Esteghlal Has the Support of 90,000 Fans in ACL: Kaveh Rezaei
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Esteghlal striker Kaveh Rezaei says that his team has the support of around 90,000 fans in the AFC Champions League competition.
The Iranian giant will host Emirati side Al Ain in the first leg of their AFC Champions League Round of 16 tie on Monday.
“Esteghlal is a great team, one of the true giants in Iran and Asia,” Rezaei, who helped the team finish runner-up in the Iran Pro League this season, told the-afc.
“At the same time there is a lot of pressure on the shoulders of the players. We have to play at our best in every match, it’s not a matter of improving game by game, the fans insist that in each match we have to play at our top level,” he added.
“It’s been quite a challenging experience for me, as I always have to be at the highest standard of my ability every single game,” Rezaei stated.
“I honestly believe that last year with Zob Ahan we could have reached the final instead of Al Ain [who the side lost to in the Round of 16]. I think this was a lot to do with a lack of experience in the team,” says Rezaei.
“This year it is totally different. This year my team and team-mates have a lot more experience. We have players who have played in World Cups, European leagues and big tournaments, so the atmosphere in the club is totally different.
“We also have the support of around 90,000 fans each game which is a big help to our team. For example, they played an important factor in our play-off win over Al Sadd. And match-by-match we are getting better and better,” he added.
The second leg comes just a week later at Al Ain’s Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium.