Football has a funny way of steering us to unknown directions and destinations. One moment you are in the full stadium with cheering fans, and the next the lights and sounds of the stadium are a distant memory. One moment the pressure of getting results push stress levels above and beyond human limitations, and the next you actually have the time to enjoy simple pleasures of life.

 

As the project at Shimizu S-Pulse came to an unexpected conclusion, I entered a surprising rewarding period in my life. After a life long quest to be the best, to bring out the best of the people around me, to produce great performances and results I never thought a period of reflection can be so rewarding. In a dark moment in my professional life, I have found a light of wisdom, hope and humility. I have realized and appreciated even more my fortunes and blessings. My family, friends, and the love of the game have been my source of inspiration. My true supporters have stood strong by me encouraging me with their prayers and messages, while others have faded away. In the last 5 months, I have traveled to Seoul, Los Angeles, Houston, Doha, and Dubai. I met family, friends and colleagues I have missed for years, and I have made new ones I will cherish. Even after 50 years, there is so much to learn and look forward to.

 

I start the New Year with great anticipation beaming with confidence, energy and wisdom. Whether at the club or international level, I intend to succeed and share with you the triumph and memories. I am always grateful to you for your heart felt love, support and encouragement.

 

With Great Affection,

Afshin Ghotbi

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