This award belongs to every single member of my team, says MVP Hassanzadeh
Ho Chi Minh City: Despite falling short at the final hurdle against Bluewave Chonburi on Sunday, there was cheer for Sanaye Giti Pasand’s Ali Asghar Hassanzadeh after he was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the AFC Futsal Club Championship Vietnam 2017.
The two-time and reigning AFC Futsal Player of the Year ignited the competition with a host of dazzling displays, leading his side into the final. After receiving his MVP, Hassanzadeh was quick to acknowledge the contribution of his teammates.
“Yes, it is nice to win this award but today I am very sad because we lost.It is heartbreaking for us, especially after giving everything out there,” said a dejected Hassanzadeh.
“But this is not about me; this award belongs to every single member of my team. They are the ones who helped raise my game. Don’t get me wrong, I am pleased to win this award, but ultimately this belongs to them.
“I must also thank my family for making many sacrifices and always supporting my career,” he added.
Hassanzadeh’s impact on the competition was palpable, opening his account in Giti Pasand’s first game, effectively clinching the Iranian champions place in the competition’s last eight.
The 29-year-old, who was also named MVP at the AFC Futsal Championship Uzbekistan 2016 after helping Iran win an 11th title, made all the difference again in Giti Pasand’s second group victory against Shriker Osaka, snatching a crucial winner in the dying seconds of the match.
Emerging quickly as the master of the late show, Hassanzadeh demonstrated his knack for late goals in the semi-finals against Al Rayyan, securing his side’s place in the final with another 40th minute strike.
But perhaps his most significant contribution was the telepathic partnership forged with Ahmad Esmaeilpour.
The deadly duo were arguably the heart, soul and mind of Giti Pasand’s engine, most evident during the final when the pair orchestrated the Iranians' second-half comeback against Bluewave Chonburi in the final.
Defeat though has not dampened Hassanzadeh’s spirits, as the Iranian has set his sights on clinching the ultimate prize.
“I am not finished. You can be sure to expect more from me. I still want to win and compete in the world’s best competitions.
"Of course, I want to come back here and win again like we did in 2013. But ultimately, my ambition is to do well for the Islamic Republic of Iran and hopefully win the next FIFA Futsal World Cup.”