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The inspiring message behind Mabil's goal celebration

23:37 GMT 15/01/2019
Awer Mabil Socceroos
A great player and an even better person

Awer Mabil has hit the ground running in a Socceroos shirt bagging four goals across his first seven appearances and he hasn't wasted the chance to send a powerful message.

After each of his goals, Mabil can be seen doing a two-handed gesture over his face as he wheels off in celebration - something he did again after scoring a stunning opener in Australia's 3-2 win over Syria.

While many players can be excused for getting caught up in the moment, the 23-year-old has decided to make the most of each one and explained the inspiring meaning behind his choice of celebration. 

“It’s good to score and I always want to, you know, help people,” Mabil told Fox Sports post-match.

“A lot of people suffer from mental health, so that celebration is to bring peace to the mind and to let those people who are suffering from a mental (health issue) – depression or whatever it might be, to represent them and to let them know that it is okay and you just need to talk to someone.

“So this is like a peace, bring to the mind - and then the mouth, covering the mouth is for that you need to talk, so you shouldn’t cover your mouth.

“So that’s the story behind that. So I’m always going to represent for the people and I am the man for the people.”

Mabil has been one of the Socceroos' stand out performers at the Asian Cup, but his path to the green and gold has been anything but straight forward.

Growing up in a Kenyan refugee camp before moving to Australia, the attacker's challenging upbringing has seen him create the charity Barefoot to Boot which provides football equipment along with education and healthcare to kids in the camp Mabil grew up in.

Now playing club football in Denmark with FC Midtjylland, Mabil admitted his mental health has been tested at times and he's more than willing to help those out who need it. 

"It's easy to be isolated, but there's people out there who care for you," he said.

"I have such a family-orientated club in Denmark, who helped me a lot, and I've seen a lot of people suffering from it.

"I'm there to offer myself to people if they need any kind of attention, I'll be there to guide them through whatever they need."