Centurion Al-Majali and Asia still inspired by world’s best Sam Kerr

Ayah Al-Majali (R) battles for possession with Sam Kerr Source: Getty Images

When Ayah Al-Majali sat and watched on television as her native Jordan won the Arab Games in 1999 as a seven-year-old, she fell in love with the beautiful game and incredibly, made her international debut just seven years later.

That early start is why she already has over 100 international appearances under her belt and is one of West Asia’s biggest stars.

The 28-year-old has been a great role model for youngsters in the region but believes that these days it is Sam Kerr who makes girls in Asia dream.

Al-Majali has had to work incredibly hard to combine a football career with her studies in Jordan and is playing in a league that only started to offer contracts in 2019.

It means that the sight of an Asian player like Kerr playing on the biggest stages in the world has made a difference.

“She is definitely the most skilful player, she works so hard and that work has paid off. She is an inspiration for so many girls in Asia,” Al-Majali told The World Game.

“She 100% deserves to be known as the best player in the world. I am a big fan.”

Kerr made the move to England in November 2019 but Al-Majali would love to make a big switch of her own after feeling that she has done all she can do in her own backyard.

“I have already played in the Lebanese women's league in 2014 and then did the same at the United Arab Emirates in 2015. Both of them were good but now I'm looking for a challenge on a higher level so I don't think my next step will be in West Asia.” 

She now plays in Jordan for Shabab Al-Ordan, helping the team win the West Asian Football Federation title last year, though this season has been hit by coronavirus.

If England is out of reach then going down under would be ideal.

“The W-League is a very competitive one and I think most players in Asia would love to play there," Al-Majali she said.

"When I have played against Australia, I have enjoyed it. They are a very, very good tactical team, fast and strong and they have a good team spirit.”

The 28-year-old still plans to be around for 2023 and hopes that Jordan will make a first World Cup appearance in Australia.

“It is very important for women’s football in Asia that we have the World Cup here, it is the first one and we all really want to be there," she said.

"It is my wish that both the Jordanian men and the women can play at the World Cup and to get to Australia would be fantastic.”

Failure to qualify for the 2019 Women’s Asian Cup shows that Jordan still has some way to go even if the league is slowly becoming more professional.

“It was disappointing for us and we have to work very hard in all levels to improve the national teams here in West Asia and then we need to try to make the gap smaller with other teams in Asia," Al-Majali said.

"If we can do that then we can start thinking about the World Cup in Australia. That is the dream.”