Alireza Beiranvand is an Iranian professional footballer who plays mainly as a goalkeeper and is well known for his good looks. He first appeared in the headlines because of his appearance, which made many around the world interested in his journey to becoming a professional footballer.
Behind his tremendous skills as a goalkeeper and prowess on the field, Alireza Beiranvand had a difficult childhood, which he had to overcome and put in the past. By doing so, he rose up in the world of football and became a success story.
His endurance and effort paid off because Alireza Beiranvand was named the 2018 AFC Champions League semi-final first leg player of the week. In the 2nd leg, he was also the Man of the Match and Team of the Week. He played brilliantly and managed to save many of Al-Saad’s chances. He also helped Persepolis, his club, reach the finals.
Alireza Beiranvand has also managed to claim the Golden Gloves for three years in a row. In total, he has won the award four times for his excellent goal-keeping skills.
Life Before Professional Football
Alireza Beiranvand was born in a small village called Sarab-e Yas in Khorramabad County, Lorestan Province, on 21 September 1992. He is from a nomad family that was always moving to the countryside. Usually, his family stopped at grasslands to feed their sheep.
Alireza was the oldest child. Thus, he worked with his family from an early age and helped them with daily tasks. His first job was as a Shepard and whenever he found some free time, he played games with his friends. He really enjoyed playing Dal Paran and football.
Dal Paran was a local game that involved throwing stones. The further you threw the stone better your chances were of winning. Even though this game had nothing to do with football, Beiranvand claimed that it helped him with football.
When the young football player turned 12, his family decided to settle in Sarabias. Here, he trained with the locals and built up his skills. Initially, he started training as a striker, but as fate had planned, the goalkeeper got injured, and Beiranvand took his place. As he stood between the sticks and made excellent saves. These encouraged him to continue as a goalkeeper.
Even though he showed great potential as a goalkeeper, Alireza Beiranvand’s father was not keen on the idea and objected strongly to both, the game he loved and his position. Morteza Baeiranvand, much like other Iranian fathers, did not think that football could become a job. He believed that his son should pursue a career as a simple worker.
Morteza Baeiranvand was so against the idea that he even tore his clothes and gloves. Due to this, several times, Alireza had to play with bare hands. Due to the lack of support from his family, Alireza Beiranvand thought it best to part ways with his family. He ran away from home and went to Tehran, the capital, in search of bigger clubs that might recognize his talent and agree to sign him.
This journey was a tough one. Since he had no money of his own, Alireza had to borrow money from a relative and boarded a bus to Tehran. One could say that the universe was in favor of Alireza Beiranvand becoming a football star since he met a football coach on the bus, Hossein Feiz, who was a manager for a local team.
Feiz agreed to let Alireza Beiranvand train in his club in exchange for 200,00 Toman. However, Beiranvand had no money, nor a place to sleep. At night in the capital, he had no choice but to spend his nights around Azadi Towers. This was a popular place for poor migrants who had no home.
It was at this place, where Beiranvand met a young salesman who offered him a room at his home. As he was desperate, Alireza agreed but later changed his mind. Instead, he slept at the door of the club.
Once, he narrated that he had got up in the morning and saw that people had dropped coins for him because they thought he was a beggar. With those coins, he had a good breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Due to his financial conditions, Feiz agreed to take on Alireza Beiranvand without any fee. He asked the captain of the team to support him, which he did. Thus, Beiranvand moved into his colleague’s house for two weeks. After that period, he started working at a dressmaking factory, owned by a teammate’s father and slept there.
The next job that Beiranvand took on was at a car wash. Due to his height, he could easily clean SUVs, which was his specialty. One day, at his job, the legendary Iranian player Ali Daei showed up to get his car cleaned. Even though his colleagues encouraged him to talk to the striker, Beiranvand was not as keen because he was ashamed of his situation and wanted to find a way himself.
Soon after he took on a job at the car wash, Alireza Beiranvand met a coach from Naft-e-Tehran and moved there.
Journey Through Clubs
Alireza Beiranvand joined Naft-Tehran, an Iranian football club in 2011 and made his debut in the Hazfi Cup in a match against Damash, which took place on 25 October 2011. When he moved to the club, he found a job in a pizza shop, where he also stayed the night.
However, his coach knew nothing about this job, and one day when he came to buy pizza, the shop owner forced Alireza Beiranvand to serve him.
A few days later, he left the job. It was quite difficult for him to find another job, and eventually, he had to settle on a job as a street cleaner. This was a tough job, as it was quite draining physically. Sometimes he had to sweep a huge park alone, and it became tough for him to stay fit for his matches.
Alireza Beiranvand’s time in Naft Tehran was difficult, but he managed to lead his team to a 3rd place league finish, and he also got them a spot in the AFC Champions League. This was the first time the team had ever done so.
In November 2014, Alireza Beiranvand extended his contract and stayed in the club till June 2019. Later in January 2016, he was to move to Persepolis, but the deal fell through at the end, and Beiranvand stayed with Naft and left at the end of the 2015-16 season.
After the failed deal in January 2016, Alireza Beiranvand signed a two-year deal with Persepolis in May 2016. A year later, he extended his contract, which was to last till 2021.
Alireza Beiranvand made a record-breaking streak of not allowing the opponent team of hitting a goal for 718 minutes. His streak was broken by Hossein Hosseini, an Esteghlalal goalkeeper. In 2018, he was also named the Man of the Match, after he saved many of Al-Saad’s chances. His saves helped his team reach the finals.
He had five clean sheets during the competition, which was the most that any goalkeeper has had. During his time with Persepolis, Alireza Beiranvand has also won four Golden Gloves. Out of these, he won three of them consecutively.
In July 2020, the Jupiler Pro League side Royal Antwerp confirmed that they had signed Alireza Beiranvand. The contract was a three-year contract, and the fee was not disclosed to the public.
The Primera Liga side of Boavista managed to take Alireza Beiranvand on a one year loan. There was also a purchase option for 1 million Euros.
In 2022, Alireza Beiranvand returned to Persepolis and this time signed a new three-year contract. Since he was free from contracts, he signed this contract for free.
Alireza Beiranvand played for his home country, Iran at various youth levels. One of the teams he was part of was the U-19 team. He was active during the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship. He was also a part of the U-22 team in the U-22 Asian Cup qualifiers.
At the senior level, Alireza Beiranvand was invited to the Iran national football team training camp by coach Carlos Queiroz in South Africa. He was also later selected to be in Iran’s 30 men’s provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, one of the biggest football tournaments in the world.
However, Alireza Beiranvand was excluded from Iran’s squad for the World Cup, as he did not play any pre-World Cup match. In 2018, he became Iran’s starting goalkeeper, and in Iran’s last match in the 2018 World Cup, Alireza Beiranvand blocked a penalty shot by Christiano Ronaldo. The match ended in a 1-1 draw against Portugal.
Alireza Beiranvand is an excellent goalkeeper who has proved his skills time and time again. His main skill is that he is able to block very long throws, which makes him a valuable goal-keeper.
Furthermore, he is a football success story because he went through incredibly difficult times to reach where he is today. Many face difficulties in life but Alireza Beiranvand had no home, while he was growing up, and that makes his achievements all the more impressive.