Azmoun – The secret superstar of the Bundesliga

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Sport Bild – LEVERKUSEN, With the striker, Leverkusen wants to attack Bayern. He knows how it’s done: Sardar Azmoun is the Werkself title collector! He almost became a volleyball player. SPORT BILD introduces him.

In Germany, many football fans will only now really get to know his name – in his homeland, you no longer have to explain it. Sardar Azmoun (27) is the secret superstar of the Bundesliga. In Iran he is a folk hero. With 4.8 million followers on Instagram, he has more than Dortmund’s world champion Mats Hummels (33/4.1 million) – and that’s only a fraction of what you should know about him…

Leverkusen took the top scorer in the 2019/20 Russian Premier League (17 goals) just before the end of the winter transfer window last January for €2.5m from Zenit St. Petersburg. A preview of the new season. Azmoun and Bayer had initially agreed on a free transfer for the summer.

With the versatile attacking player, the Werkself not only finally got a title collector (he won four championships, one cup and two Supercups with Zenit in Russia), but also the greatest horse whisperer in the league: Azmoun, whose parents are from Turkmenistan, has 52 (!) racehorses.

“They are in Iran and Australia. I bought my first horse when I was 17,” says the player, whose first name is Sardar on his jersey with the number 9, to SPORT BILD.

Azmoun grew up around horses. When he talks about his childhood, the international beams: “When I was little, my father, grandfather and my uncle had horses on their big farm. Horses have always played a big role in our family. Thanks to my father’s help, I was able to ride horses at the age of three. That was the beginning of my love for these animals.”

Azmoun assures that he knows the names of all 52 horses. He is particularly taken with the stallion Serkan: “I love all my horses, but Serkan and his father are my favourites. Serkan is one year old, he will be racing when he is two years old.”

Galloping is the football pro’s great passion. His family has already won prize money of up to 25,000 euros in races. But who will take care of the horses while Azmoun is due to attack champions FC Bayern with Leverkusen in Germany? The Footballer of the Year in Russia 2021 says: “I have a big farm and a manager for it in Iran, I have trainers, riders for training and jockeys for the races.”

Azmoun is not only an extraordinary personality because of his enthusiasm for equestrian sports. He could have made a career as a volleyball player. Volleyball was and is an important sport in his family. He himself was a U15 national player in his country, but then decided on football. Azmoun proved that he hasn’t forgotten anything on the net at the Leverkusen training camp in Zell am See/Kaprun last week, when he showed his class at beach volleyball with his colleagues.

After FK Rostov and Zenit, Bayer 04 is the third club that Azmoun starts with in the Champions League. “Leverkusen is the best club team I’ve ever played for,” he emphasizes. “I’ve never seen a club work so professionally, but with great respect for each other. When a new player comes, he never feels like a stranger. Personally, I immediately felt at home.”

At the World Cup in Qatar, an entire country relies on the striker. As vice-captain, Azmoun is expected to shoot the Iranians into the round of 16 in the group against England, the USA and Wales. If it works, then at the latest he will no longer be a secret star in the Bundesliga.

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