There’s something about Misagh Bahadoran, and he knows it.
The winger is known to have missed practice once to attend a photo shoot, and he will be forever reminded of it because of the “Hollywood” tag that his teammates affectionately call him. Who could blame him? With soft brown hair, I-could-get-lost-in-those blue eyes, and a face that exudes the appeal of leading men in Hollywood’s heyday, Misagh could easily make a living by capitalizing on such good looks.
A quick scan on YouTube pretty much verifies the adoration that Misagh gets, especially when the results yield only five types of videos:
1) Misagh’s goal celebration videos with Global FC (without footage of the actual goals), with the audio being sustained shrieking that reaches at least 120 decibels;
2) fan-made Misagh tribute videos, compiling some (very) pretty pictures;
3) Misagh-greeting-fans video (which most likely caused shallow breathing and abnormally fast heart rates to its intended recipients);
4) Misagh’s appearances in noontime television shows;
and 5) Misagh strutting his stuff on the catwalk.
Perhaps it is an indication that the football player is known primarily for his good looks, which could be detrimental to a player that is working to secure his spot on the Philippine national football team. Perhaps it’s a bit of a pity that his exploits with the Philippine national futsal team and Global FC in the United Football League have yet to reach the bigger fan base.
Blame it on the limited number of minutes in the few appearances Misagh has had for the national team. In the second round of qualifications for the 2014 World Cup, he came on at the 93rd minute in the first leg and at the 80th minute in the second leg, and in both instances as a substitute for Angel Guirado. He was also featured as a substitute in the Azkals’ friendlies versus the LA Galaxy and CF International de Madrid. In all these instances, one could hardly recall the impact he’s had, apart from the deafening screams from the female population in attendance that accompanied the announcement of his entry onto the pitch.
He hardly made an impact — that is, until the charity match versus Icheon Citizen FC.
Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise for the likes of Misagh Bahadoran that many of the usual starters for the Philippine national team were not included in the line-up for the said match. After all, it presented an opportunity for Coach Hans Michael Weiss to experiment with his line-up and for a substitute like Misagh to show the entire country what he can do.
And shine like a (Hollywood) star, he did.
Misagh Bahadoran was a revelation. The winger displayed his speed and technical quality, creating problems for the South Koreans at both the right and left flanks. He created opportunities for his teammates with his crosses. He hustled back on defense to prevent Icheon Citizen FC from further scoring, which also included clearing a long but dangerous free kick by the opponent.
Perhaps the most memorable play of Misagh in the match was when he received a pass from Chieffy Caligdong on a counterattack, skillfully evaded two defenders, and took a shot at goal — only to have the ball sail straight to Icheon Citizen FC’s goalkeeper Hwang Sae Ha.
His finishing may leave a lot to be desired in that instance, but it is clear that Misagh has done enough in his first full 90 minutes as an Azkal to legitimize his spot in the national team (and who knows—he might just give James Younghusband and Chieffy Caligdong some serious competition on the starting spot for either right or left wing someday).
Perhaps the shrieking of his most ardent fans and any female that gets smitten by those blue eyes (fine, and those dribbling skills) is now a little bit more tolerable, now that the Philippines has seen that Misagh Bahadoran has got the footballing quality to back up those good looks.
There’s something about Misagh Bahadoran, and now the entire country knows it.