In France, two team members of the Les Bleus, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappé, keeping a ball. They were eager to keep it, but they felt it should be the time to see the others shine.

And so be it.

Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann laughed, and cheered. Griezmann stated:

"This is the time. We will send a message from beyond to the people who host the next AFC Asian Cup, a good luck from UEFA, and here are all members who signed in this ball representing teams in Euro 2016."

The ball, Beau Jeu, an Adidas-made, have the signs of 24 players of 24 national teams who played in that Euro …

They were: Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland), Luka Modrić (Croatia), Emanuele Giaccherini (Italy), Harry Kane (England), Gareth Bale (Wales), Marcus Berg (Sweden), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium), Costel Pantilimon (Romania), Bekim Balaj (Albania), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Toni Kroos (Germany), Conor Washington (Northern Ireland), Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Turkey), Raphaël Guerreiro (Portugal), Ádám Szalai (Hungary), Aleksandr Golovin (Russia), David de Gea (Spain), Marko Arnautović (Austria), Marek Hamšík (Slovakia), Yevhen Konoplyanka (Ukraine), Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland), Ragnar Sigurðsson (Iceland), Vladimír Darida (Czech Republic) and Paul Pogba (France).

The ball was signed by twenty-four random players of 24 teams in the previous Euro. They hoped they could pass the ball quick, so it could head to the direction.

"Goodbye, Paris." Griezmann opened.

"Welcome, Abu Dhabi." Mbappé, who was a boy at that time of Euro, ended the note.

And they threw the ball high enough, so they combined to form a kick. As the ball went fallen in their right direction, they made a shot!

As expected, their feet combined perfectly and the ball went beyond the border, out from France to the United Arab Emirates …

… with an interesting thing, all 24 players who signed the ball stood behind Griezmann and Mbappé. They knew it altogether, a message from Europe to Asia …


The yell have finally come to Abu Dhabi. But, instead, the ball surprisingly doubled itself into twenty-four other balls. Instead, these 24 balls would have come to 24 Asian players, as a message from 24 European counterparts, and it would be a random selection.

It had come …

We're born to fly
So let's keep living 'til it all falls down
Let's close our eyes
And let the moment drive the whole world out

The first ball headed to the mansion where stood a flag of Uzbekistan, at Tashkent, and it rocked to the other players to watch. Then, a man appeared.


Surprisingly, the ball revealed the name of signer, Hakan Çalhanoğlu. Hakan sent this directly to Odil Ahmedov, Uzbekistani player. Odil Ahmedov, reluctant but amazed, decided to honor by their dream to fight like how Hakan performed for Turkey in the Euro.

The other ball fell into the ground of the Football Academy launched by Sunil Chhetri. And the messenger to Indian star striker, was Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri.

Shaqiri had hoped for success. Sunil, surprised but felt it good, booked to the UAE. If Switzerland could, India can.

In a Buddhist temple somewhere, a Thai player walked out, only to see a weird ball came to his feet peacefully. He grabbed it up and got a sign from Raphaël Guerreiro.

Stunned, he understood Guerreiro message was to encourage him. And as a captain of team Thailand, he took his honor, bear it with the word – Teerasil Dangda – and that he would fight for Thailand.

In Japan, where a player with a dream to play for an united Korean team, he is a North Korean living in Japan. He spoke on behalf of favor for everyone.

Then, a ball slowly fell into his hand as he was doing nothing much at the time. His name is Ri Yong-jik, a North Korean born in Japan.

The man who sent this messenger was no one else, but surprisingly, Conor Washington. And he expressed wishes for the best. Ri Yong-jik honored the duty, and immediately left Japan.

But someone could not be held out on and on. And there went theirs …

We're in this together
Hear our hearts beat together
We stand strong together
We're in this forever
This one's for you
This one's for you (yeah yeah, hey)

As for the time went on, in Turkmenistan, there was a man who rode his horse in the steppe. He wanted to practice with the ball as a horse rider, but somehow he could not prove it much.

Another ball came to him and he soon noticed. He quickly captured the ball, which signed by Vladimír Darida. He is Ruslan Mingazow, a Turkmen player in Czechia.

Darida, who himself is a Czech, knew Mingazow from his performance, only wanted to say, the best for Turkmenistan. He also left the country aftermath.

Going somewhere in Bahrain, there was a player who walked through. It was Abdulla Yusuf Helal, another Czech-based player like Mingazow.

And as for the time went through, Helal, who was in a plane, received a surprising gift to him directly before he flied to the UAE. And it was … a ball, signed by Costel Pantilimon.

Aware with Pantilimon's role in Euro 2016, he departed from Bahrain quickly.

Throughout to Doha, Qatar.

A man who took charge after he returned from Brazil came through. For him, playing in the country which its national team won the World Cup five times was a great honor, and he pledged for this.

Then, a ball flied immediately to him. He jumped up and caught it, only to saw a sign – from Emanuele Giaccherini! Giaccherini was aware with this, and he hoped that there would be an unity by power. The boy, Ahmed Abdulhakim Al-Sarori, put no hesitation came to the UAE from Qatar. Al-Sarori saw the tragedy of Yemen as a key reason for their power and unity.

In somewhere over Iran, while listening it, surprisingly, a ball came through. As for the nomadic boy of Northeastern Iran, he found it quick and took it with full determination.

He knew who sent that to him.

The sign was from Harry Kane to Sardar Azmoun, whose family a nomadic people. He rode the horse with high speed to the country's capital, in expectation to move beyond.

Meanwhile, in the great city of Xi'an, where Chinese civilization began, and birth of Chinese Opera, there was a player playing ball across the street with young children outside.

He just tried the best for them until he discovered that, a kid brought a specific ball. He turned it on where he saw a surprising sign from …

… Russia's Aleksandr Golovin!

He endorsed Golovin for his performance, and because of it, Wei Shihao decided to depart away from Xi'an to the UAE, to fulfill the national duty.

And going far away from Xi'an to the heartland of Saudi Arabia, where two Holy Cities located.

Surprisingly, the manager, Juan Pizzi, told its brightest player – Fahad Al-Muwallad – to take this ball. Fahad carried it out where he saw a sign from this man, he understood as well.

This was a must win situation, he wanted Saudi Arabia to win again after 19 years in drought. This was from Yevhen Konoplyanka, Ukrainian international. Fahad saw and quietly collected everything to go to the UAE with Pizzi together.

And for the girls around, they arrived to the UAE, like fan girls wannabe for the national teams they respect about.

Waving coloured flags
We won't surrender, there's no standing down (no standing down)
Love's a playing field (oh no)
It's full of winners, we're breaking new ground

With a girl like Houki Shinonono to another one like Momoko Kuzuryuu, they would like to do the best. And they volunteered themselves with the support from the Al Nahyan family.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank where a Christmas tree was taken, a ball quietly fell from the tree to a man. He used his football ability to keep it by header. Soon, he took the charge.

When he saw the sign from Aiden McGeady, this became an inspiration. This man was Yashir Pinto Islame, who arrived to Palestine from Chile. With great admiration, knowledge on Irish people who helped freeing Chile from Spanish rule and his Palestinian root, he was eager to do a special one in this Asian Cup to speak for his country and his nation.

The ball of Bekim Balaj landed to nowhere, but floating on the sea. And then a man swam to the ball. He took this seriously and soon, he saw Bekim's sign.

When he raised this ball, he knew what it should do. He soon went back, wore his shirt which was named: Stephan Schröck. Stephan, a German-born Filipino, thought highly and respected that.

On the other side, when the ball of David de Gea also landed in Japan, it was kicked twice. And the man who kicked it was Keisuke Honda, as previously it fell to Cambodia.

Honda sent this and it was a time for a youngster, Ritsu Doan, who received the ball. Ritsu practiced the ball when he saw it, and, his fan girls were outside. He just returned from Holland when the tournament was close.

Among the fans was Rikka Takarada, too.

Rikka preferred to see Ritsu as she affectionally referred him "brother Ritsu". But it should be emphasized for her favorite as well.

The national team of Japan, led by coach Hajime Moriyasu, was eager to go. Ritsu, after his practice, soon said in smile when David de Gea's ball came to his feet. It was cool and he accepted it.

Nothing to say more.

In Kyrgyzstan, where an Orthodox Church stood there, Anton Zemlianukhin was on the pray. Being a Russian in Kyrgyzstan, he has a close tie with coach Aleksandr Krestinin who's from Russia.

They saw it pretty well. And immediately, Anton walked out only to see a surprising ball arrived to him. He took it and from the pray, he knew it went to him.

It was from Ragnar Sigurðsson, the Icelandic player, with the word: "never lose surprise". Anton and Aleksandr soon agreed to go to the UAE quickly.

From beyond, the ball of Romelu Lukaku went to the hand of Baha' Faisal after a dinner in the restaurant. It happened during a night snowfall in Amman, and he felt it was a surprising gift.

Baha's attempt to stun everyone by his basic knowledge. He wants to lead Jordan like how previous players did the mark.

He didn't waste time.

We're in this together
Hear our hearts beat together
We stand strong together
We're in this forever (forever)
This one's for you
This one's for you... (ooh yeah yeah, yeah)

Going to Vietnam, a ball went into a small house outside the ancient thousand-year capital Hanoi, the ball of Robert Lewandowski stopped.

A man quickly went out only to discover it. Then, there was an English text: fight like warriors, make honor for ancestors.

The boy who took the ball was no more but Nguyễn Quang Hải, who found the sign of Lewandowski outside. He soon saw that had to come. So, he mentioned he would go to the UAE, sooner or later, for the country he must fight for.

On one side, another ball arrived in front of a stadium where located the base of team Qatar before flying to the UAE. Akram Afif was the first man to touch it.

It was the ball of Marko Arnautović, Austrian player. Marko, from Austria, wished the best for team Qatar and the national squad with all might and strength. For Marko, it should be there. Akram did mention that.

The ball of Marcus Berg surprisingly landed into the hand of Syria's Ibrahim Alma, who had fought the most for the team outside Omar Kharbin and Omar Al Somah. Having to live far away due to war and destruction, Ibrahim Alma represents the might and passion of every Syrians, and the main reasons for his teammates to score.

Having to carry Syria in Asian Cup, he still holds a belief of an united Syria in front of enemy line. And he is determined.

Perhaps, even once of his life never thought that he would get an anonymous ball flied very fast to him.

It was a message from Marek Hamšík to Hassan Maatouk, captain of team Lebanon. Maatouk bended with trust and loyalty, he had pledged to make Lebanon a surprise in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. He went chosen for this destiny.

Far away in London, South Korea's superstar Son Heung-min did not stop blasting. He scored like a machine gun. And this time, he earned the deserve.

The ball of Paul Pogba came to Sonny. Paul and Son knew each other very long in England, but still given this special nature, Paul promised he would have a rematch with Son. Son wore Korean team jersey soon aftermath.

Son stated in English before departed away from England "I'll meet you again, my brother. Wait for me."

Of course, girls surround him are many …

(Music instrumental)

And for Ádám Szalai's ball, it was caught by Iraq's Ali Adnan.

Ali Adnan did not fear anything but instability. He understood this well since he used to watch Hungary in Euro before. Hungarian team in Golden Era of Magical Magyars remains his favorite, and he wished for a comeback, even when he plays in Italy.

Ali Adnan had always dreamed to see Iraq's Golden Generation back in business. Maybe now a chance to impress for him.

And in somewhere near UAE-Oman border, a player walked out. Due to his injury, he had to award the ball he captured to another one.

Ali Al-Habsi.

Al-Habsi got an injury and was replaced. He felt guilt for that, so he gave the ball of Gareth Bale to Ahmed Kano, the team's captain in replacement to Al-Habsi. In his expression, he wanted Kano to do the best, because Al-Habsi felt the time might no longer allow him to represent his country.

Kano promised for that, and he departed away.

In this together
Whoa whoa, whoa whoa
Uh uh uh uh, uh uh uh uh…

In Scotland, an Australian international gathered stuffs he collected. Among them was a ball. And he did not want to lose, because it was from Luka Modrić, Croatian superstar.

It was Martin Boyle, Australian rising profile player. Thanked for sharing cultural common, Martin Boyle feels connected with European one. Still, having Luka's ball was an honor for Boyle.

Martin Boyle was about to go to the UAE. He wants Australia to win it twice, as they are defending champions. Socceroos will need a new Tim Cahill, and he is willing to do so.

And here go to the United Arab Emirates, the host of 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

In the high Burj Khalifa Tower of Dubai, this scenic Tower serves as a motion. Meanwhile, all twenty-three players arrived on time. The last one was, unsurprisingly, kept by …

He walked on. And he was holding Toni Kroos' ball. There has Nagisa Misumi, who got shy with someone.

This man was …

Ahmed Khalil.

We're in this together (we're in this together)
Hear our hearts beat together
We stand strong together
We're in this forever (ooh, whoa, yeah)

And when twenty-four Asian legends appeared, there were a lot of fan yelling.

And as such, memory of the past returned.

















And, with many of them, they suddenly saw from the other side, the faces of the twenty-four European counterparts, who summoned them with all ability they could have.

Of course, they were just visions, but looking on how they shined in European sky, none of them wanted to stop dreaming.

From Toni Kroos to Robert Lewandowski, to men like Emanuele Giaccherini and Cristiano Ronaldo. Gareth Bale's superb kick or Artem Dzyuba's performance. Andriy Yarmolenko's fearless spirit with Arda Turan's restless combat; or even those like Luka Modrić as well.

Or even going back the time, with Angelos Charisteas scored against Portugal, to a goal from Marco Delvecchio against France. Zinedine Zidane's maestro against Andrea Pirlo the composer. Xavi, Iniesta reckoned the world. And the face of David Beckham to Savo Milošević's finest moment in the Netherlands for Serbia, then-Yugoslavia. Marco van Basten's kick against USSR in 1988 Euro or Ibrahimović's volley against England.

To how fans become maniac like English, Hungarian and Russian fans. How Spaniards, French, Germans and Italians celebrated. Hot-head like Turks, Greeks, Serbs and Croats. To passionate Ukrainians, Albanians, Poles and Portuguese fans. Or there goes with Swedish, Danish, Welsh, Irish, Belgian, Dutch and Swiss fans, nicest among all. Or the Viking chants of Icelanders. With stadiums always filled with 100% supporters, never waste an opportunity.

Is this the time for Asia to shine?

They knew it.

This one's for you

And which, is why a lot of them had been there.

Fans have surrounded, and they will fill all stadiums. They're dreaming, and they want for it, once and for all.

Can they?

Maybe …