Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Tashkent: Ali Hassanzadeh was named the Most Valuable Player after helping Iran win an 11th AFC Futsal Championship following a closely fought 2-1 win over hosts Uzbekistan in Sunday’s final.
Hassanzadeh was instrumental in his side’s march to the final before putting on a confident display at Uzbekistan Stadium to help see off the hosts and claim Iran’s first continental title since 2010.
The number seven scored six goals in six matches while also creating numerous assists as Iran netted an incredible 48 goals in the tournament.
And despite being unable to add to his tally in the final, Hassanzadeh was assured in possession and solid in defence as Iran held out for a narrow victory.
“The beautiful memory from 2010 has been repeated. This championship is so valuable for myself and the team as it was our aim from the start,” said Hassanzadeh.
“Yes, I was chosen as the MVP, but this medallion is for all the players because the team is the most important thing.
“Because of the unity we have, we believe that whatever we achieve is for the whole team, so this is why I offer my prize to my team-mates as well.”
Hassanzadeh scored Iran’s first goal of the tournament on the way to notching a brace in his side’s 6-0 Group B opener against Jordan.
He then added a third of the campaign in the 7-0 victory over China before scoring another double in the 13-2 victory over Iraq.
Another goal followed in the 7-0 quarter-final win against Kyrgyzstan before Hassanzadeh drew his first blank of the competition in the 13-1 semi-final win over Vietnam.
“We expected from the beginning that Hassanzadeh would win this award; he is a player that uses his head as well as his body strength,” said Iran coach Mohammad Nazemalsharie.
“His technical ability is very good and he is a very important player to our team. But overall it is his mind that is superior to others."
Photo: Lagardère Sports