Players of Palestinian Origin

Updated: December 6, 2015

Players of Palestinian Origin (Eligible to play for Palestine)

Note: There's been a spate of South American players who ply their trade in Saudi Arabia and the UAE who have applied and bizarrely received Palestinian documents. Football Palestine regards these players as scam artists who have no ties to Palestine and have acquired documentation through an illicit process to help their clubs sign more non-Asian players. 

Qatar Abdullah Al-Battat
Club: Al-Kharaitiyat SC
Position: Midfielder
Age: 25 (03/01/1988)
Capped: Yes (1 cap for Qatar)
Situation: Jamal Mahmoud attempted to call him up for the Qatar friendly but his overtures were rejected. He is a solid contributor for his Qatari club side and would make for an interesting addition. With Qatar policy of naturalizing its best uncapped QSL players he may have a change of heart down the road.

Qatar Ahmed Al-Salmi
Club: Al-Wakrah SC
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Age: 24 (11/07/1990)
Capped: No
Situation: Not a lot is known about the player other than the fact that he plays in Al-Wakrah's reserve team.

 Samir Badr 
Club: Bethlehem Steel (USL)
Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 23 (02/04/1992)
Capped: Yes (US Youth Teams)
Situation: An immensely talented young goalkeeper with 23 caps to his name at U15,  U18, and U20 levels. A DC United Product, Badr spent two years honing his trade with FC Porto before signing a deal to become Harras El Hodoud's starting goalkeeper in January 2012. His debut and an imminent league title were rudely interrupted by the Alexandria Stadium disaster. To become Tim Howard's successor Samir Badr has to battle an array of talented young goalkeepers. Aston Villa's Brad Guzan (28) is currently the #2 and Klinsmann has overlooked Badr in favor of DC United's Bill Hamid (21) and Chicago's Sean Johnson (23) who represented the USA in Olympic Qualifying. These factors may prompt Badr to make the switch or he may peak at the right time and go on to represent the USA at future World Cups- both are distinct possibilities. Badr and fellow Palestinian-American Omar Jarun share in agent in Justin Stone.

Portugal Aníbal Araújo Capela
Club: Sporting Braga (B-team)
Position: Center Back 
Age: 23 (08/05/1991)
Capped: Yes (Portugal Youth Teams)
Situation: A great prospect but it is not known whether or not he would have any interest in playing for Palestine. Aníbal has a total of 14 caps for Portugal's U18, U19, and U20 teams and is currently trying to break in to Braga's first team after two spells on loan to clubs in the Portuguese Segunda.

Germany Mohamad Darwish 
Club: Schalke U17
Position: Left Winger
Age: 17 (22/02/1997)
Capped: No
Situation: Born in Bisan, just outside the Green Line the young striker moved to Schalke from Borussia Mönchengladbach and has since moved from their U17 squad into

Germany Amir Falahen 
Club: SC Freiburg
Position: Striker
Age: 22 (15/03/1993)
Capped: No
Situation: A young striker who has steadily climbed up the ranks at Freiburg and now playing for their second team in the German Fourth Tier. Uncapped for Germany, he has expressed interest in playing for Palestine (even visiting the team when they held camp in Germany in the summer of 2015) and has recently been promoted to the Freiburg first team. His national team debut could come as early as 2016.

Chile Yashir Pinto Islame
Club: Curicó Unido
Position: Striker/Wide Forward
Age: 24 (06/02/1991)
Capped: Yes (Chile Youth Teams)
Situation: Pinto is Palestinian through his maternal grandfather and interestingly enough all of his siblings have Arabic names. Yashir has been capped over 30 times for Chile at U18, U19, and U20 levels and has 17 goals to his name internationally. Once lauded as the next great Chilean prospect he he never  quite settled into the senior team at Colo-Colo and now plays for Curico Unido in the Chilean second tier. At 24, he has a wealth of experience having played in Canada, Germany, and Hungary. He has expressed interest and it seems the paperwork has been filed by the PFA so keep an eye on this one.

Chile Amed Pinto Islame
Club: Deportes Santa Cruz (Primera B)
Position: Defender
Age: 27 (16/12/1988)
Capped: No
Situation: A lot of talk on the amongst Palestinian football fans has centered around Yashir, yet his uncapped brother Amed, has gone unnoticed. Amed has been with a couple of clubs in his career but has steadily worked his way up to Primera B club Ñublense. A player not short on resilience and toughness (he recently played in a game with a fractured nasal cavity) he has since joined Matías Jadue at Deportes Santa Cruz in the Chilean third tier.

Sweden Imad Khalili 
Club: Hammarby
Position: Midfielder
Age: 29 (03/04/1987)
Capped: Yes (1 cap for Sweden U21)
Situation: A player who strung the PFA along and got citizenship only to leverage his status as an Asian player to get big money contracts in Saudi Arabia, China, and the UAE. Will most likely never play for Palestine despite his eligibility.

Sweden Moustafa Zeidan Khalili 
Club: Aston Villa U18
Position: Second Striker
Age: 17 (07/06/1998)
Capped: Yes (Sweden U16/17)
Situation: Signed for Aston Villa's U18 team in July and is related to the two older Khalilis (Abdul Rahman Khalili used to be in this list but has since played in Euro 2016 qualifying for Sweden) mentioned on this blog. Scouts have likened him to Mesüt Özil. The youngster previously broke into the first team of fourth division side Hogaborgs BK (a club famed for producing the likes of Henrik Larsson). Talksport profiled the youngster ahead of his Aston Villa move.

 David Qaisi
Club: Harrisburg Heat (PASL)
Position: Defender
Age: 24 (12/05/1991)
Capped: No
Situation: David has expressed interesting in furthering his footballing career in the WBPL should the opportunity arise and spent some time with Shabab Al-Khaleel in 2013. A central defender, Qaisi is very comfortable on the ball and has no shortage of talent- starting a majority of his team's games since enrolling at LHU. In 2011, he was voted as one of the best defenders in the PSAC Conference. Before joining with the Arena League's Harrisburg Heat, Qaisi was with UAE Pro-League side Al-Shabab but the cap on foreign players left him struggling to get into the first-team squad.

Germany Dani Schahin
Club: FSV Mainz 05
Postion: Forward
Age: 26 (09/07/1989)
Capped: Yes (Germany Youth Teams)
Situation: A much acclaimed youth player Schahin spent a few years quietly going about his business in the 2.Bundesliga. Deemed a surplus to requirements at Greuther Fürth he was loaned to Dyanmo Dresden in 2011/12. Nine league goals in 12 games saw him snapped up by newly promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf at the beginning of the 2012/13 season. The step up did not stop Dani who bagged four goals in his first six Bundesliga games. Schahin has been capped 11 times at U19 and U20 level for Germany, however, the sheer amount of talent in Germany could doom his chances with the senior team. If he were to switch allegiances Schahin could play for Ukraine (where he was born), Russia (where his mother was born), or Palestine. As recently as last year, Schahin rejected an invitation Theo Bücker to join Lebanon citing his Palestinian heritage.

Croatia Ahmad Sharbini 
Club: NK Jedinstivo (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Position: Striker
Age: 31 (21/02/1984)
Capped: Yes (Croatia Youth Teams)
Situation: First came to the attention of Palestinian fans in 2007. Sharbini has been capped at U19 and U20 level for Croatia but was never in Slaven Bilic's plans for the senior squad. According to Majed Balawi, the striker wants to play for Palestine but there has been a lack of initiative on the part of the PFA (more on this below).

Croatia Anas Sharbini 
Club: Rijeka (Croatia)
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Age: 29 (21/02/1987)
Capped: Yes (1 Cap for Croatia)
Situation: The more talented of the two Sharbini brothers, Anas probably would be a Croatian National Team player by now if not for the likes of Luka Modric and Niko Kranjcar. A move to Al-Ittihad of Saudi Arabia might signal a new stage in his career. It wasn't too long ago that he was being linked with a move to a bigger European league. At 27, it may be too early to call time on his Croatia career. Even if he was to continue to be ignored by Croatia- would he want to play for Palestine? The PFA tried calling him up in 2007 (both brothers cited death threats for rejecting the call-up) and by Jamal Mahmoud in 2012 for the Arab Cup (a call-up that was also rejected because both brother were in the process of looking for new clubs after falling out with Hajduk Split's management).

Bahrain Laith Youssef
Club: East Riffa Club (Bahrain)
Position: Left Back
Age: 22 (b. 1992)
Capped: No
Situation: Ready to play for the national team and was supposedly on former manager's Jamal Mahmoud's radar.


Anonymous said...

Mohammed Ali Khan, BK HÄCKEN in Allsvenskan Sweden,

Anonymous said...

Where's Hani Naboulse? I thougt he played for Palestine in WAFF championships?

Anonymous said...

And none of them will bother joining palestine.
You really think they'll choose playing in the "afc challenge cup" instead of their respective european leagues?

Its ok, maybe palestine should keep playing malaysia and india LOL

Anonymous said...

I am actually interested in playing. From the United States right now and I play center midfield.

Mohammad rasoul said...

As a loyal nashama I think Palestinian players are very talented . Unfortunately most players are of Palestinian origin . Like Amer shafi very talented goalie of jordan. I think Palestine will get a good result in Qatar later this month. I'm excited for my country's friendly with you knights this month!��

Mohammad rasoul said...

Jamal should understand jordan team as he is Jordanian

Anonymous said...

Do I qualify for Palestine? My mother is Palestinian Arab, although I was adopted by UK family. I play as an attacking midfield number 10 position. Contact me at

Santa said...

What about Egypt, Lebanon, there must be lots of PAL players in these respective leagues, I expects. Anas Sharbini caped for Croatia, but was that official fixture or friendly ?
It must be understood that Sharbini brothers refusal to play for PAL was quite rational decision at the time, however both of them are far from Croatian NT now, with probably no chances to get nowhere near the CRO NT ever again, which could lead them to revise their decisions and accept PAL at this point. That would be wise and could help Palestine NT.

Congratulation on your appearance at Asia Cup, hearts of Bosnians are with you !