Iran's goalkeeper, Alireza Haghighi.

 
With the World Cup comes a flurry of tweets about football’s biggest stars. For example, since the start of the competition, Neymar’s name has been tweeted 236,000 times, Cristiano Ronaldo 137,000 times, and Lionel Messi 447,000 times. However, the World Cup also brings relatively unknown players into the spotlight – and not just because of their skills.

Since his very first appearance on the pitch, the goalkeeper for the Cheetahs, which is the nickname for Iran’s team, has become a huge star on social networks. While some of the messages written under the hashtag #IranGoalkeeper and #IranGoalie praise Alireza Haghighi’s performance (he made valiant efforts in the match against Argentina), most of them focus on his good looks and his stylish haircut.




In this tweet, the image (which is to be read right to left) shows Iranians supporting all the teams in the World Cup except Iran. But after Haghighi walks by, they all become supporters of Iran’s team.