Football: Iraq icon Mahmoud to decide future after Asian Cup

Football: Iraq icon Mahmoud to decide future after Asian Cup
File photo taken on July 29, 2007 shows Iraqi captain Younis Mahmoud (C) holding up the winning trophy as his team celebrates while Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (front 2nd L) looks on during the presentation at the end of the final match of the Asian Football Cup 2007 at the Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta.

BRISBANE - Iraq's Asian Cup-winning hero Younis Mahmoud said he'll decide his next move following the current tournament in Australia, after spending the past year without a club.

Mahmoud famously scored the winner in Iraq's 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the 2007 final, but he has been unemployed since his departure from Saudi outfit Al Ahli last January.

Despite his lack of regular football, the "Lions of Mesopotamia" talisman, who turns 32 next month, is now appearing in his fourth Asian Cup.

"I've had a lot of contract offers from Qatari league, also from China," Mahmood said on the eve of Iraq's opening Group D game against Jordan, according to the tournament website.

"I think after the Asian Cup, I'll sit down with the coaching staff and decide my future in football," he added.

Iraq kick off their bid for a second Asian Cup title against Jordan in Brisbane at 7:00 pm (0900 GMT) on Monday.

They are without a full-time coach after the sacking of Hakim Shakir just weeks before the start of the tournament.

Coach Radhi Shenaishil has been loaned from Qatar Sports Club for the duration of the competition.

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