Manafi started his football at Esteghlal Behshahr his hometown club.
He was selected for the Olympic squad for the Barcelona games when the team had many new players like Majedi , Peyrovani, Shahroudi and Hossein Khatibi.
Manafi then transferred to Fath Tehran where he attracted the interest of top clubs and eventually signed for Persepolis. He made his debut for the red team against Nissan of Japan in 1993 edition of AFC Cup winners cup, where Persepolis drew the match 1-1 but lost the two leg ties by a solitary goal.
Manafi went on to represent Team Melli in Asian Games 1994 at Hiroshima and then the FIFA World Cup preliminaries. Both were bitter experiences for the player as Team Melli failed to qualify.
Bosnia Herzegovina 06-Jun-93