Tag Archives: International

Photo gallery: Fans in Iran celebrate the 2018 FIFA World Cup

During the world cup many Iranians watched the matches in cafés, restaurants, shops or public screenings. After each match people flooded the streets to celebrate and show their support for the team; Iran achieved their best performance at a world cup. They finished third in their group with four points and overall in 18th place out of 32 squads.*

An own goal by Aziz Bouhaddouz (90+5′) allowed Iran to win their first match 1:0 against Morocco. Spain won the second match 1:0 (Diego Costa 54′) but the Europeans struggled to create chances against a very disciplined Iran that defended brilliantly, showed plenty of tactical cohesion and looked dangerous going forward. Saeid Ezatolahi had a goal disallowed for offside.

The third match against Portugal ended in a draw 1:1 (Quaresma 45′; penalty Karim Ansarifard 90+3′). Morteza Pouraliganji rose up to the challenge and kept Cristiano Ronaldo in check. In the second half, Ali Beiranvand managed to save Ronaldo’s penalty kick. Seconds before the final whistle, Iran went all out for the winner and a desperate Saman Ghoddos effort was deflected onto the path of Mehdi Taremi who found himself one-on-one with Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio. Taremi hit the wrong side of the netting, consigning his side to finishing third in their group. Iran needed all three points to advance to the knock-out stage.

In The Guardian, Paul Doyle rated Ali Beiravand’s overall performance with an 8 and chose the Iranian goalkeeper in his best eleven of the group stage.

*Note: In 1978, Iran finished in 14th place out of 16 participants on their first World Cup appearance.

Sources: Borna News Agency, Fars News Agency (FNA) 1, FNA 2, IRNA 1, IRNA 2, IRNA 3, IRNA 4, IRNA 5, IRNA 6, IRNA 7, ISNA 1, ISNA 2, ISNA 3, ISNA 4, ISNA 5, ISNA 6, Mehr News Agency (MNA) 1, MNA 2, MNA 3, MNA 4, MNA 5, MNA 6, MNA 7, MNA 8, MNA 9, Tasnim News Agency (TNA) 1, TNA 2, Tehran Picture Agency (TPA) 1, TPA 2, TPA 3, Young Journalists Club (YJC) 1, YJC 2, YJC 3, YJC 4, YJC 5, YJC 6, YJC 7, AFC, The Guardian (TG) 1, TG 2, Wikipedia 1, Wikipedia 2, Wikipedia 3

FIFA World Cup 2018: Iran’s team and fans in Russia (Photos)

Reza Ghoochannejhad – The violinist who understands seven languages
Reza scored the only Iranian goal in the World Cup 2014. Besides football, the forward is known for his skills with the violin and for languages; he speaks English, Dutch, Persian and French. Additionally he has a good understanding of German, Italian and Portuguese.

He played in the youth national team of the Netherlands and, at the age of 21, he wanted to leave football to study law. He was convinced by Marc Overmars, the winger that played in Barcelona, to stick to football. He wants to finish his studies when he retires from football. “The people who know me know that there is something more than football for me”. His sister-in-law is Sareh Bayat, a famous Iranian actress who participated in the 2012 Oscar-winning film “Nader and Simín, a separation”. After Iran’s win against Morocco with an own goal by Bouhaddouz, he took a moment to console his opponent on Instagram:

“I don’t know you personally but in life, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Don’t let this own goal bring you down. We are all professional sportsmen and this is a part of football. I am so happy and proud of my team and my country, but wanted to wish you also all the best in your career. Reza”.

Sardar Azmoun – The Iranian “Messi”
Sardar, 23 years old, is compared to the crack of Barça due to his ability. A comparison that, however, the striker of Rubin Kazan rejects immediately. “I do not know why they say I’m the new Messi, my game has nothing to do, maybe it’s because we use the same boots,” he says. Azmoun was born in Gonbad-e Kavus to a family of Turkmen origin from Iran’s Sunni minority. He started his career in Sepahan FC (Isfahan, Iran).

As top scorer in the league and for the national team he is the favorite of the masses beloved by the fans and his team members. He is addicted to social networks. When he was younger, he was summoned by the Iranian sub-15 volleyball team due to his height (1.86 meters) and the conditions inherited from his father, a former player. He is also passionate about horses.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh – The child that fell in love with football at the world cup
Alireza Jahanbakhsh is Iran’s biggest threat in attack. The winger of AZ Alkmaar is 2017-18 Eredivise’s top scorer. He scored 21 goals and also distributed 12 assists! “It’s not bad to play as a winger” he says. Neither for a child who, until 12, preferred gymnastics, handball and indoor football over football. Jahanbakhsh, who got hooked on football watching the 1998 World Cup, grew up admiring Iranian winger Mahdavikia, but now he adores Cristiano Ronaldo: “He’s my role model, I always try to learn from him.” His determination and work are exemplary. He is simply the best in the world.”

Milad Mohammadi – The twin nicknamed Road Runner
Milad Mohammadi is a fullback/left winger that plays for Akhmat Grozny in Chechnya. He has a twin brother, Mehrdad, who plays for Sepahan FC. Fans nicknamed Milad “Mig-Mig”, as in the cartoon The Coyote and the Road Runner, due to his speed.

Saeid Ezatolahi – The Persian Pogba with a short stop in Atlético
21-year-old central midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi is the youngest member of the squad in Russia. He wrote Iranian football history as the youngest player to score with the national team.
Son of a trainer, he was nicknamed the Persian Pogba and at the end of the summer of 2014, with 17, he signed for Atlético de Madrid for four years. He played in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Youth League.
“He was a very polite and respectful player. Always wondering about all the tactical aspects to learn as much as possible. He even asked to stay longer to do specific workouts sometimes”, recalls Armando de la Morena, the coach he had in Spain. During the April 2015 transfer window Ezatolahi trained with Cholo Simeone at Cerro del Espino. In July 2015 he transferred to Russia’s Rostov.

Masoud – Or how to overcome four serious injuries
Masoud Shojaei is best known in Spain because he played for Osasuna and Las Palmas. In Pamplona he learned, what it meant to play under pressure in football’s top competitions, with all eyes right on top of him. He had four surgeries after a broken metatarsal during the 2011-2012 season. It took him 16 months to recover, six of them on crutches. After having problems with the regime, he is now back as captain of the Iran squad.

Ghoddos – The Iranian, who came out of the cold of… Sweden
Saman Ghoddos (24 years old) was born in Malmö, Sweden and he received his Iranian nationality last year. He neither knew until then the majority of those who are now his teammates. The match against Spain was his tenth game defending Iran. The midfielder/forward is the son of Iranian immigrants, who never forgot their roots – celebrating Nowruz and Chahar Shanbeh Suri in Sweden. He played two friendlies with the Swedish national team, scoring once.
Ghoddos plays in Östersunds FC. Arsenal’s coach Arsene Wenger praised him after a Europa League match: “Technically and tactically, I was impressed by him”. Ghoddos club did not want to sell him this winter to Celta de Vigo.

Dejagah – Boateng’s friend and owner of a restaurant
Ashkan Dejagah, midfielder of Nottingham Forest since January, sees Kevin Prince Boateng as his brother. The German-born Ghanaian midfielder wished him luck on Instagram in the first game. In January he opened a sushi restaurant in Berlin. He represented Germany at youth levels, where he met Neuer, Höwedes, Khedira, Özil … before playing in Wolfsburg and Fulham. He has Berlin and Tehran tattooed on each of his arms along with the legend “Never forget where you come from”.

Morteza Pouraliganji – Teammate of Xavi Hernández in Al Saad
Morteza Pouraliganji is, with only 26 years, the head of Iran’s defense. He plays in Al Saad of Qatar, Xavi’s team, where he arrived two years ago despite the offers he had from Europe and China. The Spanish midfielder was the great idol of his youth.

Alireza Beiranvand – From sleeping rough to the World Cup with Iran
Alireza Beiranvand was a shepherd in the mountainous region of Lorestan, in the northwest of the country. “My father didn’t like football at all and asked me to work,” Alireza told the Guardian. “He even tore my clothes and gloves and I played with bare hands several times.” He used all his money for a trip to Tehran, where he slept in the in the streets at the beginning. He had several jobs to supplement his income, including working at a car wash where, at 1,93m (6ft 4in) tall, he specialised in cleaning SUVs. He also worked in a dressmaking factory and a pizza shop before making his breakthrough in football. The 25-year-old plays now for Tehran-based club Persepolis.

Playing as a kid “Dal Paran”, a game that involves throwing stones long distances, enabled him to throw the ball much further than many other goalkeepers. His 70-meter assist in the Iranian football league caught the eyes of foreign media and made him famous abroad in 2014. In 2015 Alireza finally became Iran’s first-choice goalkeeper and, with 12 clean sheets in qualifying, he helped Team Melli, as Iran’s team is called at home, cruise to Russia 2018. “I suffered many difficulties to make my dreams come true but I have no intention of forgetting them because they made me the person I am now,” he said.

Carlos Queiroz – Iran’s Portuguese coach
Carlos Queiroz, former trainer at Real Madrid and assistant trainer at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, […] had worked wonders to get Iran to Brazil. Iran was Asia’s seventh-ranked team when he took over in 2011 and 54th in the world. Within three years Iran was the first ranked team in Asia. For Russia 2018, Iran didn’t lose a single one of their ten games in qualifying and conceded only twice. Sanctions have bit hard:

“We struggle to travel, to have training camps, to bring opponents, to buy equipment. Even buying shirts is a challenge, but these challenges helped me fall in love with Iran. These difficulties become a source of inspiration to the people, it makes them more united, to fight for their country. These boys deserve a smile from the rest of the world.”

Sanctions also meant Nike pulled out of their deal to supply the Iran team with boots one week ahead of the World Cup, forcing players to play with unfamiliar equipment.

“My message for international football is very simple: let us play. Our players deserve that opportunity. Don’t let sanctions create this stigma. Don’t let this go against the spirit of the game. We have football players who love the game”.

“[…] I’ve never, in all my career, seen players deliver so much after receiving so little as I have with these Iran Boys“.

“Tell me one national team which goes to the World Cup without enough friendly games [Greece recently cancelled a friendly, Kosovo then also declined to step in], or by using a 60-metre training pitch?”

Queiroz didn’t expect to be in charge of Iran for seven years. “Football has given me the privilege to go to many places in the world, to see the United States, Japan, Africa or Europe,” he says. “And people ask me about Iran because they’re curious. I tell them that I see exactly the same as in any other country I’ve been to – people who laugh and cry, who dance, who sing. You see mums carrying their kids to school in the morning. You see people complaining about the traffic. Football teaches you how much human beings have in common that have nothing to do with any politics or regimes.”

Football is huge in Iran – the national team regularly drew sell-out crowds of 78,000 in qualifying. “Iran is a football country,” says Queiroz. “Football is in the DNA of the people. Iran is not a fake football country, one which needs to create or imagine fantasy solutions to promote the game. But our players need support and the politics should be left out of the game.” And his young players in Russia? “They have a right to enjoy Russia, to have fun,” he says. “They’ve earned it.”

List of players called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup (jersey number in parentheses):
Goalkeepers: Ali Beiravand (1), Rashid Mazaheri (12), Amir Abedzadeh (22)
Defenders: Ehsan Hajsafi (3), Rouzbeh Cheshmi (4), Milad Mohammadi (5), Morteza Pouraliganji (8), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (13), Pejman Montazeri (15), Majid Hosseini (19), Ramin Rezaeian (23)
Midfielders: Mehdi Torabi (2), Saeid Ezatolahi (6), Masoud Shojaei (7), Omid Ebrahimi (9), Vahid Amiri (11)
Forwards: Karim Ansarifard (10), Saman Ghoddos (14), Reza Ghoochannejhad (16), Mehdi Taremi (17), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (18), Sardar Azmoun (20), Ashkan Dejagah (21)
Head coach: Carlos Queiroz

Sources: MARCA (Original article with contributions by Iranian sports journalist Alireza Moharami. This source was loose translated from Spanish to English), The Guardian, BBC, GQ Magazine, ESPN, FIFA, GOAL, ISNA 1, ISNA 2, ISNA 3, ISNA 4, MEHR, Zimbio, instagram @alirezajb_official, instagram @miladmohammadi.official, instagram @saman.ghoddos, instagram @sardar_azmoun, instagram @rgucci16, instagram @teammellifootball, twitter @FIFAWorldCupIRN

Iran wins bronze at Indoor Hockey World Cup

The Asian Champions won the Bronze Medal match 5:0 against Australia, and became the first non-European team to win a podium position at the Indoor Hockey World Cup, held in Berlin, Germany. Sasan Hatami Nejad won the Best Goalkeeper Award and Reza Norouzzadeh ended as the third highest scorer of the tournament.

Navid Taherirad netted Iran’s opener nearly a quarter into the game; and Reza Norouzzadeh doubled Iran’s lead in the 19th minute. After Hamid Nooranian jabbed the team’s third goal, Norouzzadeh was on target twice again, completing a hat trick in the span of just 21 minutes.

Austria beat Germany 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out and shattered the hosts’ championship hopes, after both teams were tied 3-3 at full time. The Netherlands were the reigning champions, but did not qualify to defend their title.

Ranked currently 7th in the world, Iran lost one match (the semi final against Germany, world number 1), out of a total of 8 matches played at the event. They drew against Austria (world number 2 and Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018 Champions), won against Russia (world number 4), and against Czech Republic (world number 6).

Iranian squad
Behdad Biranvand, Yaghoub Bahrami, Abbas Aruei, Amir Aruei, Hamid Nouraniyan, Alireza Chezani Sharahi, Behnam Fardi, Mohsen Bohlouli, Mohammad Asnaashari, Reza Norouzzadeh, Sasan Hataminejad and Navid Taherirad. Head coach: Esfandiar Safaei

Sources: Payvand News of Iran, International Hockey Federation, Asian Hockey Federation, Wikipedia

Undefeated Iran is Youth Volleyball World Champion 2017

Iran succeeded in their gold medal hunt as they defeated Russia 3-1, winning its second title in the FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship. Japan defeated South Korea for the bronze medal. Amir Hossein Esfandiar from Iran was elected the MVP and Amir Hossein Toukhteh was selected in the tournament’s dream team.

Porya Yali, Morteza Sharifi and Amirhossein Esfandiar dominated in offence as they combined for 54 of Iran’s 59 attacks. Yali led Iran in scoring with 29 points, Sharifi charted 19 points and was Iran’s most efficient hitter, while Esfandiar played consistently across all skill sets. Maksim Sapozhkov, who came off the bench in the second set, top scored for Russia with 16 points.

RESULTS (Iran)
Iran 3 : 2 Italy (25-16, 23-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12) – Pool D
Iran 3 : 0 Mexico (25-19, 25-12, 25-18) – Pool D
Iran 3 : 0 China (25-23, 25-18, 25-21) – Pool D
Iran 3 : 0 Czech Republic (25-22, 25-12, 25-19) – Pool D
Iran 3 : 0 Turkey (25-18, 25-21, 25-13) – Round of 16
Iran 3 : 0 Brazil (25-21, 25-20, 25-15) – Quarterfinals
Iran 3 : 0 South Korea (25-23, 25-20, 25-18) – Semifinals
Russia 1 : 3 Iran (20-25, 23-25, 25-21, 20-25) – Final

DREAM TEAM
Most Valuable Player: Amirhosseini Esfandiar (Iran)
Best Outside Spikers: Amirhosseini Esfandiar (Iran), Pavel Tetyukhin (Russia)
Best Middle Blockers: Artem Melnikov (Russia), Amir Hossein Toukhteh (Iran)
Best Setter: Shunsuke Nakamura (Japan)
Best Opposite Spiker: Im Donghyeok (South Korea)
Best Libero: Kenta Ichikawa (Japan)

The 2017 FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship was the fifteenth edition of the world championship for men’s national teams under the age of 19. The tournament was hosted by Bahrain in Riffa from 18 to 27 August 2017. 20 teams from the 5 confederations competed in the tournament.

Sources: FIVB | U19 Boys 2017 (News), Wikipedia | 2017 FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship, Young Journalists Club, Borna News, IRNA

Iran wins 12 medals at the 2017 X World Games in Poland

The 2017 X World Games is a major international multi-sport event, meant for sports, disciplines or events within a sport, that are not contested in the Olympic Games, held in Wrocław, Poland.

Iran sent a delegation of 19 athletes that competed in 7 disciplines: Archery, Billiard sports, Ju-Jitsu, Karate, Kickboxing, Muaythai and Sport climbing, winning 12 medals (two gold, eight silver and two bronze). All Iranian athletes that did not win a medal reached the quarterfinals.

3214 athletes from 102 countries participated in a total of 201 events in 27 official sport disciplines as well as in 21 events in 4 invitational sports, that included American football, Indoor rowing, Kickboxing, and Motorcycle speedway.This is the first time that Floorball, Lacrosse and Muaythai have been included in the World Games as official sports.

Iran at the 2017 X World Games
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Karate – Men’s Kumite 84kg: Zabiollah Poorshab
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Sport Climbing – Men’s Speed: Reza Alipourshenazandifar
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Archery – Men’s Compound: Esmaeil Ebadi
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Ju-Jitsu –
Men’s 94kg Fighting: Mohsen Hamid Aghchay
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Karate –
Women’s Kumite +68kg: Hamideh Abbasali
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Karate –
Men’s Kumite 60kg: Amir Mehdizadeh
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Karate –
Men’s Kumite 75kg: Aliasghar Asiabari
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Karate –
Men’s Kumite +84kg: Sajad Ganjzadeh
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Muaythai –
Men’s 63.5kg: Ali Zarinfar
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Muaythai –
Men’s 71kg: Masoud Minaei
Bronze_medal_icon.svg Billiard Sports – Mixed Snooker: Soheil Vahedi
Bronze_medal_icon.svg Kickboxing Men’s K1 86kg: Omid Nosrati (* invitational sport)

Sources: Wikipedia | 2017 World Games, 2017 X World Games | Iranian medals, Wikipedia | Iran at the 2017 World Games, Facebook @TWG2017

Iranian film won “Un Certain Regard” top prize at Cannes

A Man of Integrity (Lerd), a film that focuses on a goldfish farmer battling corporate oppression in Northern Iran, has won the top prize in the “Un Certain Regard” competition at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, the film stars Reza Akhlaghirad, Soudabeh Beizaee and Misagh Zare Zeinab. A Man of Integrity marks Rasoulof’s third attempt at the Un Certain Regard section, having previously had two of his other movies nominated including 2011’s Au revoir and 2013’s Manuscripts Don’t Burn, winning Best Director for the former.

Rasoulof’s win comes three months after another Iranian filmmaker, Asghar Farhadi, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for his film The Salesman.

“Un Certain Regard” is a section of the Cannes Film Festival’s official selection. It runs parallel to the competition for the Palme d’Or. Introduced in 1978 by Gilles Jacob, this section presents works that have an original aim and aesthetic. The name literally means “a certain glance” but is understood by French speakers to mean “from another point of view.” In 2017 this section presented in competition 18 films hailing from 22 different countries.

Under the presidency of Uma Thurman (actress – United States), the Jury was comprised of Mohamed Diab (director – Egypt), Reda Kateb (actor – France), Joachim Lafosse (director – Belgium) and Karel Och (artistic director of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival – Czech Republic).

Iranian short film “AniMal” (Heyvan), co-directed by Bahram and Bahman Ark, won the second prize of the 20th Cinéfondation Selection.  The Jury was headed by Cristian Mungiu (director – Romania) and included Clotilde Hesme (actress – France), Athina Rachel Tsangari (director, writer, producer – Greece), Barry Jenkins (director, script writer – United States) and Eric Khoo (director, writer, producer – Singapore).

La Cinéfondation, by the Cannes Film Festival, was created to inspire and support the next generation of international filmmakers. This year’s selection consisted of 16 student films, chosen out of 2.600 entries coming from 626 film schools around the world.

UN CERTAIN REGARD PRIZES
“Un Certain Regard” Prize: Lerd (A Man of Integrity) by Mohammad Rasoulof
Prize for Best Actress:  Jasmine Trinca for Fortunata by Sergio Castellitto
Prize for the Best Poetic Narrative: Barbara by Mathieu Amalric
Prize for the Best Direction: Taylor sheridan for Wind River
Jury Prize: Las Hijas de Abril (April’s Daughters) by Michel Franco

20th CINÉFONDATION PRIZES
First Prize: Paul est là (Paul is here) directed by Valentina Maurel / INSAS, Belgium
Second Prize: Heyvan (AniMal) directed by Bahram & Bahman Ark / Iranian National School of Cinema, Iran
Third Prize: Deux égarés sont morts (Two youths died) directed by Tommaso Usberti / La Fémis, France

Sources: Wikipedia, Festival de Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Festival de Cannes (Cinéfondation), silverscreen.in, instagram.com #lerd, purepeople.com

Iran won eight medals at Asian u-20 Chess Championship

Young Iranian chess players won two gold, three silver and three bronze medals at the 2017 Asian Juniors u-20 Chess Championships 2017 held in Shiraz.

India dominated the Asian Junior Girls event, winning gold, silver and bronze. Iran did the same at the Asian Junior Open event: IM Masoud Mosadeghpour won the title, IM Alireza Firouzja won silver and Arash Tahbaz bronze.

Mosadeghpour also finished second in Open Rapid with 5.5 points behind IM Tuan Minh Tran from Vietnam, who won gold with 6.0 points. Iran’s IM Mersad Khodashenas finished third.

In Girls Rapid, WCM Sharma Isha from India stood on top of the podium with 6.0 points followed by Iran’s Anousha Mahdian with 5.0 points. Guddanti Harshita of India ranked third.

At the Asian Junior Girls Blitz event Iran’s WFM Mobina Alinasab won gold followed by Guddanti Harshita from India and Mutriba Hotami from Tajikistan. Tuan Minh Tran from Vietnam won his second gold medal in Open Blitz. India’s IM Bharathakoti Harsha finished second and Amirmasoud Moradi from Iran third.

Finals standings
– Asian Junior – Girls: 1st WIM Ivana Maria Furtado (India), 2nd C.H. Meghna (India), 3rd WFM Rutumbara Bidhar (India)
– Asian Junior – Open: 1st IM Masoud Mosadeghpour (Iran), 2nd IM Alireza Firouzja (Iran), 3rd Arash Tahbaz (Iran)
– Asian Junior – Girls (Rapid): 1st WCM Sharma Isha (India), 2nd Anousha Mahdian (Iran), 3rd Guddanti Harshita (India)
– Asian Junior – Open (Rapid): 1st IM Tuan Minh Tran (Vietnam), 2nd IM Masoud Mosadeghpour (Iran), 3rd IM Mersad Khodashenas (Iran)
– Asian Junior – Girls (Blitz): 1st WFM Mobina Alinasab (Iran), 2nd Guddanti Harshita (India), 3rd Mutriba Hotami (Tajikistan)
– Asian Junior – Open (Blitz): 1st IM Tuan Minh Tran (Vietnam), 2nd IM Bharathakoti Harsha (India), 3rd Amirmasoud Moradi (Iran)

Notes
IM: International Master; WCM: Woman Candidate Master; WFM: Woman FIDE Master; WIM: Woman International Master

Source: chess-results.com