ISP Exclusive - Interview with Amir Shahpourzadeh
IranSportsPress.com - ISP had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview over phone with Amir Shapourzadeh, who recently has been in the news about a possible call up to the National Team. A very nice and gentle Iranian, with great taste in football. Special thanks to our friend Reza Ghazinouri for making the interview possible.
ISP: Amir jan, thanks for giving us the time for the interview. First of all, I would like to know how you see the season so far you had with Hansa Rostock. Your team looks good for gaining promotion to the Bundesliga. How do you review your season?
AS: Well, I'm really satisfied with the season so far. We have always been among the Top3 teams for promotion and hopefully next week in our game at home we will fix promotion and play in the Bundesliga again next season. Personally, I'm satisfied with my season. We have played great football this season, very fluid and with good passing, very nice to watch. I'm also satisfied with my performance, I had 26 games, started 14 of them and had 4 goals and 5 assists. I can't really complain. We just have to fix our berth for the Bundesliga next season by winning the last game.
ISP: Your current coach Pagelsdorf used to be coach at HSV too and coach Mehdi(Mahdavikia). You used to play at HSV II too once. Did you know him before he became coach at Rostock?
AS: No, actually I didn't really because I joined HSV II two seasons after he was fired. But he used to come and watch our games, when he was coaching in Dubai, so probably he knew me, but I never really had a contact with him before. But I have benefitedgreatly from him and I'm very thankful to him.
ISP: Speaking of Mehdi, did you actually have contact with him when you were at HSV or does he know you?
AS: Actually no. I used to play with his brother Hadi Mahdavikia, when he played for HSV II, but otherwise I was never really in contact with him. I have talked to him on two or three occasions, but never much.
ISP: Do you have any contact to other Iranian players in Germany at all?
AS: No, not really. I talk once in a while with Alexander Nouri from Osnabrueck, but otherwise. No.
ISP: How about Ashkan(Dejagah)?
AS: I don't know him really either. I played once or twice against him, when we played Berlin's Amateur team, but otherwise I don't know him really. A friend of mine from Rostock knows him though, but not me.
ISP: The thing most Iranian football fans want to know about you is about the invitation you got to the national team. Is there any truth to it?
AS: Well, frankly speaking, I haven't received anything official yet. I haven't received any letter, fax, call or anything else from IFF or anyone else. To be honest, I heard about the supposed invitation from a friend of mine who read it on the internet. But I haven't received anything. I received once an E-mail from IFF, where they asked me to send them a copy of my passport, but no official invitation to join TM.
ISP: But you supposedly talked with Mr.Ghalenoie, didn't you?
AS: Yes, Mr. Ghalenoie visited me and saw a game of me. But it was just about getting to know each other and such stuff. He didn't hand me an official invitation either.
ISP: How do you asses the strength of Iran's football and how do you asses the possibility of Iranian players abroad and their help for TM?
AS: Well, I don't have a satellite dish or anything, so I can't watch the league really. But I know that there are a lot of talented and young players in the league. Regarding the players abroad, well they should be invited and we should see whether they can help the team or not. I can't really judge on how much of a help they would be or better or worse than players in Iran.
ISP: We have seen the trend in Germany that a lot of second generation kids play now for Germany, like Asamoah, Odonkor, Podolski etc. compared to previous times. Did you personally ever consider playing for Germany?
AS: I have actually said this to all of my friends too. First of all, I want to have success with my club Rostock. But I never ever thought about playing for Germany. My dream was always playing for Iran and no other country. I never even considered playing for Germany, as Iran is my home and country. I have still a lot of family in Iran and always considered myself Iranian. I lived in Iran until I was five. I grew up most of my time in Germany, but Iran is still my country.
ISP: Well, that's very interesting to hear. Your Persian is also very good despite growing up in Germany.
AS: Well, thanks. (laughs) I always speak at home in Persian, so I never really forgot it.
ISP: Tell us a little bit about how you grew up. From what I know you lived most of your life in Hamburg in Eimsbüttel.
AS: Yes, I grew up in Eimsbüttel in Hamburg. It was a neighbourhood full of foreigners and I lived in a project block. It wasn't that I could go out and buy myself a new pair of Nikes every week. But we used to go out and play football on the streets and have our fun. We were generally a group of kids, mainly foreigners and that's how I got into football really.
ISP: So you are basically a street football player and not someone who started at a club?
AS: Yes, I started football and everything on the streets with friends and not really in a club. I joined a club really late. Ashkan likewise, he is also a street player from what I know.
ISP: You play in a club from Eastern Germany. It's pretty interesting to see, that as an example there's only one club from the East in the Bundesliga, if you make it there are two, while half of the national team of Germany consists of players from that area.
AS: Yes, the situation here is not that good. There are a lot of unemployed people and financially the region is pretty bad. But the coaching and teaching of football is very good and has always been good. That's why the clubs from the west come here and buy up the players.
ISP: As a last question, do you have a dream club you would love to play for?
AS: Yes, I really like FC Barcelona. That would be an absolute dream for me. When I grew up, I also liked the clubs from Hamburg, like HSV and I would love to play there too. But if I could choose, it would be Barca.
ISP: What about Bayern Munich?
AS: (Laughs) No, I don't like Bayern really.
ISP: Amir jan, thanks a lot again for the interview. It was a real pleasure and we wish you good luck for the game this weekend.