Confirmed: Akram Afif becomes first Qatari signing in La Liga

Confirmed: Akram Afif becomes first Qatari signing in La Liga

Akram Afif has become the first Qatari player to sign for a Spanish club, with Villarreal confirming the transfer of the teenage forward.

A product of the Al Sadd academy in his homeland, Afif is currently playing for Belgian second division side Eupen, for whom he has netted six goals in 16 league appearances as they achieved promotion this season.

The highly-rated prospect has already broken into Qatar’s senior national team, with his rapid progress providing promise of a potential star ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

He has played in three international games, scoring one goal, with his versatility across the front-line being a key asset.

Afif has now signed for Villarreal on a permanent deal, following a season-long loan spell in their youth side in 2013/14.

Furthermore, the Doha-born 19-year-old experienced a similar stint at Sevilla, meaning he is already well acclimatised to Spanish football.

Afif’s new side are currently in fourth position in La Liga, with the Yellow Submarine only needing a maximum of one more point to guarantee their qualification for the 2016/17 Champions League.

Manager Marcelino was somewhat close to achieving that goal through another means too, but was eliminated at the semi-final stage of the Europa League this week.

Liverpool struck 25 shots to Villarreal’s six at Anfield on Thursday, as the Spanish side fell to a 3-0 defeat (3-1 on aggregate).

Villarreal have attempted fewer shots (320) than any other side in La Liga this season.