When famed barber Rabi Sfaxi offered his services to the Moroccan national team at the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he had no idea how the players would rewrite the game’s history.
“I was watching their game against Portugal and when they scored I started screaming. I was shaking all over my body. It is indeed one of the proudest moments for the whole region.
Having already traveled to Qatar six times to ensure the Moroccans are at their best, Rabi is preparing to return to the city on Tuesday ahead of Morocco’s semi-final match against France. “Seeing them running around the field sporting my clean cuts is really special,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
The dream becomes reality
“I always wanted to be associated with a World Cup,” Rabi said. “I also tried last time in Russia, but it didn’t work. When I heard that the World Cup was going to be held in Qatar, I knew it was my chance.
Rabi tried to contact all his contacts, including Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech, whom he met when the footballer was on vacation in Dubai a few years ago. “Every time Hakim came to Dubai, I would do his hair,” he said. “So when I messaged him and told him I wanted to style his team, he agreed.”
Originally eligible to play for the Netherlands or Morocco at international level, Ziyech opted for Morocco and was a solid presence in the team’s performances at the World Cup.
Since then, Rabi has made half a dozen trips to Qatar to cap the Moroccan team. “I did haircuts for the whole team, including the coaches,” he said. “They are cool and friendly and are always ready to take pictures or videos. Some of my friends teased me saying maybe I was lucky for them. Of course, that’s not true. They win because they are amazing players, but it’s funny and kind of nice to hear.
With over 80,000 followers on his @rabithebarber Instagram account, Rabi has a list of high-profile clients including Will Smith, DJ Snake, Sanjay Dutt and Paul Drogba, among others. The Tunisian expat moved to Dubai in 2007 and has been building his brand ever since.
“My motto is to treat everyone the same, whether it’s a celebrity or an ordinary person,” he said. “There is a story behind every personality. My goal is to translate that into a haircut. Most of my clients come to me by referral, so I believe if you work hard and do your best, success will always follow.”
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