Iranian of the Year
Left to right : Ahmad-reza Abdezadeh (Captain), Ali Daei, Nader Mohammad-khani,
Mehdi Pasha-zadeh, Karim Bagheri, Mohammad Khak-pour, Mehrdad Minavand,
Hamidreza Estili, Javad Zarrinche, Mehdi Mahdavi-kia and Khodadad Azizi.
Photo by Seyfollah Samadian. Click
here for larger photo
"Gave me a reason to be proud again"
March 23, 1999
The following are comments in favor of the Iranian national team
as the Iranians of the year. Collectively they received the third largest
share of the people's vote (12 percent) in The Iranian survey. Each
comment is from a different person. Names have been withheld for reasons
to the Iranian of the Year main index
to the Iranian of the Year main index
For a change, I want to feel good a bout something when discussing Iran.
The soccer team did just that for me! We need to be optimistic and look
at the bright sight of things and maybe some day, things change for the
better in Iran.
Any group of people that tend to make Iranians proud inside and outside
the country are to be celebrated. I only know how happy I was, I can only
imagine what the people in Iran must have felt :)
Thanks to the soccer team. We are SOOOOO proud :)
The reason that I am voting for the team is that the Iran-USA game was
on the day of my graduation from UC Davis and when Iran won the game, I
was sitting in my school gym waiting for my name to be announced.while
wearing a graduation cap with Iran (in Farsi) written on it in glitter
in the colors of the Iranian flag. I was very proud to be part of that
day in history and also honored that I could share the joy of that day
with my fellow Iranians all over the world on a special day.
Gave me a reason to be proud again for being an Iranian !!!!!!!!!
And for providing me with the best summer of my life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because these humble men were able to both unify Iranians of all walks
of life around the world -- no easy task, of course -- and continue to
break down taboos in Iran through their enormous popularity. Their success
and afterglow was a symbol 'people power.'
I would like to nominate the Iranian national football team; They have
elevated the Iranian persona, to the highest global level since the revolution.
For the first time in 20 years, Iranian nationals of all ages, races,
and different views came together and felt proud. They revived a sense
of joy and pride amongst Iranian people both inside and outside Iranian
borders. A truly unforgettable sensation!
Tears of joy
Because they made us proud regardless of the enormous restrictions on
them; lack of sufficient facilities and equipment, and constant instability
in the federation. They made millions of Iranians cry in joy and celebration
with nothing but heart (or "gheirat"). I am proud to say that
I was there in France to watch them live and saw how they brought Iranians
from all levels of life come together and celebrate after many years. For
once after a long time, no one was ashamed to say they were from Iran,
and they are the main reason.
They are the greatest champions who made the name "Iran" rotate
on the tongues of foreigners -- as a good thing.
They brought us so much joy by qualifying for the World Cup after 20
years and more over by kicking American's butt.
My vote for Iranian of the year would go to our soccer team, since they
really broke the ice and represented our nation with such integrity, pride
and unity. They carried true colors of sportsmanship despite the ignorance
of the Western world toward us. Their role in the last year's events has
also brought much joy and happiness to IRANIANS IN IRAN (as well as Iranians
around the world), which remains to be a very important factor since our
socially-deprived people are in much need of joy, and fun for a change.
They have single handedly made all Iranians around the world as ONE and
that we have not had in YEARS. My cheers for them always.
They made me proud for a brief period, and they united all Iranians
regardless of political stripe. An unheard of accomplishment.
They exhibited great sportsmanship toward rival teams and they are a
national role model for the younger generation.
For the first time in 20 years this team brought all Iranians from every
different backgrounds, and different points of views together to cheer
for one cause. Maybe we should learn from that period of time and be united
as one, instead of fighting amongst each other. Let us cheer for one goal:
Making IRAN a place where every Iranian can live happily and peacefully.
I made this choice because after 20 years of regression in all facets
of life in general, this soccer team has managed to reach the status it
had two decades ago.
My vote is for the Iranian soccer team. Their sportsmanship and integrity
won the respect of all nations around the world. They made the world sit
up and take notice. Their performance was a source of pride for all of
us, uniting Iranians abroad and at home.
For the first time since the revolution they brought joy, pride &
excitement in people's heart.
After the Iranian national soccer team, my choice would be the murdered
activists. But sadly [their fate] is not unseal since many of our compatriots
are killed every year for their ideas.
Symbol of friendship
They brought lots of joy and pride to ALL Iranians around the world.
The greatest popular celebrations in history was the effect of their brave
and powerful plays during the World Cup as well as its qualifying games.
They made Iran's name once again a symbol of friendship and honesty around
the world. Everyone, enemy and friend, was admiring them, and with extension,
For the first time Iranians all over the world could stand behind the
team as a sign of national pride with no political tension to split people
[My choice is Mehdi Mahdavi-kia] because of his excellent performances
in World Cup 98 in France and his growing reputation as an excellent footballer,
who has helped and played a significant part in putting Iran on the map
in world football!
I think that the Iranian of the year should be Mehdi Mahdavi-kia for
the winning goal that he scored against the U.S.
Considering the odds these heroes were against, they performed best
in the most aspiring way in doing the unthinkable and representing IRAN.
The Iran-USA match was the best day of my life...thanks to them.
A true source of pride for all Iranians.
They did great [in World Cup 98 and the Asian Games] because of their
country and for their people.
Perhaps for the first time in two decades, Iranian everywhere shared
a moment of pride and joy. These young men brought us together like nothing
I vote for the soccer team because I love them and I think that they
made Iran and all of us proud!!
I think they were the source of such a joy and pride that Iranians with
for all backgrounds and from all over the world enjoyed the same. Something
that I think was the first in history.
I vote for the Iranian national soccer team because they not only did
a wonderful job during the World Cup, but also in the Asian Cups and they
deserve to be applauded.
They brought all Iranians together regardless of their religious or
political affiliations and made us all cheer for a common goal and be proud
of being Iranian again.
I vote for the players of our soccer team. They were indeed an incredible
source of pride for Iranians worldwide.
They brought joy and pride to Iranians both inside of Iran and outside
and showed that we are a respectful nation.
The national team of football can be considered men of the year because
by their superior performance in World Cup 98 they inspired a new spirit
of unity in Iran
Their victory brought more national pride than any thing else in the
world. They have worked so hard regardless of all the deficiencies to get
where they are now.
Because they made Iranians all around the world happy.
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