“Sport really connected me with friends and it allowed me to meet new people, learn the language, and really feel welcomed doing something I was good at,” said Kiarash.
“On a black and white level, [soccer is] just a bunch of guys running after a ball but it’s so much bigger than that and it’s been able to bring so many people together and create so many relationships.”
Mohamad Abdallah, a native of Lebanon who grew up playing soccer in the streets, developed a close bond with members of the Brazilian team who he still communicates with today.
“I would go to their hotel room and they would have their Google Translate on. They would talk in Portuguese and the Google Translate would translate in English and then I would laugh. Then they’d get [my] translation and they would laugh. It was funny,” said Abdallah.
Reflecting on his decision back in April to say yes to an opportunity he desperately wanted, and tried to turn down, Kiarash now sees the serendipity of that moment.
“It was by far one of the best experiences of my life and Josh Kohn, who asked me to come and do it always looks at me and says ‘you’re welcome’ now because it was an absolutely amazing experience that I would have never expected,” said Kiarash, the passion oozing from his voice.
When asked about the potential for Migos to reunite in 2018 for a second go at the Neymar Jr’s Five championship title, Kiarash wasn’t too fond of the idea but hinted to the fact that no door is ever closed.
“I told them if they’re going to join the tournament again next year, they’re going to have to look for another striker,” he said.
“But you never know.”