Source: Islamic Republic News Agency
Kuala Lumpur - Iranian footballer and former player of Hamburger SV Mehdi Mahdavikia has been named as the ambassador of Asian football. According to the report of Asia Football Confederation Website, Mahdavikia, along with Chinese female footballer Bai Lili, were officially named as the first Asian football ambassadors.
Mehdi Mahdavikia (center) and Bai Lili (right)
The appointment was announced in a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on May 15, 2013 on the occasion of grassroots football education day of Asia Confederation.
Mahdavi-Kia, for his part, appreciated members of confederation for their trust given to him to help Asia grassroots football and expressed hope to be able to help football of Asia.
He added, ˈI am sure that my experiences in Iranian and European clubs as well as in national team could be a good help for upcoming football generation.ˈ
Former Hamburger SV player underlined he will do his best to promote football in Asia.
Mahdavikia was captain of Iran's most successful club Persepolis from which he retired only last week and is now helping prepare the national team for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in August in the UAE in his transition to the coaching world.
The 1997 Young Asian Footballer of the Year and 2003 Asian Footballer of the Year also has wide European experience having played in German VfL Bochum, Hambuger SV and Eintracht Frankfurt.
"I still remember how I started football when I was nine years old and since then, I had been playing at different levels of football right up to the senior national team where I was also skipper.ˈ said Mahdavikia.
He received the title among 20 candidates from countries like South Korea, Qatar, China, Japan, Bahrain and Iraq.
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