2 Manchester City diehard fans from UAE have their wish come true
Players from Manchester City were at Emirates Palace for mid-season warm-weather training (Photo: Khaleej Times)
Two young diehard fans of Manchester City, who have challenging medical conditions, got their wish of a lifetime granted when they met star players of the football team in Abu Dhabi.
Emirati Hamad Khalil Alhousani, 17, who has Type 1 Diabetes, and 15-year-old Syrian Bashar Fouad Alkaisi, who has Thalassaemia, were selected by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to have their wishes granted to meet their heroes from the English Premier League team.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which is the official destination partners of the team, organised for the two teenagers to be taken along to meet some of the team's star players.
Hamad and Bashar were taken to the hotel where they got to meet club captain Vincent Kompany, Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, Serbian star Aleksandar Kolarov and rising Mancunian player Tosin Adarabioyo and have their pictures taken. The boys also received signed shirts from the team.
Bashar said he could not believe he was shaking hands with his heroes. "It was really amazing to meet the players from Manchester City, and I would like to thank them all for signing the shirts," said Bashar. "It is an experience I will never forget."
Hamad was also delighted with the surprise, as he got to meet his heroes. "To attend the Manchester City training session was an incredible experience," he said. "In fact, I hope this will happen again for me! I'd also like to thank the Make-A-Wish Foundation for this experience!"
Belgian legend Kompany, which was inspired by the bravery of the two teenagers, said: "It was a pleasure to meet Hamad and Bashar. They have both shown a great amount of courage and determination recently and we were delighted to invite them to watch one of our training sessions in Abu Dhabi."
Hani Al Zubaidi, chief executive of the Make-a-Wish foundation in the UAE added: "I would like to thank Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Manchester City and Emirates Palace for affording us the opportunity to bring two kids down to meet the players. I know this is something that they will remember for a long, long time, and it was great to see their smiling faces as they got to meet the players."
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