Deki Lhazom- First Bhutanese female footballer to sign for a foreign club

Deki Lhazom is set to make history by becoming the first female footballer in the country to sign for a foreign club. Nicknamed “Tommy”, the young forward will be signing for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ittihad football club. Deki is currently on her way to Saudi Arabia and is expected to sign her contract tomorrow.

18-year-old Deki started playing football at the young age of 8 when she was in the third grade. Fast forward a few years and she was making her first professional appearance for the country in the under-15 SAFF championships in 2017, where she also scored her first international goal while playing against Nepal. Deki made her professional debut for the country’s senior team at the SAFF Championships in 2019. According to the Bhutan Football Federation, she has registered 7 international goals so far.

A fan of the famous Argentinean footballer Lionel Messi, Deki is a firm believer of determination and hard work.

“He inspired me in such a way that obstacles and problems are just a matter of time. If you keep working hard and put in our dedication, we can be what we dream of,” said Deki.

After the SAFF tournament played last month, the team travelled to Saudi Arabia for an international friendly game, and there, Deki impressed representatives of the national team and several clubs including those from the Al-Ittihad club.

“After the friendlies, we came back to Bhutan and one of the national players of Saudi Arabia texted me on Instagram. After chatting for a few days, I got the invitation from the football management through her.”

The federation says Deki is expected to sign a one-season contract with the Saudi Arabian club, worth around USD 3000 or about Nu. 240,000 a month.

According to the BFF, the Al-Ittihad is one of the top clubs in the Saudi Premier League. It has won 33 titles, of which 28 are domestic, and is one of only three Asian clubs to have won the AFC Champions League twice in a row.

Chenga Dawa

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen

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