President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s passionate football fan, has paid a visit to Team Melli camp a day before the match against Korea Republic. This is the third visit that the Iranian President had paid to Team Melli training camps since his election to office. Ahmadinejad’s visit follows yesterday’s visit by Speaker of the Parliament , Ali Larijani , which signifies the importance of this match for the people of Iran and the significance that the official are putting on a win for Team Melli.
With the current discontent amongst many Iranians about the worsening economic condition as a result of the Iranian currency devaluation against the US dollar, the politicians are counting on a good result in tomorrow’s match to relieve some pressure. However, Ahmadinejad is well known for his passion towards football irrespective to the political and social impacts.
The president addressed the players and the coaching staff and emphasized on them the self-belief “If you believe in yourself and your ability, if you believe that your level and place is in the international arena at the highest level, than this will go a long way in achieving your desire and objectives. If you think that you are only good enough for Asia, then that is what you will be and will remain. It is all about self-belief and confidence in your ability.“ The Iranian president said to the players.
“It is my firm opinion that Iran belongs to the world class elite as we have the talents and skills to be there” Ahmadinejad added.
The President then mentioned the various Iranian teams that have managed some great strides for the country. He particularly focused on Iran’s volleyball team that has recently won the Asian title for the first time in its history and then subsequently managed to win a place amongst the World elites by gaining promotion to the World Volleyball league. Ahmadinejad said ”Football is much more older and popular than these sport. We have all noticed how our athletes in these other sport had the self-belief and the determination to succeed. By utilizing the best resources we could offer them they have succeeded and did the nation pride. You should also have this self-belief and there is no doubt in my mind that you will succeed.”
The President talked to each and every player before he concluded his courtesy visit. Ahmadinejad, who is also known for his light-hearted comments, said to the players to ignore the media! It is not known whether this was meant as a joke or if he was serious about the issue.
Meanwhile, Carlos Queiroz commented on the visit when he talked to the reporters today. He was very grateful to the Iranian President for such visit that will go a long way in boosting the players morale. In a short press conference, he refuted any claims that he has promised a win against Korea, “Let me be very clear with you on this issue. Anyone, any coach who promises a win , is an ignorant person” Queiroz said in a response to one journalist question who quizzed him about his promise to beat Korea Republic. “What I can promise is that my players will do their utmost best and display their best standard.”
The match in Azadi stadium is expected to be a full house.