Iranian players are oppressed in Europe: Alireza Haghighi

August 21, 2016 - 1:51

Iran’s Alireza Haghighi, who has recently terminated his contract with Portuguese side Maritimo, believes that Iranian players have very tough job in order to make it to the play regularly in a Europe.

“When I signed a three-year contract with Maritimo there was a term in my contract which allows me to leave the club if the head coach do not put me in the starting line-up. When Paulo Cesar Gusmao took charge of Maritimo he told me he is not going to use me as the first choice keeper so according to that term I asked to terminate my contract,” Haghighi said.

“If you play in midfield or as a defender you have the chance to prove yourself during the season but as the second choice keeper you might play zero games in a whole season. This is exactly what has happened to Joe Hart in Manchester City or Marc-Andre ter Stegen at Barcelona,” he added.

“Iranian players have very tough job in order to make it to the starting line-up in a European team. Currently, there are 15 or 16 Brazilian players in Maritimo, five or six Portuguese and the other are from different European countries,” he added.

“However I won’t give up as I’m going to continue my career as a first choice keeper in Europe. I’m currently training with Iran national team in Italy but I’ll choose my new team before the summer transfer window closes,” Haghighi said.

Haghighi became the first Iranian goalkeeper to join a European club when he signed for Russian outfit Rubin Kazan back in 2012 although he failed to make a single top team appearance in an ill-fated two-year stint.

A move to Portugal was greeted with more success as he enjoyed reasonable spells with both Covilho and Penafiel without ever being able to truly establish himself as first choice at the same time as he was performing with distinction for the Iranian national team.

Starting all three of Team Melli’s matches in Brazil, Haghighi was a standout throughout before returning to Kazan but once again failing to establish himself.
That prompted a move back to Portugal where he featured sporadically for Maritimo after joining the club in January this year earning both praise and raising eyebrows in equal measure.

After having appeared to claim the starting job in pre-season the recent arrival of Brazilian Eduardo Gottardi led him to terminate his contract with the club.

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