By Shoubhik Mukhopadhyay,
AIFF Media Team
NEW DELHI: One cannot expect a 19-year-old making his debut in Hero I-League to make an instant impact every day. But Kiyan Nassiri, son of former Iranian striker Jamshid Nassiri who played both for East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting, is made of different steel and has been following only one mantra — “go out and enjoy the game.”
“I didn’t know that I might be thrown into the mix. When coach Kibu Vikuna asked me to get ready I got a bit bewildered. He asked me to just go out and enjoy the rest of the game, create spaces and chances for yourself,” Kiyan revealed after Mohun Bagan squeezed yet another three-pointer against TRAU at the Khuman Lampak Stadium on Sunday (March 1, 2020).
Meanwhile Jamshid Nassiri, who scored galore for East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting during his heydays feels proud that his son made his Hero I-League debut for Mohun Bagan, “India’s number one club.”
“It’s great that Kiyan has made his Hero I-League debut. But it’s greater as he did it for Mohun Bagan — India’s number one club. I’m really proud of him,” Nassiri told www.i-league.org.
Mohun Bagan are runaway leaders in the Hero I-League right now, with a mammoth 13-point lead over second-placed Punjab FC as they look poised to take the Hero I-League trophy back home.
On being asked whether his charisma and footballing exploits influenced Kiyan to take up football, father Nassiri shared Kiyan was “passionate” towards the ‘Beautiful Game’ since his school days.
“It was nothing like he was influenced by my football abilities or records. Since his school days he was very passionate about playing football and that has been driving him since then. In 2014, he was called up for the Bengal U13 camp in Kalyani, and Shyamal Banerjee himself chose him,” Nassiri stated.
Kiyan’s name has been hovering around in the Kolkata Maidan for quite a long time and his Hero I-League debut was not something unexpected. During the U13 camp in Kalyani, he was spotted by Mohun Bagan scouts and they signed him for the Nursery League without any hesitation.
The attacker donned the Green and Maroon jersey for consecutive two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15) before joining Calcutta Football Club under the aegis of none other than his father.
“In 2016-17, Bibiano Fernandes’ boys had a training camp in Kolkata and CFC played a couple of friendly games against them. Kiyan played some good football there and those two games helped him mature as a footballer,” Nassiri continued.
In 2019 the promising youngster made his way back to the century-old club once again to represent them in the Zee Bangla League which was a U-19 league contested amongst eminent Kolkata-based clubs and state teams across the state.
Kiyan, who is an ardent admirer of Fran Gonzalez and Dhanachandra Singh, couldn’t believe that he shared the pitch with them whom he looks up to.
“I try to follow Fran (Gonzalez) and Dhana (Dhanachandra Singh) and even try to think like them,” he informed.
On the other hand, on being asked whether he’ll be under the scanner every time, Jamshid felt otherwise. “I don’t think so. He should not feel any pressure because he’s my son. He should leave the baggage behind and play with an open mind,” the 60-year-old former Iranian footballer continued. “He should focus more on grasping from seniors, coaches and fellow co-players. He needs to keep working on to better himself as a player.”