News ID: 216992
Published: 0944 GMT June 20, 2018

Iran goalkeeper Beiravand’s story source of inspiration for soccer fans worldwide

Iran goalkeeper Beiravand’s story source of inspiration for soccer fans worldwide
Iran's goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand practices during a training session in Bakovka outside Moscow on June 12, 2018, ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. (Photo by AFP)

The life story of the first-choice goalkeeper of the Iran men’s national football team Alireza Beiranvand, who worked in a bakery, a car wash, a pizzeria and as a street sweeper before rising to stardom, could be a source of inspiration for millions of soccer enthusiasts around the globe.

Beiranvand, born on September 21, 1992 in Sarab-e Yas village of Iran’s western province of Lorestan, started playing football as a goalkeeper at an early age but his father vehemently objected, prasstv.com wrote.

His father told him that being a footballer could not be a job, and preferred his son to be a simple worker and make money.

“My father didn’t like football at all and he asked me to work. He even tore my clothes and gloves and I played with bare hands several times,” the custodian of the Iran national football team, nicknamed Team Melli, said.

At last, Beiranvand bought a ticket with the money he had saved working as a baker, and travelled to the Iranian capital Tehran in the hope of joining a club.

He met Hossein Fayz, the manager of Tehran-based Vahdat Football Club, on the bus. Fayz told Beiravand he would let him train if he paid him some money.

The young goalkeeper told Fayz he did not have any money at all, so the manager felt pity and agreed to give Beiranvand an opportunity.

He did not have a place to sleep so he spent nights around Azadi Tower, where many migrants and street vendors gathered.

Beiranvand then started working in a pizza shop so he could sleep there at night. One night, his coach came to buy pizza. The goalkeeper did not want him to know his situation, but the shop owner forced him to serve. Beiranvand left the shop a few days later.

His next job was working in a car wash, where he achieved fame for washing sport-utility vehicles because of his height.

After that, he worked as a street cleaner and started his job as early as 5 o'clock in the morning.

Finally, Beiranvand signed for Naft-e Tehran under-23 team and began to shine. He was then invited to Iran national under-20 football team (also known as Iran Youth Team) and Iran national under-23 football team – domestically known as Iran Olympic Team.

 

In April 2014, he was called up to the Iran national football team training camp in South Africa by coach Carlos Queiroz.

Beiravnad currently plays as a goalkeeper for Persepolis in the Persian Gulf Pro League.

During the official 2018 FIFA World Cup draw ceremony at Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital city of Moscow on December 1 last year, the Iran football team joined the Portugal national football team, nicknamed A Selecção, Spain’s La Furia Roja and Atlas Lions of Morocco in the preliminary round of the tournament.

The host nation, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay form Group A in the upcoming quadrennial international sports event.

France is drawn in Group C, and is pitted against Australia, Peru and Denmark.

Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria are drawn in Group D.

Group E consists of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.

While the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea shape Group F, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England are in Group G.

Group H has Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and will run through July 15. Russia opened the event against Saudi Arabia in a Group A fixture at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. The hosts won the match 5-0.

A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.

Iran started its World Cup campaign against Morocco at Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 15.

The Iranians were gifted a gifted a 1-0 win over Atlas Lions when Moroccan striker Aziz Bouhaddouz thumped a powerful header into his own net five minutes into injury time.

   
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