Exclusive Interview with Mehdi Mahdavikia
An Interview with Iranian national team captain, Mehdi Mahdavikia before Hamburg’s training on Thursday morning.
Are you happy with your own performance against Arsenal?
The referee made us play with ten men and that is a very difficult task against a team like Arsenal. We were 2-0 down when I came on and it’s difficult to change the game around but we managed to narrow the margin down to one goal.
I read on your website (www.mahdavikia.de) that you are very excited to once again play in the Champions League. How did you feel when you found out you would start the game from the bench? (note: Mehdi was HSV’s best player in their 00/01 Champions League campaign).
It was very tough for me though I’m very happy to once again play in the Champions League with HSV. But this is football and sometimes you will have to sit on the bench. I am accepting the decision of the coach and will do my best to play the upcoming games from start.
What does Doll expect from you when you come off the bench?
Each game and each substitution has its own purpose. However it was difficult for me against Arsenal to come in and make a difference.
Hamburger Morgenpost said that you came back injured from Syria, is that true?
It is, I had some small problems but I played the Cup game anyway. Unfortunately we didn’t do well in that game.
Mehdi, you have played 199 Bundesliga games (Mehdi nodding), how will you feel when playing your 200th?
It’s a great honor for me as an Iranian to play 200 Bundesliga games. I am happy about that.
You are not many games away from having played 100 games with Iran national team. Which one of these milestones is more valuable?
Both of them are great honors. I think they are different to each other…
The record number of games for a foreigner in Bundesliga is 323, can you beat that?
: It’s too early to say. My contract with HSV ends this season so I don’t really know how the future looks like.
Are you over the great disappointment of the national team’s failure in the World Cup?
: You have to be, in football you have to look ahead and not back.
There has been changes to the national team coaching staff, are you happy with them?
: In football there will always be people coming in and others going out, specially coaches. We can see that many young coaches are getting their chances in Europe. We have many good coaches in Iran so I think we should give them time to work and make use of their experiences. I hope things will work out …
Have there been any big changes with Ghalenoi?
: No not really, not yet anyway. We are basically using the same players and team as before.
Good Luck in the future! (Mehdi wished the same)
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