Julio Velasco Says Goodbye to Iran's Volleyball (+Photos)
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Former Iranian National Coach Julio Velasco said in his last press conference in Tehran that he is not happy to leave the country.
Last week, Velasco informed he will take charge of his homeland after Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner asked him to take the helm the team.
“I wanted to lead Iran at the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship in Poland. I believe that Iran can finish in good place in the event. The Argentine officials have requested me to help them but I will be in contact with Iran,” Velasco said in the farewell ceremony held in Tehran’s Football Academy on Saturday.
“Argentina is my homeland but I’ve been away from my country for 31 years. I feel I owe my country. If I don’t come back to my country at the moment I will never come back. This is my last chance,” Velasco added.
“I came to Iran for two reasons: First, I am a professional coach and I chose to coach Iran volleyball team as a job. I knew that it's a new movement in Iran’s volleyball and also knew that the Iranian players have a bright future. When I came to Iran, I found out the conditions are better that I expected. I’ve seen so many teams in the world but I have to say Iran has more talented players,” former Italy coach said.
“I also selected Iran because of cultural terms. I’ve already worked in South American and European teams so I wanted to experience a different culture. I am extremely pleased with work in Iran. I thank the Iranian people, my colleagues and reporters,” Velasco stated.
Lorenzo Bernardi is a top candidate to replace Julio Velasco as Iran coach. The officials of Iran Volleyball Federation announced they have reached an initial agreement with the Italian coach.
As regards Bernardi, Velasco said, “I know Bernardi since he was a young player. He left Italy for Poland to gain new skills. He is not an experienced coach as I am but I think he will come to take charge of Iran and all of Iranians have to help him to continue the winning way."