champions League for example. Hawar may have experienced that with his club but for me it's something new. I hope that I can follow the footsteps of Hawar and that we will play together a lot in the national team.