The fact that one of the world's best young players hails from Iraq might come as a surprise to many, but in his homeland the recent successes of Humam Tariq is no shock. Humam Tariq is the Middle East's best player already at the tender age of 19.
The Baghdad born youngster, who has already appeared over 27 times for his home country, is currently playing for Al Dhafra on loan from Al Ahli and has started to show the skills that have many consider him the brightest talent to have come from the region.
In 2013, Tariq made a move to join Al Ahli, signing a 5 year contract. The club were forced to loan Tariq out as the player had yet to reach his 18th birthday.
Last season at Al Dhafra, Humam started to show the reasons why he is so highly rated. Fast on the ball; Tariq uses his small frame to burst past defenders and find space on the flank. Tariq's distribution is already excellent for such a young man. The midfielder is an excellent crosser of the ball and his confident passing can open up any game.
In March, Tariq scored his first international goal against the DR Congo. Many in Iraq expect more to come from him on the international scene for years to come.
With his best young years tied to Dubai based Al-Ahli, perhaps Tariq will struggle to receive the best possible coaching needed to become one of the world's best. But given the correct coaching and with enough time, few can doubt that Iraq is now blessed with one of world football's best young prospects.