Iran’s Mahdavikia writes his name in history books

Tasnim – Iran’s Mehdi Mahdavikia is among five Asian players who left their mark at the World Cup.

The FIFA World Cup is an occasion in which players can turn into heroes for their nations, writing their names in the history books for decades.

When it comes to Iranian milestones at the FIFA World Cup, it’s hard to look beyond the famous match against the USA at the 1998 edition. Hamid Estili’s opener was iconic, but the man who secured the famous victory was the exciting speedster Mehdi Mahdavikia.

With Iran holding a slender 1-0 with just under 10 minutes remaining, the ball was played out wide to Mahdavikia, who had found space on the left touchline, wrote.

Mahdavikia powered his way into the box and produced a fine finish to beat Kasey Keller and put Iran 2-0 ahead. While Brian McBride was able to pull one back for the USA, Mahdavikia’s goal was enough to secure Iran its first, and so far only, win at the FIFA World Cup.

The Iranian went on to have a hugely successful career in the Bundesliga for Hamburger SV and was named AFC Player of the Year in 2003.