Kabaddi Adda

The journey of Mohammadreza Shadlou, from backyard to Pro Kabaddi star

The story of Mohammadreza Shadlou Chiyaneh is certainly one of passion, dedication and love for the interesting game of kabaddi. This Iranian powerhouse isn't just a dominant defender, he's an athlete who proves that dedication can overcome even the most surprising obstacles.

Early life and dramatic turn

Born in Iran on May 14, Mohammadreza Shadlou didn't always have his future set on kabaddi. In his younger years, his heart belonged to wrestling and volleyball, the traditional sports activities in Iran. However, a chance encounter with a kabaddi-playing friend completely changed his trajectory. The competitiveness and minimal politics in kabaddi resonated deeply with Shadlou's love for the sport and created a passion that would outline his future.

Despite Chiyaneh's enthusiasm, his journey was not without its challenges. His father, a professional footballer, initially struggled with Kabaddi's physical requirements. However, Shadlou's unwavering will and talent got him through in the end. After witnessing his son's abilities firsthand, his father became a pillar of help, allowing Shadlou to pursue his Kabaddi dreams.


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With the support of his father, Mohammadreza Shadlou relentlessly honed his skills. His talent caught the attention of Gholamreza Mazandarani, his idol and Iran's national coach, who opted for him for Iran's Kabaddi League in 2018. While a minor setback prevented him from representing Iran at the 2018 Asian Games, Chiyaneh's brilliance shone through. He captained Iran in the 2023 Asian Kabaddi Championship and led his team to a silver medal. In addition, he was part of Iran's dominant gold medal-winning team at the 2019 Junior Kabaddi World Championship and showcased his expertise on the global stage.

Even before joining the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) in 2021, Chiyaneh was considered a superstar. The PKL auction reflected this and he became the most expensive foreign player to be bought by Patna Pirates for INR 31 lakh. Unlike several experienced players, Chiyaneh has adapted seamlessly, impressing everyone with his impressive defensive skills. 

Shadlou ended PKL Season 8 with a historic feat - the most tackle points (89) by a debutant. His defensive skills earned him the prestigious "Top Defender of the Season" award. Retained through Patna Pirates for the following season, Chiyaneh continued his dominant run with memorable individual performances.

Unbeatable records and championship glory

Season 9 saw Chiyaneh write his name in PKL history. During a match against Delhi K.C. he completed an amazing 8 Super Tackles, the most ever recorded in one PKL game. This cemented his image as a defensive powerhouse.

In PKL season 10, Chiyaneh became a sought-after player. Puneri Paltan secured him in the Player Auction for a record INR 2.35 crore, making him the most expensive overseas player in PKL history. Living up to the high expectations, Chiyaneh dominated the mat with his aggressive style. He played a key role in Puneri Paltan's first win in the PKL, amassing an exceptional 99 defence points, and was once again crowned the 'Defender of the Season'.

Today, Mohammadreza Shadlou Chiyaneh is more than just a kabaddi megastar. He is a role model for budding athletes in and around Iran. His adventure highlights the power of passion, unwavering willpower and the ability to overcome limitations. Still younger, Chiyaneh's potential seems limitless. With determination and constant development, he can become one of the all-time greats in the world of kabaddi.