Happy birthday the Iranian wizard

November 8, 2020 - 13:21

TEHRAN – Ex-Iran and Persepolis midfielder Ali Karimi turned 42 today. No one forgets his skills onto the field, however he did not get the respect he deserved.

Karimi definitely could have played for the great clubs but just played in German giants Bayern Munich and maybe it was his own fault, since he made some pretty weird decisions in his football career. Karimi had to stay in Bundesliga but left the Bavarians after two seasons in 2007 to join Qatar SC.

He was a player who simply didn’t care about anything because he had been linked with La Liga team Atlético Madrid, but opted not to join the Spanish team. It could be a turning point in his career but Karimi didn’t use the golden chance.

Karimi played mesmerizing football which no one else could. He dribbled past more than half of AS Roma players in a friendly match with Iran national football team in 1998 and scored an amazing goal in a Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich at the Signal Iduna Park on Dec.17, 2005.

Karimi started his football with Tehran based football team Fath but joined Persepolis after two years and won two league titles and one Hazfi Cup with the Reds.

The Magician made his Iran debut on Oct. 13, 1998, at the age of 19. He made 127 career appearances in total, appearing at five major tournaments including 1998 Asian Games, 2000, 2004, and 2007 Asian Cups and 2006 FIFA World Cup. Renowned for his on-the-ball skill, dribbling runs and playmaking ability, he was often referred to as the Asian Maradona.

Karimi completed a shock move from Iranian club Steel Azin to Schalke 04 in 2011 and represented the Royal Blues against Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League quarter final. He also won the DFB-Pokal with Schalke 04.

Karimi had not good coaching spell in football. He was appointed as Carlos Queiroz assistant in 2014 but stepped down from his role and also failed to save Sepidrood from relegation in the Iranian league in the 2018/19 season.

Karimi, who was named Asian Footballer of the Year in 2004, announced his retirement from football in 2013 but the Iranian football fans will never forget “Wizard of Tehran”.  

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