Tehran Times - Former Iran winger Mehdi Mahdavikia has revealed that he had offer from Tottenham Hotspur in the prime of his career and fell into a deep depression after the transfer failed.
The 42-year-old retired football star is currently at home in Hamburg, Germany amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a live interview on the Persepolis club Instagram, Mahdavikia revealed he is relishing the opportunity to spend time with his family and review memories of his career, in particular, his failed links with the English Premier League.
“This is the first time that I’m talking about this. After the Tottenham’s offer, we went to London and even signed a three-year contract with the club. But there was a clause in the contract that I would join the London club after completing my military duty in Iran, but at the end, my certificate was not issued and I could not go to Tottenham.
“After a while, the representatives of Hamburger SV came to Tehran to sign a contract with me, but again at that time, I could not join the German team due to the same problem. These issues caused me to become so depressed and I got fat. However, at the end, fate led me to German football. To play and to live in Germany have been one of the best parts of my life,” Mahdavikia said.
Mahdavikia currently is under contract by Hamburger SV as a youth coach, and also manages his own youth academy, FC KIA.
During his playing career, Mahdavikia internationally represented the Iranian national team, which he captained from 2006 to 2009, and currently is the fourth most capped player of all-time. He played for Iranian clubs Bank Melli, Persepolis, Steel Azin and Damash Gilan, as well as German clubs VfL Bochum, Hamburger SV, and Eintracht Frankfurt, spending 12 consecutive seasons in Bundesliga.
“I played about 110 national games, while I did not participate in about 52 national camps just because I wanted to provide an opportunity for younger players to play.
“I retired from the Iranian national team at the age of 32 and maybe I had the opportunity to play in the national team until 36. I didn’t want to fall the fans’ out of favor, that's why I decided to say goodbye to the national team,” he stated.
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