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Rahmati takes charge at Shahr Khodro

Mashad: Former Iranian international goalkeeper Mehdi Rahmati has been confirmed as the new head coach of Shahr Khodro FC.

The 37-year-old – who made 76 appearances for IR Iran from 2004 to 2012 – will juggle playing and coaching roles for the club, which finished sixth in the 2019-20 league campaign.

Rahmati replaces Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh, who himself had only held the position since July.

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The goalkeeper’s promotion to head coach marks the latest development in what has been a long and successful career, with Rahmati becoming a household name during three spells at Esteghlal, and two at Sepahan.

He won two Iran Pro League titles at each of those clubs, also claiming a total of three Hazfi Cups, a WAFF Championship and an Asian Games gold medal over the course of his two-decade career

Rahmati was Team Melli’s first-choice goalkeeper at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. He also earned selection for the 2004 and 2007 editions of the tournament, but did not feature on the pitch.

Appearing in the group stage for the first time in club history, Shahr Khodro face an uphill battle to rescue their 2020 AFC Champions League campaign, with the club suffering defeats against both Al Hilal and Pakhtakor before the tournament was suspended in February.

The Mashad club will resume their campaign against Shabab Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates on September 14.

Photo: Shahr Khodro

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