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Iranian Football Prodigies Shine as Stars in European Pro Leagues

Feb 26, 2017

Independent Aggregator of Iran-related News/Events, Kodoom.com: Several Iranian football prodigies playing for Europe's professional football clubs have amazed fans and observers with their stellar performance. Greece's Olympiacos just defeated Turkey's Osmanlıspor and advanced to UEFA Europa League Round of 16 with 2 goals scored by Iranian striker Karim Ansarifard.

After the match, fans of UEFA voted for Ansarifard as player of the week.

Ashkan Dejagah, is a top Iranian professional footballer who plays for Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg. He represented Germany at youth levels between 2001 and 2009, going on to win the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. He has played for the Iranian national team since 2011, helping them qualify for the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Asian Cup.

Davari, Abdelkarim and Farahnah are three other footballers of Iranian descent playing in Germany's tier 2 leagues.

In Portugal, Amir Abedzadeh plays for Marítimo in the Primeira Liga as a goalkeeper. He is the son of former Iranian national team goalkeeper Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh.

Susha Makani

Sosha (Susha) Makani is an Iranian football goalkeeper who currently plays for Strømsgodset on loan from Mjøndalen in the Norwegian First Division. Makani's pictures in shorts and with unveiled girls in parties (examples shown above) stirred controversy inside Iran among Islamist conservatives, and resulted in disciplinary actions against him.

Sardar Azmoun (right)

Russia's Rostov has also advanced to UEFA Europa League Round of 16 with two Iranian footballers, Sardar Azmoun and Saeed Ezatollahi. The legendary Manchester United FC is said to be wary of facing Azmoun and Rostov in Russia.

Separately, Iranian born Reza Ghoochan Nejad is now the forward star at SC Heerenveen. Ghoochan Nejad, or Goochi as his Iranian fans call him, has lived in the Netherlands since he was four and is now ranking second with 13 goals in score boards in the Dutch football league.

Reza Ghoochan Nejad

Another Iranian footballer playing in Eredivisie (Honorary Division, or the highest echelon of professional football league in the Netherlands), Alireza Jahanbakhsh, plays for AZ Alkmaar. In 2014 Jahanbakhsh was voted the second greatest young talent of the 2013–14 Eredivisie season.[4] In 2015 Jahanbakhsh was voted as the best player of the Eerste Divisie for the 2014–15 season.

Jahanbakhsh and a Dutch fan

Separately, Iran's top female volleyballer, Maedeh Borhani Esfahani, recently made history by becoming Iran's first female athlete to be professionally recruited abroad. But Maedeh's contract of only $3000 by Bulgaria's YEB-Shumen 05 (ЙЕБ-Шумен) and references in the Bulgarian media to her Hijab (Islamic baggy cover and head scarf mandated by Iranian government) during her training practices with the Bulgarian team, have been controversial.

Maedeh Borhani Esfahani (in middle with scarf)

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