By Masoud Hossein

Iran football legend Ali Karimi turns 41

November 8, 2019

TEHRAN – Ex-Iran and Persepolis midfielder Ali Karimi celebrates his 41st birthday anniversary today.

Iranian football fans never forget his dribbling skills and goals however he definitely could have played for the bigger clubs during his career but just played in German giants Bayern Munich.

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 most popular Iranian team 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 made some pretty weird decisions in his football career. For example, he opted Emirati Al Ahli in 2001, while La Liga side Atletico Madrid were reportedly willing to sign him. He also completed a shock move from Iranian club Steel Azin to Schalke 04 on Jan. 31, 2011.

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

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”.