When celebrity barber Rabi Sfaxi offered his services to the Moroccan national team at the beginning of Fifa World Cup 2022, he had no idea how the players were going to rewrite the history of the game.

“I was watching their game against Portugal and when they scored, I started screaming. I was shaking all over. It is indeed one of the proudest moments for the entire region.”

Having already flown to Qatar six times to make sure the Moroccan men look their best, Rabi is preparing to fly to the city again on Tuesday ahead of Morocco’s semi-final match against France. “To watch them run on to the field sporting my clean cuts is really special,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier.”

Dream come true

“I had always wanted to associate with a World Cup,” said Rabi. “I had tried last time in Russia as well, but it did not work out. When I heard that the World Cup was coming to Qatar, I knew this was my chance.”

Rabi tried reaching out to all his contacts, including Chelsea midfielder Hakim Ziyech, who he met when the footballer holidayed in Dubai a few years ago. “Every time Hakim came to Dubai, I would style him,” he said. “So, when I messaged him and said I wanted to style his team, he agreed.”

Originally eligible to play for the Netherlands or Morocco at the international level, Ziyech opted for Morocco, and has been a solid presence in the team’s performance at the World Cup.

Since then, Rabi has made half a dozen trips to Qatar to style the Moroccan team. “I have been giving haircuts for the entire team including the coaches,” he said. “They are cool and friendly and are always ready to take photos or videos. Some of my friends have been teasing me that maybe I am lucky for them. Of course, that is not true. They are winning because they are incredible players, but it is funny and kind-of-nice to hear.”

With over 80,000 followers on his Instagram account @rabithebarber, Rabi boasts a roster 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 steadily building his brand since then.

“My motto is to treat everyone the same, be it celebrity or a regular person,” he said. “There is a story behind every personality. My aim is to translate that into a haircut. Most of my clients come to me through reference so I believe that if you work hard and do your best, success will always follow."

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