Iran continue their climb to success after
winning the Asian Championship in Dubai in September – their second
championship title since the appointment of Argentine coach Julio Velasco. Iran
bested Korea in straight sets to secure the top spot and the seat for the World
Grand Champions Cup. With the combination of the players’ passion and Velasco’s
brilliance in the game, their rise in the men’s competition was inevitable.
Part of the team’s rise to the big leagues was their entry to the FIVB
Volleyball World League this year where they have made an impressive debut by
beating European giants Serbia, Italy and Germany, as well as Cuba, in the
intercontinental round of the annual men’s tournament.
Their 2011 World Cup performance was likewise striking as they stunned Japan,
Serbia, Poland, Argentina and Egypt in the process of establishing their niche
in international volleyball. Iran is composed of veterans and young players who
are slowly making a name for themselves outside their country such as Seyed
Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi, Amir Ghafour, Pourya Fayazi, Mirsaeed Marouf and
Farhad Zarif. The 26-year-old Mousavi showed other teams that he is a force to
reckon with at the net, winning consecutive Best Blocker awards at this year’s
World League and Asian Championship.