Friday, August 5, 2011

Know Your Azkals: Misagh Bahadoran

Misagh Bahadoran all fired up


“Sometimes I get tired explaining to people how Iran looks like. We’re not an Arab country. We don’t have deserts at all. There are four season and when it’s winter, I even go snowboarding and ice skiing," says Misagh Bahadoran, one of the Azkals’ newest strikers. 

Read  and view more pics after the jump!

Iran, cookies and the smolder (you have to watch the movie “Tangled" to get that) are just a few of the things that can get Misagh fired up. With his Iranian features, blue eyes and Kapampangan food fetish, he sticks out like a sore thumb here in Manila.

And that gets people asking, how did he even end up here?  

“Trying" to be a family of doctors

If you’ve gotten around the medical schools in Metro Manila, you’d notice a big number of Iranians studying here. Twenty-four-year-old Misagh is one of them.

Born to an Iranian dad and a Filipino mom, the Philippines – Pampanga in particular – has always been second home to the Bahadorans. (He adds that his lola’s bangus would have to be his most favorite dish.)

Misagh just graduated with a degree in dentistry from Centro Escolar University last March. His elder brother, elder sister and two younger sisters also studied here, taking up either optometry or dentistry. In fact, his elder sister eventually married another Iranian optometrist.

Asked if they’re a family of doctors, he jokingly says, “We want to be. We’re trying to be, but then I’m playing football now so I kind of ruined the plan."

“Football was my way to get attention"

While he was studying in CEU, Misagh joined athletics where he won the most number of gold medals in college. However, football has always been his first love. His elder brother was one of the good players in their hometown back in Iran so it was a no-brainer when he joined the sport too at the tender age of six.

Misagh quips that just like the stereotypical middle child, he wasn’t exactly showered with attention.

“Seriously, if you think about it, football really was my way to get attention," he says.

“Now I don’t feel unloved anymore," he laughs. 



Schooling is first priority

With his undeniable skills, Misagh was invited to try out for the Philippine National Football team a few years ago. However, his dad did not allow him.

“My dad wanted me to focus on my studies first. If I joined the team, I would have to stop schooling. But I really wanted to play so I joined the Philippine Futsal Team instead. Futsal is played like football, but training was after school so it was perfect," he explains.

Futsal became his niche for the next couple of years. He is even a two-time topscorer in Southeast Asia, besting the competition in Jakarta and Vietnam.

But of course, football is still different so he played in clubs such as Global Smartmatic, Kaya and Pasargad while waiting for his graduation. 

                             (I am soo in love with Misagh's blue eyes! -LG)

Board exam out, Azkals in

After graduating from college, Misagh immediately joined the Azkals, his board exam indefinitely postponed.

However, it wasn’t at all fancy when he started training with the national team. He injured his leg a few months ago and he didn’t have enough time recover and get back in shape. The intensity of futsal training is also way different from football.

“I was vomiting during training. Coach Weiss asked me if I was okay and I said I just drank too much water. I didn’t want him to think that I wasn’t a good fit for the team. But really, it was from overwork," he confesses.

If Misagh is his teammates’ favorite for being such a joker off the pitch, then he’s also Coach Weiss’ favorite in training.

“He likes to make me run. Running under the sun is my most memorable experience in the Azkals just because," he says. 



But if you’re going to take anything away from Misagh’s story, it’s the fact that it takes work to be part of the national football team.

“Most people think that if you’re good-looking and you play okay, then you can be part of the team," he says modesty aside.

“But really, you have to be good on the field because that’s what matters."

Just when you thought he was starting to get serious, he talks about this one time he ended up smothered with lipstick marks from fans, which he wasn’t quite sure if were from boys or girls. 

“Oh and I just remembered. In Iran, girls don’t cover their faces like what most people think. And we use cars. BMWs are very common; we even use them as police cars. We don’t ride camels!" he quips.

And that gets Misagh fired up again. -- OMG, GMA News


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