By Masoud Hossein

A decade after legendary Nasser Hejazi’s death

May 23, 2021 - 2:12

TEHRAN – 10 years ago today, Iran and Esteghlal legendary goalkeeper Nasser Hejazi left us. Iran’s football has not forgotten him as a person who made the nation proud in his footballing life.

The custodian lost his battle with lung cancer on May 23, 2011 in Tehran at the age of 61.

Hejazi was a popular footballer in Iran and even Persepolis’ fans, as the archrivals opponents, loved him so much.

For many enthusiasts, earliest memories of football are inspired by him. Hejazi will forever be etched into the heart of the Iran football.

He lived like a hero as a player but was not treated like a hero in his coaching career. There were some rumors that some players conspired against him in the match against Saipa in Iran league to get rid of him.

In May 1999, Esteghlal went to dressing room in the first half with a score of 3-1 but lost 4-3 eventually and Hejazi was sacked after the match.

He accused some players of conspiracy in an interview with the media.

Hejazi was goalkeeper of Iran national football team in the 1960s and 1970s and won the AFC Asian Cup on two occasions in 1972 and 1976, and Asian Games title in 1974.

 Hejazi competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games as well as 1978 FIFA World Cup.

He led Esteghlal to title in Iran league in 1998 and also advanced to the final match of 1999 AFC Asian Championship, where the Blues lost to Japanese team Jubilo Iwata2-1 in Tehran.

Last week, late Hejazi was named as the best Iranian goalkeeper of the XXth century (1901-2000) by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

Today is Hejazi’s 10th death anniversary.

The legend will be remembered forever.

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