Tasnim - Asian Football Confederation (AFC) site praised Esteghlal goalkeeper and captain Mehdi Rahmati and wrote he is a key player in this season's AFC Champions League, where the Iranian team has been drawn with Al Ahli, Lokomotiv and Al Taawoun.
Rahmati is one of Iran’s most decorated players having won four league titles and two Hazfi Cups currently in his third spell with Esteghlal, Rahmati was part of the side that reached the 2013 semi-final, the-afc.com wrote.
The experienced Khosro Heydari, who returned for a second stint with Esteghlal from Sepahan in 2011 could also prove to be a key figure for the Iranian side. The 33-year-old has over 50 appearances for Iran to his name as well as two league titles with Esteghlal.
Meanwhile, much is expected of striker Kaveh Rezaei who started the Play-Off encounter against Al Sadd, The promising 24-year-old joined Esteghlal last year and was on target during his club’s 3-2 defeat of Persepolis on Sunday.