Tehran Times – TEHRAN, Esteghlal football team Malian forward Cheick Diabate says that the Iranian people have been very kind to him.
Diabate joined the Iranian giants in July 2019 and scored eight goals in 13 matches for the Blues. He scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 away win over Tractor in Iran league and also scored three goals against Al Rayyan of Qatar and Kuwait SC of Kuwait, helping Esteghlal to book a place at the 2020 AFC Champions League group stage.
“All the people have respected me and I’m not feeling that I am black since I came to Iran. The African people should respect the Iranians because they are good people and have always been kind to me,” Diabate said.
Diabate has played in leagues of Italy, France, Turkey, and the UAE but he believes that there is a big difference between Iranian fans and others.
“To be honest, I am very excited to see the Iranian fans’ excitement. They have always been supportive and encouraged me,” the 31-year-old striker stated.
Persepolis striker Ali Alipour mocked Diabate’s goal celebration pose after scoring in Tehran derby against Esteghlal but Diabate says that it’s normal in football.
“First, I want to say hello to Ali. I think he didn’t do that out of badness. When you score, you want to show your satisfaction and I think Alipour was thinking of me in that moment,” he smiled.
Diabate has played 39 matches for Mali national football team and scored 15 goals.