Name: Anwar Ali

Date of Birth: 28 August 2000, Adampur, Punjab, India

Anwar Ali is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Indian Super League club Mohun Bagan Super Giant, currently on loan from Delhi in the I-League, while also representing the Indian national team. Anwar started to play football at the age of seven for a local club. He started as a striker but later shifted to the defensive line and became a centre-back.

In 2015, Anwar Ali became part of the youth program at Minerva Punjab, where he competed in various youth-level tournaments such as the Elite League. His impressive performances for the club led to call-ups to the national team. Following his standout performance in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Anwar Ali embarked on a new chapter by joining Indian Arrows on a season-long loan from Minerva Punjab for the 2017–18 I-League season. This marked the beginning of his professional journey. Anwar's debut for Indian Arrows was marked with a significant victory, as he played a pivotal role in a commanding 3–0 home win over Chennai City, showcasing his talent and potential on the professional stage.

On August 7, 2018, Anwar Ali signed a three-year contract with Mumbai City, entering the Indian Super League arena. However, he was loaned to Indian Arrows for the 2018–19 I-League season. Despite being included in Mumbai City's squad for the 2019–20 Indian Super League season, he had to withdraw due to a rare heart condition diagnosis. Subsequently, his contract was mutually terminated based on medical grounds. In 2019, Anwar Ali was sidelined from football by the AIFF due to a diagnosis of a rare heart condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, characterized by an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle wall, which impacts blood circulation. However, in 2021, Anwar received clearance from the AIFF to resume playing, following a verdict from the Delhi High Court.

On 24 August 2020, Anwar joined Mohmmedan for their 2020 I-League Qualifiers, but Mohammedan chose to release him considering directions from a top football body, AIFF. They directed the club to not let him train with the club citing his rare heart condition, despite a verdict from the Delhi High Court allowing him to join the club.

On November 23, 2020, Anwar Ali entered into a brief contract with Techtro Swades United in the Himachal Football League. During his time with the club, he featured in two matches throughout the 2020 Himachal Football League season.

On May 21, 2021, Anwar Ali signed a five-year contract with Delhi FC. Following clearance from the AIFF to resume competitive play, he participated in the 2021 Durand Cup, where he played a pivotal role in helping Delhi FC advance to the knockout stage. Anwar also showcased his scoring prowess during the 2021 I-League Qualifiers, emerging as the top scorer with four goals from seven appearances.

On January 1, 2022, Anwar Ali commenced his journey with Indian Super League outfit FC Goa, securing an eighteen-month loan move from Delhi FC. He marked his debut in a notable 1–0 home victory against Chennaiyin. Then, on July 13, 2023, Anwar embarked on a new chapter by joining Mohun Bagan on a four-year loan agreement from Delhi FC, following a pre-contract agreement signed in January 2023.

Internationally at Youth level Anwar was called up for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2015 after Luis Norton de Matos scouted him when he played for Minerva Punjab youth side against India U-17 in a practice match. After two years of representing the national team, Anwar Ali secured a spot in the final 21-member squad for the U-17 World Cup, hosted in India. He featured as a starter in all of India's group stage matches during the tournament. Anwar's notable contribution extended beyond the U-17 level when he scored the decisive goal in India U-20's remarkable 2–1 victory over Argentina U-20 in the 2018 COTIF Tournament.

At Senior level, in May 2019 Anwar received a call-up to join the India senior team national camp but was subsequently sent back due to a diagnosis of a rare heart condition. However, in March 2022, he was once again summoned to the India squad by coach Igor Štimac for two friendly encounters against Bahrain and Belarus. Making his debut on March 23 against Bahrain, despite a 2–1 defeat, Anwar marked his presence. His inaugural international goal came on June 14, 2022, during a 4–0 victory in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification match against Hong Kong.

In his Club Career he has played a total of 87 matches and scored 8 goals. In his International Career he has played 18 matches and scored 1 goal.


Related Stories