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WIGAN ATHLETIC PLAYER PROFILES

ALI AL HABSI
  • 26
  • ALI AL HABSI
  • GOALKEEPER

UPDATED 07:27 17th July 2012

His outstanding debut season on loan from rivals Bolton Wanderers earned Al Habsi the title of Player of the Season for 2010/2011 and if seven clean sheets in that campaign wasn’t enough, his first permanent year at the club saw him go one better with a total of eight from 38 games.

The fan-favourite became well known for his penalty saving ability and reaction saves during his first permanent season at the club.

In the 2011/2012 season Al Habsi saved penalties from Carlos Tevez, Kevin Davies, Heidar Helguson and Charlie Adam, the latter earning Latics a 0-0 draw in December 2011 at the DW Stadium.

The Omani international captain's first two seasons at the club were excellent and his form towards the end of the 2011/12 season went hand-in-hand with that of the whole team, conceding just 10 goals in the final 11 games of the season.

Al Habsi's capturing of the fans’ hearts earned him another accolade this season as he was voted as Away Player of the Season by the Wigan Athletic Supporters’ Club.

In 2012/13 Al Habsi played 35 times, with his crowning achievement a clean sheet in the FA Cup semi-final against Millwall at Wembley.

Before moving to Latics on loan, Al Habsi had four years at Bolton making just 10 appearances in the Premier League and ironically making his league debut against Latics.

His move to Bolton occurred as a result of securing a work permit during his impressive three year spell in Norway with Lyn Oslo where he played 62 times.

On the international scene, Al Habsi is the most popular and respected player for his country and this was highlighted during Latics trip to the Arabian Peninsula when he was welcomed something akin to a Hollywood celebrity.

Having made his debut for the Oman under 19s at the age of just 17, Al Habsi was gone on to have a glittering career for his nation claiming multiple appearances in the World Cup Qualifying stage, Asian Nations and the Gulf Cup.

The latter has been a hot-bed for success for the keeper, who has won the competitions Best Goalkeeper award on four separate occasions.

In the 2012/13 season Al Habsi struggled with a shoulder injury, but went on to keep a clean sheet in the FA Cup semi-final victory over Millwall, helping the club to secure their spot in the final.

Following the final game of the 2012/13 season against Aston Villa at the DW Stadium, Al Habsi was scheduled for shoulder surgery which he went through with during the summer.

He made a return to first team action in the 2013/14 season in a 2-1 victory over Reading at the Madejski Stadium in December 2013.

If you want to keep updated with Ali, you can follow him on Twitter @AliAlHabsi.

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