Interview with Fereydoon Zandi

-Dear Ferydoon Zandi, the past few days have been both exciting and successful for you. You have achieved two wins against North Korea and Japan. Certainly, there are many things to talk about.
Ferydoon Zandi: Certainly. I played my first international match with Iran against Japan in Tehran, in front of 120,000 fans. Even the national anthem gave me goose bumps, and I couldn’t even hear my own words. I also learned that over there whistles have a good meaning, as opposed to here in Germany.

-What other experiences were you able to gather?
Ferydoon Zandi: During one evening, I visited my parents at a relative’s house in Tehran. My Dad was able to watch me play in the national team of his country for the first time. It was time for the Persian new year celebrations that weekend, so most stores were closed. But there were so many people on the streets! Tehran is a mega city!

-And how was the adventure of playing against North Korea?
Ferydoon Zandi: I also encountered many interesting things over there. The reception was friendly. But as you know, there were a few incidents after the match. But the situation for the referees was worse than it was for us. Another difficulty was playing on an artificial turf. Especially it didn’t seem to be a rather new one. But most importantly, we managed to win.

– 2:0 in North Korea and 2:1 against Japan before that. You are currently leading the group with 7 points. The top 2 teams qualify directly, so a very good position has been achieved so far.
Ferydoon Zandi: Yes, the next games are home games against North Korea and Bahrain in June after the Bundesliga season. It would be extraordinary to be able to take part in the world cup in Germany.

– The away games and all the traveling has probably been very stressful. How is your fitness currently?
Ferydoon Zandi: After North Korea, we flew directly to China; and from Peking, I flew directly to Frankfurt, which was an 11-hour flight. I was still feeling a bit fatigued on Thursday, but by Friday I was already feeling good again.