The following is not my post. It is Sina's that I read over at IFC. I found it very interesting that I thought I share with you all.
Eight Years Ago, Now!
It was almost eight years ago. The header, the goalieís dive, and then a goal was scored. Hamidís run, his tears, and my nationís tears gave a deeper meaning to the game of soccer. It was the satisfaction or maybe a sense of greatness that made me proud of being Iranian more than ever.
Since then our national team has evolved. Some players are still there. The coach is not the same. Neither is the head of our football federation. There is so much to prove. Every man or woman involved has something at stake. I am from a country where my men and women struggle when relating to greatness.
Branko Ivankovich the head coach of our team has feared for his job ever since we qualified for the World Cup. My people expect too much. They are the sons of Darius and Cyrus. They want to be winners. Brankoís job and professional career will be on the line in Germany. He has to prove something to himself and my nation.
Ali Daei, the captain of our team, is 37 years old. Many believe he should not even play. He can still score goals but running for ninety full minutes is another question. Could he deliver what is expected of him with the young talents watching over from the bench? Daei does also have something at stake in Germany. He must prove his critics wrong. He must show that he can still play.
Mirzapour is our goalie. Last year, he has had his bad days. The bad exits, the emotional outbreaks, and his injury were all fuels to the fire of his critics. He claims that he has corrected his mistakes. He knows that he is not a fix but then again in this World Cup his job is on the line. With bright talents such as Talebloo on the bench, Mirzapour knows that there is little room for mistake.
Then there is Dadkan. He has been the head of our football federation. Many blame him or ridicule him for managing and preparing our national team. Some say he must be fired. Dadkan wants to resign anyway. This World Cup will also in some sorts will be a report card of how much good he has done. The guidelines and the current way of our federation might very change depending on what transpires in Germany.
Finally we have come down to my nation. They know that their country is going the wrong way. They feel embarrassed and upset when other countries do not wish to play with us. With so little for them to say, all their hope is invested in a national team. To them World Cup is way more than a game. Competing with the best at one stage does elevate their spirits and makes it easier for them to relate to greatness.
It is now eight years later. We are there again. Another one of us will run with tears in his eyes on behalf of my nation and he too will give even a deeper meaning to the game of soccer. It will be the satisfaction or maybe a sense of greatness that will make me proud of being an Iranian. More than ever!
Writing for IFC