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Mahdavikia turns down invitation for Slovakia game

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Berlin, Jan 22, IRNA -- Iranian football superstar and Hamburg forwar Mehdi Mahdavikia declined an ivitation to join the national squad in its upcoming match against Slovakia, as his German club is facing a crucial first division match against FC Kaiserslautern, the daily Die Welt reported in its Tuesday issue.
"On that day we (Hamburg) are playing against Kaiserslautern.
That's more important," the 24-year-old striker stressed.
"To play for Iran is an honor, but Hamburg is after all my employer and pays my salary," the 24-year-old striker said.
Mahdavikia also referred to his three-month abstinence from the club as a result of Iran's long World Cup qualification campaign, arguing it had cost him his position in Hamburg's starting formation.
"First I was not there and then I was injured," Mahdavikia tries to justify the decision by new Hamburg coach Kurt Jara to bench him following his return from the national team. 
"The coach had to get to know me first," he said.
Mahdavikia, however regained some of his earlier confidence,
after strong showings at the end of the first half of the Bundesliga
season and during test matches in the winter break, indicating his determination to become once again a regular starter in Hamburg.
"I don't make demands... I fight for my place in the team and I always give everything," Mahdavikia added.

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