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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Full circle

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They say that most professional athletes would tend to lose everything within five years after retiring from the sport they play. There are so many reasons why this usually happens and among these reasons include not preparing for the future especially when the pay checks stop coming and the always ringing phone becomes eerily silent.

Football players are also not exempted to this reality. But for some, the ability and the common sense to look forward into the future, come in handy when the body is no longer able and willing to agree with what the mind tells it to do.

For Misagh Bahadoran, former team captain of the Philippine Azkals and Global FC of old, life after football is far better than he could hope for. His story is one of the exceptions of the rule and it turned out to be a happy one despite a sad end to the last team he signed with.

After leaving Global FC, Bahadoran went to Malaysia to play football. His stint, however, proved to be uneventful, marred by club concerns and an injury that eventually led to his retirement.

Bahadoran is now into realty development, a passion that came from an idea while having his room renovated to accommodate his pairs of shoes during the early days of the pandemic.

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“We flip houses then sell them,” he explained.

Bahadoran is also now a husband to Riza and a father to Rishna, who is just weeks old. He is doing well despite being off the pitch for several years now and now fully embracing his new role as a father to Rishna, which means “God’s given gift.

“I was waiting for this dream all my life. To become a father and have my own family. It is probably one of the reasons why God gave me some injuries so that I’ll stop from playing football and be a good husband and a father,” Bahadoran joked.

When it comes to his business, Bahadoran said playing football has helped him prepare for the demands of his projects. Just like on the pitch, teamwork plays a big role in his day job (being a father is his full-time occupation now). He says that if everyone in his company is on the same page then work is not that really hard.

“I treat my employees as my teammates. We work together, we build together and we enjoy the challenges together,” he said.

Bahadoran is also grateful to have his wife, Riza on his side. He revealed that he met his wife during the lowest point in his life–without a club, injured, jobless and trying to find his way back to earn his keep.

“When I met her, she didn’t know much about me as a football player. I think she hasn’t seen me play for the Azkals or seen me on the pitch ever. If not for the videos where I scored some goals, she wouldn’t believe that I was once a football player,” he laughed.

Jokes aside, Bahadoran says he couldn’t ask for more but somehow, somewhere there is a lingering desire to quit the sport he loves on his own terms.

Bahadoran, the footballer, you see, is not yet done. He said he is set to compete in an upcoming seven-a-side tournament being organized by former Azkals teammate, Anton Del Rosario.

Bahadoran said he will be part of Pampanga FC, which will mark his comeback in the sport that gave him so much. He, however, cautions his fans not to expect too much from him, being away from competitive football for so long.

“I was actually born in Mabalacat so I was hoping to represent my home province in the 7’s and looking forward to having my own football team in the future.

I’m also hoping to eventually put up a football facility to train and coach young footballers someday,” Bahadoran said.

Bahadoran, as early as now, also wishes that his daughter will play for the Philippine Women’s National Football team when she grows up. And his future son, if God makes this a reality someday, for the Philippine Azkals.

“If these things happen, then it will be a full circle for me,” he added.

Speaking of updates, the TEAM SMG Valorant, composed of Filipinas Kelly “Shirazi” Jaudian, Alexandria “Alexy” Francisco and Camille “Kamiyu” Enriquez, Abigail “Kohaibi” Kong of Singapore and Odella “Enerii” Abraham of Indonesia, split its first two matches in VCT Game Changers Championship 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

SMG got off to a rousing start after blanking Evil Geniuses GC, 2-0 in their opening game but lost to G2 Gozen, 2-1 last Wednesday night. The team resumes its bid to go deep in the tournament with a crucial game against the winner of KRU Blaze and Chao Hui EDG today. A win will keep SMG’s hopes of entering the next round of the tournament that offers $500,000 in total cash prize.

Laban, SMG! Laban, Pilipinas!

In case you would want to participate in online football communities without the toxicity, bashing, hate, the negative vibes and admins using dummy accounts, please join Futbol Lokal https://www.facebook.com/groups/994613441613359/?_rdc=1&_rdr and Pinoyfootbal360 for a healthy exchange of ideas, thoughts and comments on our favorite sport.

For those who would want to contribute in scouting possible prospects for the Philippine Azkals, on the other hand, please follow these IG accounts: @phfutbolistas (Philippine Football Talents), @filipinofootballers (Filipinofootballers), @pinoyfootballers (Pinoy Footballers), azkals619619 (Azkals) and positivefutbol.ph (Positive Futbol PH).

These accounts are being run by loyal Azkals fans, who also serve as de-facto scouts in helping the team look, identify and even connect with future Azkals, based in the Philippines and those playing overseas, who can join the team in the future. These scouts have so far provided a long list of players which was already forwarded to Head Coach Hans Michael Weiss and the Azkals management team.

On a personal note, please join us at Larong Pilipino, your favorite weekly sports program aired live over at DZME 1530 Khz from 2-3.30 p.m. this coming Sunday, December 3, 2023 with The Designated Kitman, Chino Trinidad and Cong. Butch Pichay. Several sports personalities will be on the show including upcoming and 15-year-old golfer David Charles Serdenia. See you mga Kalaro!

Stay safe. Stay happy peeps!

For comments or questions, you can reach The Designated Kit Man at erel_cabatbat@yahoo.com or follow his account at Twitter: @erelcabatbat

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