U. Sharaf Ali is a former Indian professional footballer. Sharaf Ali predominantly played as a defender but has also played in midfield. He was with the Kerala Police team for the majority of his playing career, having also played in Kolkata. He has captained the Indian national football team and the Kerala state football team in various competitions. During his time at the Kerala Police club, he alongside VP Sathyan formed one of the best defensive partnerships in the domestic league, helping the Kerala Police team in its glorious run.
U. Sharaf Ali was born on Saturday, 30 May 1964 (age 58 years, as of 2022) in Areekode, Malappuram, Kerala. He studied at Christ College Irinjalakuda. Sharaf Ali was selected for the 1984 Santosh Trophy competition by the Kerala Police team but decided not to participate as he was preparing for his pre-degree examinations. Sharaf Ali was approached by the Left Democratic Front in 2021, to participate in the assembly elections from his hometown, Eranad constituency, as an LDF-backed independent candidate.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
U. Sharaf Ali comes from a Malayali family in Malappuram, Kerala, India.
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about his parents and siblings
Wife & Children
There is not much information about his wife and children.
Sharaf Ali started playing football during his school days. He has played for the Calicut University team and made his professional debut with the Kerala Police football club. He started his career by playing as a wing-back, and later he was shifted to the centre of defence. Sharaf Ali has also played as a midfielder during his career. The defensive awareness, tackling ability, positioning awareness and stamina he had made him an indispensable player.
He played his entire professional career in India, representing clubs like the Kerala Police club, Mohun Bagan, and Mohammedan Sporting. He has played a season each at Bagan and Sporting.
Kerala Police football club
Sharaf Ali’s career is closely associated with the Kerala Police football club, where he played for a significant time during his professional career. He nearly played 12 years at the Kerala police and was an important player who helped in its evolution as one of the dominant forces in the domestic league. Sharaf Ali, I M Vijayan, Jo Paul Ancheri, and CV Pappachan were all crucial for the Kerala Police club’s dominant run during the late 80s and early 90s. He enjoyed a fruitful spell with the club and was associated with it even after announcing his retirement from professional football.
He was approached by the Mohun Bagan officials during the 1991 Santosh Trophy tournament. Sharaf Ali, who was reluctant to Kerala demanded a lucrative salary, hoping that the officials would be disinterested. He was signed by the club the very next day for an undisclosed fee. He left the Kerala Police club to join Mohun Bagan in the 1991-1992 season, playing a season with the Kolkata club. His debut season with Mohun Bagan was so successful they won six titles including the Federation Cup (1991) against their arch-rivals East Bengal. He left the club after the end of the season and rejoined the Kerala Police club.
Sharaf Ali made his international debut against the Korean Republic in Nehru Cup at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on 20 January 1986. He was part of the Indian national football team during 1985-1995, with more than 50 appearances in his nation’s colours. He has captained the Indian national team on a few occasions. His splendid performance with the Kerala Police Team and the Kerala State team earned him the opportunity to represent his nation at the international level. His international career lasted over a decade and placed him as one of the best players ever to play for the Indian national football team.
He finished his professional career as a player with the Kerala Police football club. He then joined them as their manager and coached them during his time at the Kerala Police. In 2022, he announced his dream project, the Novus Soccer Academy, a mega-funded project to be executed in different phases. He is the chief coordinator of the academy and is joined by many of his former teammates like I M Vijayan.
Sharaf Ali served the Kerla Police for 36 years and was commandant of the Rapid Response and Rescue Force, Kottakkal.
Indian football: Kerala Police’s U Sharaf Ali active in the fight against Coronavirus https://t.co/SZ3kXsJF8e pic.twitter.com/Is6qy8D1Tl
— GOAL Africa (@GOALAfrica) May 10, 2020
Sharaf Ali retired from his Kerala Police job on Saturday, 30 May 2020, along with KT Chacko and M Baburajan, with whom he played together at the Kerala Police club and the Indian national team. I M Vijayan termed the retirement of these three officials from the Kerala Police as the end of an era.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Kerala Sports Council’s G V Raja Award for the best sportsperson in Kerala: 1993
- Kerala Sports Council’s G V Raja Award for the best senior footballer in Kerala: 1994
- He supported the Brazil national football team in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.