I watch Indian movies and Aamir Khan is my favourite: Pro Kabaddi's star defender Shadloui
The Bridge caught up with Patna Pirates' defensive star Mohammadreza Shadloui to talk about his love for Indian movies and kabaddi.
Pro Kabaddi has been home to multiple electrifying players. A lot of foreign talent has come to this platform and become household names in India.
One such name is Iranian defender Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh who plays for the Patna Pirates.
Mohammadreza Shadlu Chiyaneh enthralled the kabaddi fans and Patna Pirates fans in particular with his brave moves, intensity and winning mindset on the mat last season. The youngster from Iran was retained by the Patna Pirates and is leading the defence of his team this season.
"I feel good coming back to India. We didn't start the season well but we are picking up the pace now. I am happy playing for Patna Pirates and really want to give it all for the fans who are cheering for us," said Shadlu.
Shadlu was picked by Patna Pirates last year. He displayed brilliant performances at Kabaddi Masters 2016 and that is what alerted the PKL scouts here.
"My friend Mohsen Maghsoudlou sent videos to Patna Pirates and they picked me up in the auction. A lot of other teams came for me but Patna picked me up. Coach Ram Mehar Singh trusted me to perform last season," Shadlu explained his entry into the Pro Kabaddi League.
"I watch a lot of Hindi movies to learn Hindi and Aamir Khan is my favourite actor. It was tough in the early days to communicate with my teammates but then eventually we bonded over the language of Kabaddi."
"It was tough for me to do anything. I couldn't talk to my teammates or coach and I was alone most of the time. But now I have learnt a bit of Hindi and we bond over our love for kabaddi," Shadlu said about his initial days at PKL.
The emergence of the Pro Kabaddi league has impacted Iran the most with players like Meraj Sheykh, Fazel Atrachali, and Hadi Oshtorak coming onto the scene.
"It is tough in Iran to see live kabaddi as the league is not on television and we struggle to find the videos. We watch some clips on Instagram or YouTube. I watched PKL on YouTube for the first time," said Shadlu.
"Iran doesn't have many kabaddi leagues or tournaments. PKL has helped us better our game as we play with the best players in the world and we have the access to best coaches. Iran is becoming better as we have exposure to PKL. Pro Kabaddi League is important for everyone involved with this sport," Shadlu explained.
Shadlu was the best defender of PKL season 8 picking up 89 points and was instrumental in Patna Pirates being the most feared team of the season.
Known for his fearless attitude and electrifying moves, Shadlu has earned fans across the country.
"We started a little slow but we are gaining momentum now and I am looking to perform well every day. It is a long tournament and we have enough time to reach the finals of this season," added Shadlu when asked about this season.
"I don't really think much about that. I love to express myself and be intense while playing. It is all in the good spirit and all of the intensity is gone, once we are off the mat and we are all buddies," Shadlu laughed about his face-offs with raiders on the mat.
With Patna Pirates sitting at the eighth position on the league table with 13 more games to go, Shadlu will be a crucial cog if they are aiming for the fourth title.