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World Cup dreams of British-born Iranian Sharu Naraji shattered

London, Oct 20, IRNA-British-born Iranian youth international winger Sharu Naraji believes that his dreams of being able to participate in next year's World Cup in Germany have been shattered by an injury.

Naraji, who underwent surgery to repair a torn cruciate ligament in his knee last Friday, has been forced to withdraw from Iran's forthcoming friendlies and training camps - a decision he believes has almost certainly cost him a place in Branko Ivankovic's team.

"The person in charge of selection for the national team contacted me a while ago to say I was in his plans and that he was considering me," said the 21-year old winger, who plays for English Champshipship league team, Sheffield United, in northern England.

He told the local Sheffield Star newspaper that he probably would have been invited to play in some warm-up games but that he had been told he will need "almost six months to recover and so that's not possible now."

"It means I probably won't be going to the World Cup but there will be others, I am sure, and they will be my aim," Naraji said, adding that he was very disappointing but was concentrating on getting fit, recovering, and doing his best for his club team.

At the start of the season, he signed a 12-month contract with Sheffield United, who are currently top of the Championship and hoping to win promotion to the Premier league next year.

The ring winger, who came from from La Liga outfit Real Zaragoza, came through the ranks of Iranian champions Esteghlal before having three months experience at Torino in Italy. But since moving to Sheffield, he has yet to appear in the first team.

He said that his injury happened while in training. "It wasn't even a tackle, I pushed the ball past a player, ran and it just went," he said.

"The pain was awful and it is very frustrating because I had come to do well in the reserves and then, hopefully, get a chance in the first team," said Naraji, who was born in the north-west English town of Bolton and has an English mother.

... Payvand News - 10/21/05 ... --

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