By Morteza Mohases

Jalal Hosseini, the art of defending

February 25, 2022 - 15:6

TEHRAN - A central defender is one of the most crucial and strategically deciding positions; no team are completed without the quality of a tactical leader, but what are the factors that make an ideal defender?

In an telephone interview with Jalal Hosseini, the experienced Persepolis player mentioned some essential and insightful football lessons to remember.
⁃ I have never had any coaching or training in how to survive the last 15 minutes of a game or how we could force a draw or a victory in the dying minutes of a game.
⁃ Being the captain of a team is something special; captaining the national side is an even more incredible privilege. You are representing your country.
⁃ On losing possession, the space is the decisive factor; reading the game is critical to block the opposition' s offensive movements.
⁃ When you start playing football as a kid, you do what you feel like, gradually you learn to play different patterns of play in training and about the basic building blocks of football. The right environment and coaching are also crucial to developing into a professional player.

He is a former central defender and captain of the Iran national team, who plays primarily as a central defender or Defensive Midfielder for Persepolis F.C these days at the age of 40. Hosseini is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever defenders in Iran. He held the record of 115 caps for the National Team.
Naturally the right-footed player,  due  to
his tactical awareness and athleticism, intelligent positioning, and aggressive playing style,  was playing anywhere in the backline.
Hosseini was born in Bander -e  Anzali, Gilan Province, on Feb. 3, 1982. After playing in his hometown, he moved to play 117 matches for Saipa before signing for mighty Sepahan F.C.
He played for Qatari side Al Ahli and Naft Tehran for the next two years. Finally, in the Spring of 2016, after weeks of negotiation, Hosseini was announced that he was a Persepolis player.
He is an imposing defender and skillful header of the ball. His decisive goals for Persepolis and the national team were remarkable achievements.
At the end of our conversation, he pointed out some interesting football facts  :
⁃ A good footballer, particularly a defender, thinks ahead and continually asks himself, What if ....?
⁃ The power of communication along the backline  (verbal and non-verbal ) is indispensable.
⁃ The most essential characteristics that a Center Back should possess are awareness and positioning with composure and confidence.
⁃ Finally, for the central defenders, the ball ability, staying calm and collected when in possession of the ball, has become a prerequisite for modern defenders at top tier international football.