Velasco bids heartfelt farewell to Iran
Tehran, Iran, February 16, 2014 – On Friday, Julio Velasco said goodbye to the team he led to two Asian Championship titles and helped qualify for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 as he heads home to coach Argentina’s men’s national team.
“Velasco has given happiness to our nation and caused a rise of national mirth,” said Sports Minister Dr. Mahmood Goudarzi. “He accelerated volleyball’s progress. During his time as head coach of Iran, volleyball gained very good results. Anyone who makes our nation happy or brings progress to our country even though he is not native of Iran, we consider him as one of ourselves. This memory will remain forever in our minds and hearts. Velasco’s work brought enthusiasm to our youngest players.”
Velasco, along with his wife, joined his players and sports authorities at the Olympic hotel to bid farewell to Iran.
"I am sorrowful to say goodbye to Iran volleyball,” Velasco said. "During the past weeks, Davarzani did his best to convince me to change my decision and to stay in Iran, but I have made up my mind; though it was not a professional one. While living in Iran I have realised that the Iranians are very patriotic people. I hope because of this, people will understand my situation and fixation toward my own country. I am going to Argentina to do my duty for my motherland.
"Iran's success was based on two factors: the players and the good working conditions. I’m glad I chose Iran, not only for the good results with the team, but also to get to know the culture of the country.
"I hope Iran continues its success to the Olympics. I hope players continue the path we have started and paved together, continuing their work, and remembering and accepting the words I have given to them. They have high potential, capacity and great capability. They are distinct players.
“I have no doubt that Iran will achieve higher success in the future. I am sure that Iran will gain good results in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. I would consider the team’s Olympic success a gift from Iran’s players.
“I would love to stay with the Iran team until the end of the FIVB Men’s World Championship. This team could climb to a high stage in volleyball. But, the team of my birth country needs me, I was asked to help them.
“I would never cut my collaboration with Iran volleyball. This is not collaboration with a new team. Argentina is another story. It is my motherland. I have been away for 31 years and I have a feeling and responsibility toward my fellow countrymen. Unfortunately there is no time for me. This is my last chance to serve my country. I do not want to lose this chance.
“A good coach is a good master. If a good teacher has given his lessons in a good way there is no need to repeat those. I have also told this to my players. Perhaps some of the professional coaches have the belief that if they leave a team, that team will not get good results. But, a coach’s success comes at the time when he leaves a team and his players are able to repeat their successes.”
Velasco’s contract with the Iranian Volleyball Federation was planned through the end of 2014, with intentions to prolong his coaching through the 2016 Olympics, according to Iran Volleyball Federation President Dr. Mohammad Reza Davarzani.
“Leaving in the middle is bitter,” he said. “We hope our players will continue the path they played with Velasco to achieve our goals until 2016.”