Iranian Zidane' back in business (FIFA.com) Wednesday 26 November 2008
Few Asian stars have reached as iconic a status among their fans as former France captain Zinedine Zidane. But not so in the case of Karim Bagheri, who became a living legend in Iran after steering his side to the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™.
Bagheri's earlier international retirement was somewhat more low-key than that of "Zizou", who hung up his boots in the wake of his glittering performances at Germany 2006. Bagheri, by contrast, made an abrupt retirement from the Iranian national team after their failed qualifying campaign for Korea/Japan 2002.
But while the French legend has resisted the temptation to return to the pitch, Bagheri, known as "Iran's Zidane", was persuaded to rejoin Ali Daei's Team Melli for a recent FIFA World Cup qualifier against UAE. And there could not have been a more fitting way for the 34-year-old to mark his return that to score a crucial equalizer, in his first international game in six years.