Fans mark death anniversary of legendary Nasser Hejazi

Nasser Hejazi

Tehran Times - Football fans in Iran marked the 11th death anniversary of legendary goalkeeper Nasser Hejazi on Monday.

The custodian lost his battle with lung cancer on May 23, 2011 in Tehran at the age of 61.

Hejazi was a popular footballer in Iran.

He was goalkeeper of Iran national football team in the 1960s and 1970s and won the AFC Asian Cup on two occasions in 1972 and 1976, and Asian Games title in 1974.

Hejazi competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympic Games as well as 1978 FIFA World Cup. He received an offer from Manchester United after the 1978 World Cup, and trained with them for a month, appearing in a reserve match against Stoke City.

He led Esteghlal to title in Iran league in 1998 and also advanced to the final match of 1999 AFC Asian Championship, where the Blues lost to Japanese team Jubilo Iwata2-1 in Tehran.

Last year, Hejazi was named as the best Iranian goalkeeper of the XXth century (1901-2000) by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).

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.

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