Volume. 11923

Iran will always be in my heart, Julio Velasco says
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_13-1(408).jpgTEHRAN – Argentine coach Julio Velasco expressed his sadness over departure of Iran but insisted that the country will always be in his heart. 
Velasco, who was appointed as Iran volleyball coach in 2011, will leave the team to lead his homeland team after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner asked him to take charge of the team.
“This is my last chance to serve my country. Frankly, Iran will be always in my heart. I’ve told my players the best gift for me is to keep their winning streak alive,” Velasco said at the farewell ceremony held in Academy of Football in Tehran on Saturday. 
“I’m going to quit my coaching career in Argentina. I will decide about that after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. I’ve been away from my home for 31 years and it’s difficult for me to work in a foreign country from now on,” the Argentine coach added.
“Iranian volleyball players inspired me to do more. They have the bright futures and I have to say they still have so many things to say,” he said.
The Iranian Volleyball Federation has negotiated with the top coaches to replace the Argentine coach. 
They have reached an initial agreement with Italian coach Lorenzo Bernardi, who was named the Volleyball Player of the Century by the international volleyball federation FIVB in 2001.

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