FC Porto fans will surely have Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi to thank for his massive contribution to the Portuguese giant’s title-winning campaign in Primeira Liga.
Playing on the archrival’s turf, Porto needed a draw against Benfica in Portugal’s O Clássico on Saturday to secure a 30th league title with one game to spare, but Nigerian fullback Zaidu Sanusi emerged as the unlikely hero for the Dragons on the night, scoring in the fourth minute of the stoppage time to lead Porto to a 1-0 win at Estádio da Luz.
Taremi had a quiet afternoon in the Porto outfit before being substituted with three minutes left on the clock, but the Iranian had an undeniable role in helping Porto regain the title after Sporting won it last year.
The Iranian has bagged 20 league goals for Porto, which had to part ways with prolific winger Luis Diaz midway through the season, while providing 13 assists for his teammates.
Taremi will probably finish the season as the second top scorer of the league as he is currently trialing Benfica’s Darwin Nunez by six goals, yet the Iranian international has had a direct role in 33 of Porto’s 84 strikes this campaign – three more than Uruguayan’s combined figure for the Eagles.
Taremi’s contribution has not been limited to the domestic league for Porto as his overall numbers stand at 24 goals and 13 assists across all competitions.
Taremi will have the chance to complete a domestic double with the club when taking on C.D. Tondela in the Taça de Portugal final on May 22.
The 29-year-old striker, who has been playing in his second season for Porto, has done a great job in following in the footsteps of some great high-profile strikers in the history of the club, namely Brazilian forwards Mario Jardel and Hulk, Colombian Radamel Falcao, Algerian great Rabah Madjer, and Malian international Moussa Marega – a massive achievement for a player who only left Asian club football less than three years ago in pursue of a career in Europe.
Saturday’s triumph made Taremi only the sixth Iranian to win a major league in Europe, following ex-Bayern Munich players Ali Daei, Vahid Hashemian, and Ali Karimi, as well as former Wolfsburg midfielder Ashkan Dejagah, and Taremi’s national teammate Sardar Azmoun, who won the Russian league with Zenit St. Petersburg on three occasions.