Tag: Sweden

Saman Ghoddos on Iran, the World Cup and ‘playing for the people’

Miguel Delaney  – The Independent

Saman Ghoddos visibly considers his words, but he has clearly thought about what he is going to say. The Brentford forward does not want to stay silent on an issue of such importance. The stakes for Ghoddos, however, are much greater than just offering a statement on Qatar’s issues in the way most other World Cup players might.
The 29-year-old knows he is going to be asked about the political strife in Iran, where the state security forces have killed hundreds in shutting down nationwide protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, who was beaten in police custody after allegedly breaking rules on mandatory head coverings. He has agreed to an interview because of it, though, and shows considerable courage with his comments.

“Everybody wants to see a change,” Ghoddos says. “It’s a change that is very easy. What the people want is nothing special. It’s just freedom and I don’t want to say ‘Yeah, go fight for it’ because I don’t think violence is the right way. But something has to change and this has been going on for too long.”

If the words seem simple, they come from a hugely difficult situation, not least because of the intense focus on this Iranian team. Speaking out could bring significant repercussions, given the government have just issued the first death sentence over demonstrations. There’s also the fact that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s state are seeking to politically use the World Cup to present an image of normality.

Ghoddos nevertheless feels that players “of course” have some responsibility. He says the squad had been messaging about it “almost every day” before they met up this week.

“No one is happy about it,” Ghoddos says. “I don’t want to mix politics with football but football is coming to the side right now because people are losing their lives fighting for freedom… clearly a change needs to come, and it has already been going on for so long. We all want change.

“If you think it’s the right thing to do, I think you should because you’re a famous athlete. If you can put a light on what’s going on you should do it – with pressure or without pressure because it’s the right thing to do.”

It almost feels wrong to be discussing football in that context. It is why England’s opening game is one of the most politicized fixtures of this highly politicized World Cup. The United Kingdom’s fractious history with Iran feeds into the political strife, the state’s regional alliance with the controversial nation, and the recent claims that Khamenei’s regime is supplying drones to Russia in the Ukrainian war.

All of that has led to multiple calls that the team be thrown out of the World Cup. Ghoddos is diplomatic and nuanced on that, even though this is his dream.

“I’ve been reading about it and people have been asking my opinion about it. I understand what they are talking about and where they are coming from. But I don’t know if it’s the right decision to kick us out. I don’t know if it’s the right move for me. I don’t know if anything will change because of that. It’s better to change what the real problem is, not to kick the football side out of the World Cup. That’s my opinion.

“Everybody can see what’s going on, it’s not so pleasant, and if we can put a light on what’s happening and if we can make a change in that way, that would be a good thing.”

There’s also a notable comment later on, when Ghoddos talks of how they “play for people in Iran” – not the state. This is where the debates on these topics become so complicated, going right back to Argentina 1978 and even Russia 2018, because the population’s football culture will always be distinct from ruling powers.

Ghoddos does admittedly come from this with a different perspective than many of his teammates. He grew up in Sweden after his parents migrated, and was initially a Swedish international with two caps and a goal. Ghoddos hadn’t even visited Iran until he made the switch in 2017. That never meant he felt any less Iranian, though. He couldn’t.

“We spoke Iranian and had this culture in my home. I was never able to go because, every time my parents were flying there, I had an important football game or something like this.

“There are so many Iranians in Sweden and in the city I was born in, Malmo.”

That naturally means he has memories of his country’s previous appearances in World Cups, not least the emotional impact of another of the most politicized fixtures.

“I was five years old in 1998 but I remember the celebration against the USA,” he says of Iran’s historic 2-1 win. “We always taped the World Cup and watched it every time after school.”

Iran famously beat the United States in 1998 (Getty Images)

Iran famously beat the United States in 1998 (Getty Images)© Provided by The Independent

Playing through the Swedish football system meant it was natural to accept a call-up when asked for two friendlies, as tends to be the case for many of dual nationality. If Ghoddos didn’t exactly experience any internal debate about his choice, it was Iran manager Carlos Quieroz who offered some certainty.

“I was in the squad and for me it was a big honour but then I didn’t hear anything from Sweden. I didn’t think I was going to start. Then I got a call from Carlos Queiroz wondering if I would like to play for Iran. I never thought about it and I said ‘yeah of course’. He said he would invite me to a camp but he won’t play me because he doesn’t want to put pressure on me, and then I’m stuck to Iran.

“So he said ‘I will invite you, you train with us, and then for the next camp you can choose by yourself. For me, that was like ‘this is amazing. I’d heard about these players who get one minute [for one country] and then they’re stuck, then they can’t change, and I really appreciated the way he did it. Then Sweden wanted me to play. For me, it felt like it’s a bit too late now… so I said I want to play for Iran. I made my decision.”

His parents only ever encouraged Ghoddos to do what felt right, as they would be proud regardless, but his decision felt perfect when he experienced the response of his extended family.

“They’re just so happy every time I go with the national team and to be able to play and have their last name on my back. That’s a proud moment for them and that makes me happy.

“I never thought the people were so into football in Iran, and the kindness they have. It was very big for me.”

It felt even better when he was picked for the 2018 World Cup.

“That was the biggest thing I’d done in my life. I was like ‘I need to do this again.’ The atmosphere was something else. You just feel the energy. Now we’re there, it’s a very special moment for me. I’m very proud. I’ll try to make the best of it.

“I’m trying to get my family to come and watch but flights and hotels are very difficult. We have some rooms we can give them and the flight tickets from me. I’m trying to get them as much as possible because the World Cup is every four years and you need to be there. My family wasn’t in Russia but my friends came and they will talk about it their whole life so I’m trying to get my family, as many as possible, to come and watch.”

It reminds of the other side of the political use of football, which is the people’s enjoyment of it. It is all the more reason that Ghoddos feels an obligation – as well as an optimism. He firmly believes Iran can get out of the group for the first time.

“I rate it very high. If I’m looking at the squad for the other World Cups, I think this is the best Iran has ever had. The players we have right now, Mehdi Taremi doing well with Porto in Champions league level, same with Sardar Azmoun at Bayer Leverkusen. OK, maybe before with Ali Daei, Ali Karimi, these were exceptional players but it wasn’t so many. Now it feels like there are more of us, it’s more like a team spirit we have. It’s the same like with Brentford. We are really together and I think, with that, you can go through even if you are not as good a team on paper.

“Of course we are underdogs against England. That’s nothing to hide. I would rather fight from the underdog position and try to achieve something from there.”

Ghoddos played at the 2018 tournament (Getty Images)

Ghoddos played at the 2018 tournament (Getty Images)© Provided by The Independent

The manager, Queiroz, is well versed in that. His football isn’t always enjoyable, but it is effective. The Portuguese made Iran a hugely difficult team to play against in the last two World Cups, bringing both Spain and Portugal to the brink of elimination in 2018 – as Quieroz’s team finished on four points to their five apiece – and forcing Argentina into a stoppage-time long-range winner from Lionel Messi in 2014. Monday is unlikely to be all that enjoyable for England.

Iran are going to be very well drilled. Queiroz has been sending the players videos of what he wants for weeks.

“You know when you’re coming in what you have to do,” Ghoddos says. “It’s very tactical and the message he is sending is very clear. Everybody knows their job, and he’s trying to put it in your spine. Like, if the ball is here, you have to do this – and it’s every day.”

That tactical application will be reinforced by an emotional intensity. The Iranian squad don’t actually play national music in the dressing room, because it’s “more beautiful music”, as Ghoddos puts it. They want to be pumped.

“Right now it’s the Stormzy song, Mel Made Me Do It,” Ghoddos laughs.

“But it’s very important to make sure the energy does not get to you because when you have too much it can affect your game. As long as you can see it as a normal game, of course, you need the energy to get to a new level and we’ll need that but it will be so special because if, you play for people in Iran, the energy and level we have will help us.”

Those last few words are among the most significant of all. Ghoddos sees himself as playing for the people – and he’s been courageous in speaking for them.

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Saman Ghoddos , a repeat story for Iranian players.

Saman Quddos has been suspended for four months after being sued by Spain’s Huesca club in addition to paying € 5m in damages. The FIFA ruling was due to a preliminary agreement by the Swedish club Ostershunds and Saman Ghoddos for transfer to the Spanish club, but instead of heading to Spain Ghoddos turned up in France to sign for the French side Amiens.

This FIFA rule is reminiscent of the one handed to Mehdi Taremi on September 2017. A Persepolis player at the time , all parties agreed on terms of the contract to transfer to Turkey’s Çaykur Rizespor Club. At that time, Taremi was suspended for four months after unilaterally breaking his contract and returning back to Iran. Taremi’s suspension meant his absence from Team Melli

Persepolis was also banned from two transfer windows. It came at a time when Iran has already qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2018  and its presence at the Russian World Cup was assured. Taremi declined to appeal to CAS for fear of prolonging the proceedings and missing the World Cup all togother.

Carlos Queiroz, the then head coach of Team Melli, commented  “It certainly hurts both Taremi himself and Persepolis club as well as the fans. Even the national team suffers because the player cannot be mentally ready. What we need to do is keep the player mentally and physically fit for the next few months so that he doesn’t have problems with the international games. But what happened in 2017 was a strange and shameful act that is damaging to Iranian football’s reputation and one has to accept responsibility for it.” the Portuguese concluded.

About two years later, Saman Goddos is committing the same act of indiscretion. Ghoddos , of course, has the right to appeal and he might succeed in reducing the ban, although it is quite doubtful. The point that needs emphasis, however, is the lack of professionalism and poor awareness of Iranian players.  It does not take a distinguished person to realize that contracts have to be honored and breaking it is unlawful.  It is not only about the law but also the ethics and integrity of a person involved in a contract.

The lack of success of the many Iranian players in Europe can be summarized in one main phrase, lack of professionalism. That of course entails, ethics, commitments, teamwork, team integration and dedication. Iranian players seemed to be poorly prepared for Europe and the lack of true professional management and advisors has reduced their value and potential to succeed outside Iran. Saman Ghoddos should have known much better as he grew up in the European environment, but!

Marc Wilmots has not yet commented on the Ghoddos suspension.


Manchester City track Saman Ghoddos who was voted best striker in Sweden for 2017

The Sun Newspaper – UK

Ostersunds’ attacking midfielder can also play up front and caught the eye in their Europa League run last term

Manchester City are tracking Iran World Cup star Saman Ghoddos.

The attacking midfielder helped Swedish club Ostersunds to the Europa League last 32 and was voted Sweden’s top striker in 2017.  Team Melli star Ghoddos, 24, came off the bench in all three of Iran’s games in Russia last month and is also comfortable playing up front or out wide.

Reports in Sweden say Etihad boss Pep Guardiola had the Malmo-born ace watched last Saturday as he helped Ostersunds beat Elfsborg 1-0. Ostersunds chairman Daniel Kindberg confirmed City’s presence – but was coy about the Premier League champions’ interest in his prize asset.

He said: “Maybe City are watching many players in Europe.

Chinese clubs have made big-money offers to Ostersunds and Iran star Saman Ghoddos but he says he is too young to go there at the moment “Have they contacted us about Ghoddos? You never know.”

Chinese clubs have already made huge contract offers to Ghoddos.

He said: “It is sick money, but I’m not really thinking about going there right now. “I am far too young to move to China just yet.”

Ghoddos has hit ten goals in 20 games for Ostersunds so far this season.

He won two caps for Sweden in friendlies before switching to his parents’ home country last year. The former Syrianska star has since won 11 caps for Carlos Queiroz’s Iran side. Despite a brilliant season , Ghoddos fell victim of Queiroz tight defense game plan and had never been afforded the chance in the World Cup to prove his worth. However, he has attracted much attention throughout Europe for a big club move.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh has already signed for Brighton and Hove Albion and so far is the only Team Melli player in the Premeier League

Saman Ghoddos could soon be celebrating a move to the Premier League

Saman Ghoddos Ineligible to play for Team Melli


The excitement of the Swedish-born Iranian appearing for Team Melli has turned to a major disappointment after FIFA declared that Saman Goddos is ineligible to play for Iran.

An unnamed administrator in FFIRI has informed Khabar Varzeshi newspaper that FIFA has rejected Iran’s application due to lack of proper documentation and proofs. As such, the chance of Ghoddos making his debut tomorrow against Syria has disappeared.

As a result of his Iranian parentage, Ghoddos was eligible to be called up by both Iran and Sweden. In December 2016, Ghoddos was called up by Sweden manager Janne Andersson for friendlies against Ivory Coast and Slovakia. He scored his first international goal for Sweden in a 6–0 win over Slovakia on 12 January 2017.

In June 2017, Ghoddos revealed that he had been approached by the Iranian football federation. In an interview in July 2017, Ghoddos stated that he may accept an invitation to play for Carlos Queiroz’s Iran if he is asked. He applied for Iranian citizenship on 21st August, stating that it is an honor to play for Sweden and his decision to represent either country is “fifty-fifty”.

Ghoddos was not called into Sweden’s World Cup qualification squad on 23 August, with Janne Andersson opting to choose expatriate footballers and stating that Ghoddos is not far from a call-up if he were to remain with the Swedish national team.

 in an interview on 25 August 2017, Ghoddos confirmed that he received his Iranian passport from the embassy. The following day, 26 August 2017, he announced on his Instagram page that he would be joining Team Melli for their 2018 World Cup qualifiers against South Korea and Syria.

The Östersunds FK midfilder was called up for the first time to Team Melli squad on 27th August 2017 by Carlos Queiroz for Iran’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Korea and Syria.

Facts Figures: Sweden vs Iran

Jimmy Lindahl, SFS (Swedish Football Historians and Statisticians), has an eye on the Swedish national team history. Here is a selection of facts and figures before Tuesday’s match at the Friends Arena.


Did you know that …

… Tuesday’s International is the first for the Swedish National team against Iran. The opponent is thereby the 90th nation to meet  Sweden in international matches .

September 11, 2012. Johan Elmander at Swedbank Stadion in Malmö against Kazakhstan.

… Iran has participated in four World Cup finals. The team has only managed to win  one game (against the United States in Lyon in 1998) and has not yet managed to advance from the group stage sometime.

… Iran between 1968 and 1976 won the AFC Asian Cup (Formerly Asian Nation Cup)  on three consecutive occasions. The team has also become bronze medalist four times in the tournament.

… Against Asian opposition, Sweden has won 26 out of  46 internationals.

… Against Asian nations Johan Elmander has scored five goals.

… The first meeting with the new national team opponents usually have taken place on neutral ground or away from home. Against 34 of the 89 nations the first international have been played in Sweden. The last time this occurred was against Kazakhstan in September 2012. Total is Iran today after 63 opponents on Swedish soil.

… When the referees were Dutch in 61 matches for the Swedish team , these matches have resulted in 21 Swedish wins.

… Before today’s match has been played three internationals with Swedish participation at today’s date on 31 March. These caps have resulted in two wins and a draw match with a goal difference of 3-1.

… The three Swedish national team objectives March 31 has been made by Peter Truedsson, Fredrik Ljungberg and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Joakim Nilsson’s national team debuted birthday.

… the first time the Swedish national team was involved in a penalty shootout was 31 March 1988. Directly at the final whistle, without extension, took Sweden to the final of the European Championships by defeating the host nation West Germany with 4- 2 in the shootout.

… Three Swedish internationals born on today’s date March 31, Rolf Svensson who today would have turned 93 years, Joakim Nilsson today fills 49 years old and Matias Concha who today turns 35 years.

… A national team has debuted in the national team on 31 March. Joakim Nilsson away against West Germany in 1988. He is one of four internationals who debuted in the national team on his birthday.

Posted by: Jimmy Lindahl, SFS, in March 2015 (translated from Swedish text)

Queiroz threatens to leave….again!

Ali Kaffashian said that Team Melli Head Coach , Carlos Queiroz has once again stated that if he continues to experience lack of resources at his disposal , he will resign his job as the head coach. The duo have met after Queiroz returned back to Iran from his extended holidays to discuss the future programs of Team Melli. Kaffashian said that Queiroz was concerned with the outcome of the Chile match and once again reiterated that if the proper resources are not available at his disposal , he will resign his job as Team Melli head coach.

Queiroz’s concern is about the possible cancellation of this high-profile and important friendly international against one of the best teams in the world with stars like Alexis Sanchez. The Portuguese coach is counting  a lot on a solid performance by Team Melli players against both Chile and Sweden. Countless numbers of matches and training camps have been cancelled by the federation due to lack of resource. Queiroz is approaching the point where he has drawn a line, where he believes that continuing to operate under such depravity and in constant struggle for handouts to do his basic work , is harming his own reputation and that of Iranian football.

Despite his strong support for Omid Team in its quest for qualifying to the Olympics and his strong backing of Kashani and Khakpour ,  Kaffashian admitted that Queiroz holds the upper hand in the release of Azmoun and Jahanbakhsh. The head of FFIRI said that he cannot force Team Melli coach to release the two players for Omid Team while the team is playing two important matches.

Kaffashian also supported Queiroz against Abbas Torabian and said that “Torabian’s job is somewhere else and he should not involve himself in issues that are not part of his job.”

Kaffashian also supported Queiroz against the criticism of Omid Team Manager Habib Kashani. “Queiroz is doing his job for the benefit of the team and Iran. It is nothing personal. He simply wants to prepare the team as best as he can like many other good teams in the area.” Kaffashian dismissed Kashani’s criticism against his own administration and Queiroz but refrained from rebuking Kashani for his strong words.

What is behind the Chile game cancelation talk?



The Iranian football federation financial difficulties and failure to cover the activities of the national teams are old news. Under Kaffashian administration, the FFIRI has suffered chronic financial hardship, lack of resources and failure to create a proper marketing and sponsorship strategy to generate revenue for his federation.

The initial plan to play Sweden was a God send for the FFIRI as the Swedes have taken care of almost all the cost including transportation and accommodation for the Iranian squad and delegation. All that Iran needs to do is to turn up for the match.

A match agent who has a close working relationship with FIFA and Carlos Queiroz wisely proposed an extra match against Chile utilizing the South American’s team presence in Europe for a match against Brazil at the Emirates Stadium in London. Initially the date was agreed and Chile was to play against Iran in Sweden a few days before the Sweden match. As there was some fear by the Swedes that the proposed match with Chile and particularly the result might over shadow the main attraction, the Sweden-Iran match, they objected to the match venue being played in Sweden.

The agent then suggested Austria and presented another verbal proposal which would cost the FFIRI nothing while the agent would retain the match ticket sales income and TV broadcast rights. This proposal was agreed by the FFIRI verbally and a contract was to be sent for approval and signature.

On the presentation of the formal contract, there was a clause about a payment of 75,000 Euros outstanding from the previous camp in Austria that the FFIRI has to settle. On being alerted to the clause, Ali Kaffashian had a change of heart as he is reluctant to pay (!) , hence his quote that the Chile match is not confirmed yet.

The federation has no choice but to pay the bill outstanding for a long time. Unless this bill is settled, there would be no match against Chile in Austria anytime soon.

It is amazing how a football federation that cannot pay a 75,000 Euro bill has the audacity to file to host the most prestigious Asian football tournament and expect to win against the UAE !

Beitashour,Haghighi R.,Hoisseini,Davari,Nekounam-Sadeghi AH,Mahini,Ghoochannejad, Dejagah, Jahanbakhsh,Shojaei

Queiroz “Possible cancellation of Chile match is a big blow for Team Melli”

The Portuguese coach of Team Melli Carlos Queiroz has returned back to Iran to select and prepare the team for the two high profile friendly matches against Chile and Sweden in two weeks time.

Rumors have been rife in Tehran about the possible cancellation of the Chile match in Austria because of the customary shortage of funds to cover the cost. Queiroz was confronted by the reports on his arrival about his feelings on such possibility. “It will be a big and major blow for Team Melli if this match is canceled and regrettable if there is shortage of funds. We have all been looking forward for this unique opportunity to play two of the finest teams in the world and if the Chile match is canceled it will be a big psychological blow” Queiroz commented.

Queiroz was also asked about the status of several players and he had these to offer.

“Azmoun and Jahanbakhash are members of Team Melli and are definitely required for the two matches in Europe. This is a big opportunity for them. There is no chance that I will not select them for this trip. It is regrettable that this tour coincides with the Omid team qualifying matches , but once again , both will be required and will be with us in the trip to Europe”

“Mohammad Nouri and Mehdi Rahmati are not Team Melli players and will not be part of the squad to Europe. I have no further comments to offer on the subject. Full stop.”

“The list of Team Melli players will be announced soon and will be starting our preparation from Iran before flying to Europe”



Jahanbakhsh & Azmoun not available for Omid Team.

Jaffar Kashani , the manager of Omid Team ( Iran U23) announced that despite their request , Alireza Jahanbaksh and Sardar Azmoun will not be available to join Omid Team during the qualification rounds of the Olympic Games 2016 , instead they will be part of the Team Melli squad playing two international friendly matches in the holiday periods.

Omid Team will be playing the first stages of the qualifying matches in a round ribbon group along with Nepal , Palestine , Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia in the period from 23rd to 31st March in Azadi stadium. During the same period Team Melli will be taking full advantage of the FIFA day and have already arranged two important and momentous matches against Chile and Sweden.

Sardar Azmoun was one of the stars of the recent Asian Games 2015 where he scored two goals and desevedly has established himself in Team Melli. Alireza Jahanbaksh was less fortunate and was not able to produce the quality that was hoped from, yet this player remains an important part of Carlos Queiroz grand plan in rejuvenating the team.

Kashani criticized his employer FFIRI and claimed that the team is not getting the full support of the federation!. The reality is that Kaffashian has already declared for support for Omid Team in their quest to qualify for the nest year Olympics after 40 years of absence by Iran.

“Because we are not Carlos Queiroz , our request to change the league program has been refused. We have demanded that league to be stopped for one week in order to allow us to take part in the Kuwait camp where we could have played two friendly matches, but we don’t get the same attention as Team Melli gets.” Kashani moaned.

Kashani also bitterly complained about the lack of commitment by the league clubs by not releasing their players whenever they are required by Omid Team program.  Kashani then repeated his usual drama by threatening to resign if  his requests are not met by the federation or the clubs create difficulties for the team.

Jafar Kashani already resigned this same position and vowed never to return to work with this federation after his effort to recruit Zlatko Kranjcar was turned down.  However , to the surprise of many observers, the man did a 180 degrees turn and announced that he is a soldier who will answer the call of duty for the country any time he is required !.

The manner that he resigned and then came back within a few days ,  leaves a lot to be desired in what many people consider the Achilles heel of Iranian football and that is poor quality , untrustworthy and erratic management.


Dorna Montzemian, Swedish-Iranian Team Melli fan.

Sweden is a country that has been a favorite for immigrant Iranians. Despite the unforgivable weather and the cold climate, many Iranians have settled well in Sweden a country that has given refuge to thousands of people around the world and given them the opportunity to prosper and live a respectable life. Many Iranians excelled and integrated well in the society forming a highly honorable and respectable community.

The Iranians are the biggest minorities in Sweden with a number approaching 64,000. Many have been born in Sweden either from Iranian parentage or by intermixed marriages. Amongst this population, a community of football fans has established itself which despite the distance from the homeland, have created a sizable and strong support for Team Melli. Many fans from Sweden travelled to watch Team Melli in France and Germany for the world cups.

The match against Sweden is the first real opportunity for Team Melli fans in Sweden to show their strength and resolve. Although the match might not be a sellout, the indications are that it will be near capacity. The Iranian football fans and Team Melli supporters in particular, are world renowned for their passion and vociferous support wherever the match is played. Sweden is a dream land for Team Melli fans.

Sweden Men’s National Football Team will meet Iran in the Friendly Arena on 31 March. To put the supporters in the mood and emphasize the importance of support from the stands, the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) implemented facebook contest Hemmaplan! where the winners get involved on an alternative match poster with fans of both teams and of course also win tickets to match.


The weeks leading up to the match, The SvFF published interviews with the winners. First off is Dorna Montzemian.


What is your name?

– Dorna Montazemian.

How old are you?

– 28 years

Which team is your team?

– Wow, teasers, already? Hahahaha!

Very easy question to answer. It is actually Sweden when the Swedish national team is playing, it is very close to my heart, but obviously the heart beats slightly stronger for the Iranian national team, Team Melli, representing my country Iran!


What is your first football memory?

– I have many fond memories to share, but by far the biggest and among the first most memorable football memories I have are from the 1998 World Cup, when Iran made it to the World Cup for the second time and most important was the match that Iran had to play against the United States.

What a game that was, still, when I think back to that day’s emotions, I still can feel how the Iranian people in Iran and around the world celebrated the 2-1 victory over the United States. First goal was scored by Hamid Estili, which he headed the ball straight into the net, and then Mehdi Mahdavikia secured the win with the second goal in 84th minutes. All of a sudden it became 2-1 and everything stood still in the final minutes of the match remaining. Then the referee blows the final whistle, BÄÄÄÄM, Iran registers its first and historic win ever in a World Cup contest! Unforgettable!

mahdavikia _73376188_iran

What is your best memory as a supporter?

– First and foremost, this experience that is assigned to me. Then my expectations and  wait for the absolute best memory which will be created on March 31 at the Friends Arena, where both parts of my heart will face each other! It will be absolutely legendary!


What does being a supporter means for you?

– To be loyal to the team you follow and to watch football as a sport filled with passion, a sport with huge driving forces which will create strength and courage together , like creating superstars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.


What is so special in the game between Sweden and Iran?

– Experiencing Iran’s first football match against Sweden in Sweden, is a great and historical moment! The last time Iran played against a Scandinavian team was against Denmark back in 1999.

On March 31, I along with several thousand people will attend a festivity that is very special and highly appreciated. The ability to go to the match and enjoy the 90+ minute live play and experience the wonderful atmosphere of a soccer stadium, it’s something to look forward to and cherish!

fans and players mingle in brisbane

What is the feeling before the game?

– I’ll summarize my card with some words that together will say everything.

Unbelievable! Joy! And huge desire!

Excitement, nervousness, intermixed with pride and happiness.


Do you think the competition you have participated in has been good? Why has it been good or bad?

– Yes, I think everything has been good, for sure. All we have are six people who were fortunate enough to win this competition. We had great fun together; laughed a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed competing.


How do think the game will end?

– We must wait and see, personally, I like surprises. Whatever the outcome, all players regardless of the winner team, are dear to my heart as a true supporter!