Iran's 23-year-old Sardar Azmoun announces retirement from international football
In a massive blow to the Iranian national football team, star striker Sardar Azmoun has announced his retirement from international football. The rising star is only 23 years old. Azmoun claimed that the criticism he faced, for his performance in the World Cup, had harmed his mother's health. The striker said he has picked his mother over football.
Social media pushed Sardar Azmoun into retirement
Azmoun was Iran's leading goal scorer in the qualifiers with 11 goals under his belt. However, Iranian fans were left infuriated after he failed to score in last week's Group B clash against Spain. Following the defeat, the fans lashed out at the striker on social media, asking the rising star to be benched against Portugal. This criticism impacted his mother.
Azmoun's mother fell ill post World Cup criticism
"My mother had overcome a serious illness. Unfortunately, because of the unkindness of some people, and the insults that me and my team-mates in no way deserved, her illness has become severe. I had to make a choice and I chose my mother." Azmoun said.
Pundits hope Iranian Messi will re-think about his decision
Azmoun's decision severely impacts Iranian team, which had a great World Cup campaign in Russia. They beat Morocco in their opener and almost defeated Portugal in their final group game. Several pundits and sports journalists in Iran are hoping the striker will go back on his decision. They think it is an emotional decision taken in the heat of the moment.