Iranian Goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand is an Inspiration to Many
Born in the small hamlet of Sarab-e Yas in Lorestan Province, and grew up in a nomadic family in Iran. In his teenage years, Alireza Beiranvand ran away from home and moved to Tehran in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
Interestingly, he happened to be homeless for some time. He would have never thought the path that he had taken would lead him to become the football sensation at the age of 25.
Well, even making a place for himself in the international football by becoming the only goalkeeper to stop a penalty against a Portugal’s ace player Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He has set a new thing on the horizon.
The world was watching Portuguese forward Ronaldo when he got ready to take a penalty kick against Iran in the 51st minute of Monday’s World Cup game. But it was Beiranvand who stole the show.
In addition, Iranian goalkeeper blocked a goal from the man often being described as the “Penalty King”, is enough to capture the attention of international audiences. But it is the story of how this lanky, 6-foot five goalie got to that moment that has firmly secured him a spot in World Cup history.
Beiranvand, who is playing in his first World Cup, was actually born to a nomad family. He found free time while working as a shepherd to play soccer in the Western Iran.
The passionate lad then joined a local team in the in Koregah-e Gharbi Rural District when he was 12. When his father objected to him pursuing the sport professionally, Beiranvand borrowed money from a relative and ran away to Iran’s capital Tehran.
So, he arrived in Tehran with neither money nor accommodations. The young player then set up a camp outside the football club where he trained hard.
“I slept by the club’s door. And when I got up in the morning, I noticed the coins that people had dropped for me,” he told the Guardian.
He was eventually allowed to train with a full-time time. But even then, the Iranian keeper had to take on many jobs. He worked at a dressmaking factory, a carwash, and a pizza shop to make ends meet.
“They had thought I was a beggar! Well, I had a delicious breakfast for the first time in a long while,” he remarked.
Unfortunately, Iran’s 2018 World Cup aspirations came to an end with the 1-1 draw to Portugal.
Alireza Beiranvand took to the world stage has still left many Iranians proud.
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