Emirati schoolboy to lead Manchester City onto pitch for top-of-the-table league game

Ali Al Haddad is Etihad Stadium bound Ali Al Haddad is Etihad Stadium bound

Emirati schoolboy Ali Al Haddad will live his dream and lead out the Manchester City team in front of more than 45,000 fans at the Etihad Stadium before the game against Tottenham on January 22.

The 11-year-old is a player at the Manchester City School of Football in Abu Dhabi and won the incredible trip after being picked at random from all those taking part.

Places are still available for the official coaching sessions at Zayed Sports City which start this Sunday, January 15.

“I came home from school and my mother had a big smile on her face and said she had some amazing news,” said Ali.

“It is so brilliant and I keep thinking about meeting David Silva who I think is easily City’s best player and my hero.

“There will be so many fans and so much noise and it’s a dream for me for this to happen.

“The City team is doing great this season and now we have the School of Football to learn skills just like the players.”

Ali and a relative will fly from Abu Dhabi to Manchester on the weekend of the game and will be met by Club officials.

They will be given a guided tour of the Etihad Stadium before changing into the team’s famous sky blue kit.

Before kick-off Ali will join the players in the tunnel and then lead them out onto a pitch for the Tottenham match – a vital English Premier League game that will be watched by a capacity crowd and millions more around the world.

Ali’s mother, Amani, said: “We are all going to be so proud. He is such a big fan of Manchester City and this will be fantastic for him to experience.

“I don’t think he can wait for the big day to come!”

Boys and girls in the UAE can now sign up for the 10-week courses at the School of Football.