by Nathan Hamm on 7/29/2004

Uzbekistan’s successes in the Asian Cup are getting the team’s captain, Mirjalal Kasimov, some notice.

Mirdjalal Kasimov does not have a pop star wife, his own logo or a collection of dodgy sarongs.

The world does not go into a tail-spin when he changes his hairstyle, nor does he run the gauntlet of the paparazzi when he takes his children to school.

But whether he likes it or not, Kasimov is known as the “David Beckham of Uzbekistan.”

The Uzbekistan captain has led his team into the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup, scoring two exquisite free kicks that Beckham would have been proud of during the first round.

Uzbekistan’s progress been nothing short of astonishing after a miserable Asian Cup campaign four years ago.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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