May 27, 2024

1000s attend funeral of Iranian goalkeeper Nasser Hajazi

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MNA – TEHRAN, Iran’s legendary goalkeeper and football coach Nasser Hejazi was laid to rest on Wednesday in Tehran’s Behesht-e Zahra cemetery.

Family members, football officials, and over 30,000 fans attended the funeral.

Hejazi passed away at the age of 62 in Tehran on Monday after a long battle with lung cancer.

He played for Iran as a goalkeeper in late 1960s and 1970s. He won the AFC Asian Cup twice for Iran and also played for Iran in the 1976 Olympic Games and the 1978 FIFA World Cup.

In 2000, the Asian Football Confederation ranked him the second best Asian goalkeeper of the 20th century behind former Saudi Arabia keeper Mohamed Al-Deayea.

In his coaching career, he led Esteghlal from 1996 to 1999 and later in 2007 won the Azadegan League and Hazfi Cup titles. In addition, the club finished runner-up in the AFC Champions League in 1999.

Hejazi earned 62 caps for Iran from 1968 to 1980. He received an offer from Manchester United after the 1978 FIFA World Cup, and trained with them for a month, appearing in a reserve match against Stoke City.

Last year Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson expressed sympathy with Hejazi when he found out that the former Iranian keeper was battling with cancer.