"He taught me inner and mental peace" - Iranian raiding sensation Alireza Mirzaeian credits coach Gholamreza for success

Alireza Mirzaeian (R) with his coach Gholamreza (L)
Alireza Mirzaeian (R) with his coach Gholamreza (L)

Alireza Mirzaeian was perhaps Iran kabaddi team's best raider in the recently completed Asian Kabaddi Championship, 2023. Donning jersey number 7, Alireza was a key player in the Iranian contingent.

The 19-year old was responsible for Iran's stunning comeback in the league stage match against India, where Iran wiped off a sizeable lead and gave the Indian team a run for their money. Although they lost the match by a bare margin of five points, Alireza certainly won the hearts of all those who viewed the match.

Alireza also previously came to the limelight when he was seen in action for Iran's Junior Kabaddi team at the 2nd Junior Kabaddi World Championship held in Iran, where the side finished as runners-up.

In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Alireza divulged his journey, his learnings and his dreams of playing at the Pro Kabaddi League.

Read excerpts from the interview below:

Q: How has your Kabaddi journey been so far? Did you face any challenges?

A: I worked hard for 10 years and faced many hardships, such as a lack of support and being a reserve player. In the last four years, I became a student of Gholamreza Mazandarani, and he made many changes in me.

Q: Was your family supportive of you taking up the sport?

A: Yes, my mother and sister supported me a lot, encouraged me and gave me a lot of support when they themselves had many problems.

Q: Your biggest learnings from the Junior World Championship held earlier this year and the recently concluded Asian Kabaddi Championship?

A: To use the moments very well, each and every point in the game is important. Also to make the best decisions in the moment and to deal with reality and face fear.

Q: You raid with a lot of speed - do you think that is your strength which causes defenders to make mistakes?

A: Yes, high speed is often associated with defenders' mistakes, and along with it, strength and reaction are very effective. This is my technique in attack and I use it a lot.

Q: What is one advice from coach Gholamreza which took your game to the next level?

A: He taught me inner and mental peace. It helps me a lot in the game.

Q: The Pro Kabaddi League auction is happening soon. Would you like to be a part of it? Which team would you want to be associated with?

A: Yes, I am running and I have a lot of motivation for it. Yes, I definitely want to be (a part of the league). I talked to many coaches and I don't know which team will recruit me. The team I loved since I was a child was Dabang Delhi K.C.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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