DNI-NEWS Digest - 6 May 1998 to 9 May 1998

There are 5 messages totalling 204 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Socker: Trouble abroad for midfield 2. Socker:What a Daei for Iran 3. Socker: Croat to lead Iran in World Cup 4. Mehdi Ardalan and Jame'eh Newspaper 5. Mehdi Ardalan and JalayiPour in Nimrooz

Socker: Trouble abroad for midfield

Trouble abroad for midfield ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----

PARIS (Agence France Presse 05-08-1998 17:43 EDT) -- Karim Bagheri is acknowledged as the heart of Iran's midfield but he has had a quiet season with German club Arminia Bielefeld, finding it difficult to adjust to the foreign surroundings.

He and Iranian teammate Ali Daei have often had to watch from the bench - a view of the field they will be spared in France.

The pair are so beloved at home in Iran that Bielfeld football shirts bearing their names and numbers are on sale - but only on the black market with no funds finding their way back to the coffers of Arminia's merchandising department.

Bagheri and Daei are close friends and rely on each other on the field too, even moreso at Bielefeld because neither speaks any German.

Bagheri is a natural goalscorer and was the top marksman in the World Cup qualifiers.

The lowly Maldives discovered just how lethal he can be when they crashed 17-0 to Iran, with Bagheri scoring seven of them.

The 24-year-old is also a ball-winner and strong in the air.

Bagheri admits to having Bayern Munich libero and former Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus as his idol.

He will come up against his replacement and Bayern teammate Thomas Helmer in the World Cup group matches, Iran having been drawn with Yugoslavia, the United States and Germany.

But with his international record of almost a goal a match will make him a threat to all three sides.


Socker:What a Daei for Iran

What a Daei for Iran PARIS, May 8 (AFP) - Ali Daei's family and close friends call him Sharier, or "king", a worthy title for the man who was world striker of the year in 1996. He received that award after scoring 22 goals in 15 internationals for Iran. Born in Ardabil near Iran's northwestern border with Azerbaijan, Daei became the first Iranian to ever play in Germany's Bundesliga when he signed with Arminia Bielefeld. Prior to that he was a football hero at home, topping the goalscoring three times in succssion, before moving to the club Al-Sadd in Qatar where he scored 50 goals in one season. He was also the second highest scorer in the Asian World Cup qualifying section with nine goals. These were the ceredentials which brought him to the attention of Bielefeld. He signed there a year ago despite more lucrative offers from other Bundesliga clubs, English premier league sides and Galatasary Istanbul in Turkey. Through his and countryman Karim Bagheri's presence, Daei says Bielefeld have won 60 million extra fans in Iran with local television stations broadcasting satellite footage of Bundesliga games. The 29 year old Daei has been warmly welcomed by Bielefeld's fans who sing a reworded version of a calypso-style Boney M song, "Hoo-ray, hoo-ray, it's Ali Ali Daei." He also carries, in part, the hopes of a nation on his shoulders as Iran tackle the United States, Yugoslavia and, ironically, Germany in the World Cup's initial round robin series. Iran's beating of Australia to snatch the last available World Cup berth was greeted with mass street celebrations. The only time, Daei says, that he has seen greater euphoria was following the revolution which toppled the Shah. After his footballing days are over Daei will retire home to Iran and help his family run the six sports goods shops he has helped them build up with his football earnings.

Socker: Croat to lead Iran in World Cup

PARIS, May 8 (AFP) - Former Croatian coach Tomislav Ivic will be taking the reins as coach of Iran in the World Cup in what at first glance seems a thankless task. Ivic, a 63-year-old grandfather, took over the job in mid-January just five months before the France finals begin. Former coach Valdeir Vierra of Brazil, who led the Iran side to a World Cup play-off triumph over Australia on away goals on November 29, was originally retained after Iran failed to hire a top international coach. However the head of Iran's football federation Mohsen Safaii-Farahani said Vierra had been unable to propose an acceptable programme to prove his ability to lead Iran, prompting his sacking and the hiring of Ivic. Ivic explained what drove him to give up a secure position as vice-president of Hajduk Split to take on a surely much tougher task. "I like this Iranian team. They got to know me during the Asian Cup in 1996 when I took United Arab Emirates to the final," Ivic said. "They took the trouble to find out my address and asked me if I wanted the job. The Iranian federation saw that I knew the team better than they did!" However Ivic is not unaware of the difficult task Iran have against the likes of Germany, the United States and Yugoslavia in their World Cup group. "We are working to spring a surprise," he said. "If we played Germany or Yugoslavia 15 times, I'm sure we could win at least once. Why not the first time in France?" He has initially agreed a six-month contract but it could be extended to include the Asian Games in Bangkok in December. Ivic's main task will be to try and plug the gaps in Iran's leaky defence. "We do not have good organisation and when I talk about defence I mean from the striker back. We will have to work as a team to get the ball back," Ivic added.

Mehdi Ardalan and Jame'eh Newspaper

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Mehdi Ardalan and JalayiPour in Nimrooz

Mehdi Ardalan and JalayiPour in Nimrooz

http://www.btinternet.com/~asghar/Mehdi.pdf


End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 6 May 1998 to 9 May 1998
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