Younis Mahmoud's victory celebrations were tempered by reality.
Mahmoud scored the winning goal in Iraq's 1-0 Asian Cup final win over Saudi Arabia on Sunday, yet he feared for his life if he went home to celebrate the stunning victory.
"I don't want the Iraqi people to be angry with me," he said. But, "If I go back with the team, anybody could kill me or try to hurt me.
"One of my closest friends, they (the authorities) came to arrest him, and for one year neither me nor his family know where he is."
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>