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Monday, January 24, 2022

The story behind Algerian goalkeeper’s ‘Aisha’ gloves


The story behind the ‘Aisha’ gloves has sparked interest online.

Adidas Golden Glove winner and veteran Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi played a pivotal role in securing his team’s victory in the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 with his ‘Aisha’ glove.

Mbolhi, whose performance in the penalty box has taken Algeria to the trophy, has peaked interest for his gloves over the past few weeks in Qatar.

It is said that the name ‘Aisha’ printed on Mbolhi’s gloves is the name of his deceased Algerian mother who had eagerly supported his career into football before passing away in 2010. 

The goalkeeper joined the Algerian national team in 2009 but his mother sadly died a year later.

Since then, the Algerian star has worn his ‘Aisha’ glove at every major tournament in tribute to his mother who he says had struggled to make his dream of becoming a footballer a reality but unfortunately missed the chance to witness his achievements. 

Mbolhi featured in all Algeria’s matches at the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 and conceded just one goal – a penalty during the group phase. 

“The 35-year-old keeper kept out Morocco’s fourth penalty in the penalty shootout that took Les Fennecs into the semi-finals, where he excelled once more, before turning in another flawless performance in the final,” FIFA said in a statement, announcing the Golden rewards. 

Read also: Algeria lifts FIFA Arab Cup 2021 at Qatar’s Al Bayt Stadium

“Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi has a lot of experience, as he showed in the semi-finals, when he stepped up as the leader of the side,” said former Switzerland goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbuhler in another statement shared by FIFA.

M’Bolhi was also seen playing in other major games with his mother’s name on his glove, including the AFCON 2019 tournament when Algeria was awarded first place. 

Mbolhi also played a major role in qualifying the Desert Warriors to the 2021 Arab Cup Final in Qatar.

The Algerian team defeated Qatar 2-1 in a thrilling semi-final match and sealed the victory in the final with a 2-0 win over Tunisia.

Mbolhi attributes all his football fame to his mother Aisha, who raised him alone after his Congolese father died.

It is also said that Mbolhi was given the choice to choose between joining the Congo or the desert warriors, but chose to represent Algeria, his mother’s country.

“I play for Algeria because it is my mother’s country,” he said. 

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