0511 GMT June 26, 2022
Iranian midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh is inches away from lifting the UEFA Conference League trophy with Dutch club Feyenoord when taking on Serie A side AS Roma in the inaugural competition’s final on Wednesday.
The closest an Iranian came to celebrating continental success in the European football goes back to 1999, when legendary striker Ali Daei went within minutes of wining the Champions League with Bayern Munich, only to be stunned by two Manchester United goals in the stoppage time in the famous Camp Nou final.
Back in the Eredivisie at the start of the season – after a rather disappointing three years with Premier League outfit Brighton – Jahanbakhsh has fallen down the pecking order in Feyenoord since returning from international duty in February, making only a couple of starts in the Dutch league, with both coming in the final two rounds of fixtures.
The Iranian will still hope to play his part in Feyenoord’s quest for a first European glory in two decades – the last being a UEFA Cup triumph in 2002.
Jahanbakhsh has enjoyed his fair share of contribution to Feyenoord’s campaign en route to the final showpiece in Tirana’s National Arena, scoring four in 12 outings, including the qualification stage.
Standing between Jahanbakhsh and the taste of silverware is a specialist of European club competitions, Jose Mourinho, who has Champions League, UEFA Cup, and Europa League glories with Porto, Inter, and Manchester United on his illustrious CV.