He became well known for his looks after the first match against Nigeria and now this Iranian goalkeeper has become everyone’s favourite after he pulled off an impossible penalty save to cease Ronaldo in a nail-biting match between Portugal and Iran. Being born in a nomad family, Alireza Beiranvand journey to FIFA World Cup 2018 wasn’t effortless. Alireza did start his career on the field at a very young age but as a shepherd. That’s where he first interacted with that round object that was going to make him a famed player all around the world.

The struggle

After making football his passion, Alireza left his home to chase his dream. But there’s a fine line between dreams and reality and that’s trials. Alireza’s trials gave him empty belly, humiliation but the night is darkest before the dawn. Alireza’s dawn was yet to come. He borrowed money from a relative and went to Tehran, where most Iranian football is played and approached Hossein Feiz, a local football coach, who agreed to train him for the club for 200,000 Toman. Being unable to pay the price, he left and that night he slept on the club’s door. People thought he’s a beggar, they left pennies and food for him, while he was asleep. Feiz decided to give Alireza a chance and asked the captain to support him.

Raise to Success

Soon Alireza started his football training but also went out to do odd jobs like working for a dressmaking factory to the car wash, working for a pizzeria to cleaning streets and spend his nights in the prayer room. Although he did try for Homa he got rebuffed. A man, strong enough to face humiliation and accept rejection, is a man, worthy enough to taste success and fame. Alireza’s dawn arrived.

The Naft U-23 coach finally appointed him and that’s where his dawn saw the first ray of sunlight. Alireza came into the spotlight after a massive 70-meter assist against Tractor Sazi. He debuted in 2015 for Iran and credited 12 clean sheets in Qualifier.