Tag: Alireza Mansourian

Alireza Mansourian to be added to Team Melli coaching staff

Carlos Queiroz has provided the name of Alireza Mansourian for Team Melli staff instead of Javad Nekonam.

According to ISNA, Carlos Queiroz, the Portuguese head coach will arrive in Iran on Wednesday morning, and the team camp will begin on the same day. It will be the first presence of the Portuguese coach since he left Iran in February 2019. Queiroz will bring along several foreign assistants to Iran to start working in the training camp. From the previous staff, two people, Lopez and Mikael, will accompany him on his mission. Also, some new foreign faces will join the Portuguese coach, whose names have not yet been announced yet.

However, it seems that Javad Nekonam, who was Carlos Queiroz’s first choice to be his right hand man at Team Melli turned down the offer and does not intend to leave his post as Head Coach of Foolad Khuzestan, hence Queiroz named Alireza Mansourian as replacement.  On the other hand, the status of Vahid Hashemian is unclear. The former VfL Bochum 87 , Bayern Munich, Hannover 96 and Hamburger SV  player who also caoched in Germany has been quiet about his fate with the arrival of Queiroz.

It is rumored that  a meeting between Queiroz and Hashemian is scheduled to be held, and if there is an agreement, Hashemian will cooperate with the third consecutive head coach of Team Melli. Hashemian has also worked with Wilmots and Skocic with his best and most productive period being with the Croat.

Omid Namazi joined Iran’s U-23 coaching team.

Omid Namazi, who has served as an assistant coach to Carlos Queiroz during the Portugues tenure, has been added to the Iranian U23 squad that is currently preparing for a friendly match against Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

Namazi has flown to Tashkent today in time for the two friendly matches.

The Iranian U-23 has a tough task ahead as it is competing in the Asian championship competition at the beginning of the new year and hoping to make the top 3 in order to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics football competition.

The task has been made that much difficult by the appointment of a coach with no prior experience in top-level coaching. The Omid Team was coached by the Croat Zlatko Kranjcar before the federation ended his contract following some poor showing. Farhad Majidi, with his limited experience, has been given the herculean task of qualifying for the Olympics football competition after many notable Iranian coaches turn down the job.

Omid Namazi, whose last job in Iran was coaching Zob Ahan football club before being replaced by Alireza Mansourian, will bring badly needed experience at the bench which is in dire need of expertise and direction and tactics.

The news about Namazi’s appointment was confirmed by the Iranian football federation website.

Farhad Majidi appointed as head coach of Omid Team

After a long and desperate search for a replacement for Zlatko Kranjcar, the FFIRI has finally selected Farhad Majidi as the head coach

The Iranian Football Federation was hoping to appoint a competent replacement to lead the Omid Team after ending the contract of the Croatian head coach Zlatko Krancjar. In the past few months, various options have been considered to coach the U23 team, from Amir Ghalanoei, Alireza Mansourian , Mehdi MahdaviKia, Javad Nekounam to  Hossein Faraki. But all of these coaches refused to accept the offer.

The federation was on the brink of singing Yahya GolMohammadi, but his club did not allow him to leave, as he was still under contract with Padidah. Mehdi Taj and Hamid Estili, the technical manager of Omid, eventually negotiated with Farhad Majidi, who was out of work, to be the new head coach. Estili confirmed the selection of Majidi in a statement to the media. The team must start preparation for the final rounds of AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 which is also the qualifying round of the Olympics Games Men football competition as well as being the U23 Asian Championship. The final rounds will be played in a tournament style in Bangkok, Ciang Mai, Pathum Thani and Songkhala.

Farhad Majidi is the least experienced of all the other candidates who turned the job down. He has only a few games under his arm as a head coach of Esteghlal after he was given the temporary post at the club following the departure of the German coach Schaefer.

Thus the football federation continues its tendency to appoint raw and unproven coaches for the Omid U23 team and hoping to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Iran U23 qualified as one of the second best teams after hosting the qualifiers in Tehran and finishing second to Iraq in the group.

The tournament will start in January 2020 with 4 groups consisting of 4 teams. The first two of each group qualify for the quarter finals. Asia has 3 spots in the Olympic Games.  

The Draw

The 16 teams are drawn into four groups of four teams. The teams are seeded according to their performance in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship final tournament and qualification, with the hosts Thailand automatically seeded and assigned to Position A1 in the draw.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
1.    Thailand(hosts)

2.    Uzbekistan

3.    Vietnam

4.    Qatar

5.    South Korea

6.    Iraq

7.    Japan

8.    North Korea

9.    China PR

10. Australia

11. Jordan

12. Saudi Arabia

13. Syria

14. Iran

15. United Arab Emirates

16. Bahrain

Team Melli U20 final preparation for FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017

FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 is

With the FIFA U-20 World Cup just one week  away, the local organizers and the Team Melli U20 team are in the final stretch of their preparations to deliver an impressive performance .

Under the slogan “Trigger the Fever,” the U-20 World Cup will be played from May 20 to June 11 in six cities — Cheonan, Daejeon, Incheon, Jeonju, Suwon and Seogwipo, Jeju Island. South Korea is the third country, along with Mexico and Japan, to have hosted all major FIFA men’s tournaments, with the 2001 Confederations Cup, the 2002 World Cup and the 2007 U-17 World Cup.

Amir Hossein Peyrovani’s boys have been drawn in Group C along with powerhouse Portugal, Zambia and Costa Rica. The squad will be leaving Tehran on Sunday for the long trip to Korea Republic. Peyrovani , in a press conference said that he has lots of hope in achieving a respectable rank and denied that he has promised anything let alone the title.

Peyrovani regretted the omission of Reza Karamolachab due to form but was quite glad that Esteghlal coach Alireza Mansourian has allowed his young Star Omid Noor Afkan to join Team Melli U20 squad for the world Cup.  The team also baost the presence of Reza Shekari the 18 years Zob Ahan star who has just been transfered to Rubin Kazan in the Russian League.

The pairings were drawn by some famous personalities including two amazing FIFA Legends, Diego Maradona, who won the 1979 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and Pablo Aimar, who won the 1997 edition. Also acting as draw assistants were the Mayor of Suwon City and owner of Suwon City FC, Tae Young Yeom; Vice-chairman of FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 Local Organizing Committee, a living legend of Korean Football who was a former Korean national football team player and a head coach, Bumkun Cha. T

The FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 will bring some promising matches. Hosts Korea Republic will take on Guinea in the opening match on 20 May, with Group A also including England and Argentina in what turned out to be a mouth-watering group.

The groups
Group A: Korea Republic, Guinea, Argentina, England
Group B: Venezuela, Germany, Vanuatu, Mexico
Group C: Zambia, Portugal, Iran, Costa Rica
Group D: South Africa, Japan, Italy, Uruguay
Group E: France, Honduras, Vietnam, New Zealand
Group F: Ecuador, USA, Saudi Arabia, Senegal

The 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup will be played in six venues across Korea Republic from 20 May to 11 June 2017.


Team Melli  U20  Squad



1- Nima MIRZAZAD  Goalkeeper 
2- Ali SHAHSAVARI Defender
3- Mehran DERAKHSHAN Defender
4- Aref GHOLAMI  Defender
5- Nima TAHERI Defender
6- Mohammad SOLTANIMEHR Midfielder
7- Nima MOKHTARI Midfielder
8- Ali SHOJAEI Defender
10- Reza SHEKARI Forward
11- Reza JAFARI Forward
12- Shahab ADELI Goalkeeper
13- Abolfazl RAZZAGHPOUR Defender
14- Siena KHADEMPOUR Defender
15- Amir ROUSTAEI Forward
16- Omid NORAFKAN Midfielder
17- Hossein SAKI Midfielder
18- Mohammad AGHAJANPOUR Forward
19- Mehdi GHAYEDI Midfielder
20- Aref AGHASI Midfielder
21- Mahdi MOHAMMADIAN Goalkeeper
Amir Hossein Peyrovani (IRN)
49 years old

The Minister who insists on running football.

In yet another turn of events of Iran2s football, the Minister of Youth and Sport Goudarzi has indicated that he will come down hard on football referees and those who want to hurt the Tehrani teams.

This is another blatant and direct interference in football affairs by the government minister  who has warned the football league referees that they will have to answer for their mistakes and errors in matches. Such function is the responsibility of the Football federation and its referees committee.

According to Sports reporter of Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Mahmoud Goudarzi, commenting on the of protests in recent weeks about football refereeing , mainly from the defeated teams Persepolis and Esteghlal, ” I have been given a report about these  abuses and complaints in form of wrong calls against teams from Tehran, which I am investigating all the cases.”

“In addition there are 3 other teams that have complained to me but it seems that the case for Persepolis is much more clearer than the rest. I will be reviewing all those with the football experts (…) If it is proven to us that there has been wrongdoings and intent to hurt these teams , then we will come down heavily on the culprits.”

The minister who has always acted as the policeman and executioner of football in Iran is clearly violating the FIFA rules which prohibits political and politician interferences in football. Iran has already been suspended once by FIFA in 2006 for the same reason but Mr. Goudarzi is probably testing the waters and defying FIFA , an organization that itself is embroiled in corruption charges.

Persepolis and Esteghlal , the two teams that have complained the most are owned and run by the Iranian government, giving Mr. Goudarzi’s statements and interest in their affairs , another meaning to the term “conflict of interest”.

Alireza Mansourian , Naft Tehran and ex-Team Melli coach and player, expressed his surprise by the interference of the government minster.

source : ISNA

Karim Ansarifard signs for Greek club Panionios FC

Team Melli forward , Karim Ansarifard (25 years) signed a two-year contract with the Greek outfit Panionis FC.

Karim who last season experienced his worst ever season as a professional playing for Osasuna , was released by the Spanish second division club after he failed to score a single goal during the entire season. Playing alongside his Team Melli Captain Javad Nekounam was seen as a bonus for Ansarifard but his irregular selection, limited playing time , lack of confidence and his failure to gel with the other teams members resulted in a poor overall performance by the ex-Saipa and Persepolis & Tractorsazi striker.

Despite the woeful Season that Ansarifard suffered in Spain, he was adamant that he will continue to seek a European Club to continue his career. His confidence was high enough to make amends in another European country. The selection of Greece was more like immediate availability of a suitor for Ansarifard rather than choice

Greece, on the brink of bankruptcy as a country , does not seem to be the ideal place for the Iranian forward. During better days in the country, several Iranian professional footballer played in that country’s league including  Nima Nakisa and current Naft Tehran coach , Alireza Mansourian. A few others also ended up playing in the Greek League.

Karim Ansarifard is one of the few Iranian footballers who has played in every age group of the national teams. A talented striker with a lot of potential, when he was first discovered by Ali Daei, he lost his bearing between Leaving Saipa to Persepolis and ending up in Spain. He still has a plenty of time to recover and return to the top.

Panionis FC is a based in Nea Smyrni suburb of Athens. Panionios has spent nearly its entire history in the Greek First Division (now called ‘Superleague’).

The team had its own share of financial troubles since the nineties and changed ownership several times. Last season it finished in the 13th position and avoided relegation. The club home ground is Stadio Néas Smírnis in Athens with a capacity of 11,756

Payam Sadeghian “I will return to Team Melli”

The controversial midfielder, who was sacked by Persepolis, says he is determined to return to the top and back to Team Melli.

Payam Sadeghian , who is arguably one of the most talented Iranian young Players of the last few years but unfortunately notoriously indiscipline as well, said that he is looking forward to playing in Europe and then coming back to claim his rightful place in Team Melli.

Branko Ivankovic , Persepolis Croat coach has categorically refused to have Sadeghian in his team and informed the management that under no circumstances he will give this player a place in his team even if Persepolis extended Sadeghian’s contract. Sadeghian was a bench warmer in Persepolis during the time Hamid Derakhshan was the coach and continued the same after Ivankovic took over, mainly due to disciplinary reasons.

Disreputably famous for his transgressing and aggressive behavior, Payam Sadeghian looks liked he ruined a golden opportunity to enhance his career after joining Persepolis. His on and off filed antics, lack of commitment and misconduct overshadowed his talent sometimes so sublime that many critics regretted the failure of those at the helm to properly address, guide and console this talented player. Sadeghian had a lot of potential and was a promising player who represented Iran at several age level teams. Now without a club and with very few in Iran wishing to recruit him due to his troublesome record, he has to pick up the pieces to revive a tattered career outside the country.

sadeghian bench

Sadeghian refused to name the European club that he claims is interested in him. “They have watched me and they contacted me to express their interest. I also have several offers from China, Japan, Qatar and Slovakia but I am not interested to play in those leagues. If it all fails, I am hopeful that I can join Naft Tehran to play for my old boss Alireza Mansourian.” The 23 years old player said in an interview with Iran Varzeshi newspaper.

Naft Tehran has not publically expressed any interest in Sadeghian who has been consistently making the headlines for the wrong reasons. If Sadeghian is to succeed in his career, there is no doubt that he has to attend anger management classes and be counselled by experts; else he will be biting the dust.

Sadeghian has played 5 times for Team Melli in 2012 & 2014.

Alireza Mansourian pledges full support to Queiroz

Naft Tehran coach and a former Team Melli player, Alireza Mansourian pledged his full support to Team Melli and Coach Carlos Queiroz. Mansourian was present at the farewell ceremony of Team Melli to wish them well before departure to Australia.

In a short statement to the press at Team Melli camp site, Mansourian said “I came here to show my support to the boys, and Carlos Queiroz. It is my duty to do so and I sincerely wish Team Melli all the best in their difficult task in Australia. Yes, it is not an easy job by any means but the boys are well up to it.”

“Queiroz has been trying his best for the team, however the preparation was less than ideal and there is no denial in that. However some might justify the circumstances and whatever was said; we must admit that the preparation of Team Melli was well below Querioz’s expectations and definitely way below our competitors’.”

Mansourain , who has 3 players in the squad Biranvand, Amiri and Pouraliganji added “I believe that Queiroz and Team Melli in general were victims of the disputes between the Ministry of Sports and the football federation. That should not have happened but the reality was, a high tension between these two organizations resulted in Team Melli being hurt by it.”

Alireza Mansourian urged all the fans and the media to be behind Team Melli and support the team to the end.

Mansourian “League’s goal scarcity is archetypal of the World Cup teams.”

Three weeks of the Persian football League 2014/15 has produced one of the lowest ever goals tallies, a fact that has alarmed many experts while raising some heated debates amongst the concerned. 4 teams have yet to score a single goal in 3 matches, while four of them have scored less than 1 goal per game. Thanks goodness, Sepahan is an exception , with a perfect start leading the table with 9 points and 7 goals scored.

 Many of the experts opined that this is a classical reflection of Team Melli’s performance in the World Cup , where sheer defense was the name of the game , leaving very little for imagination , attractive football , offensive plans and individual show of skills to be displayed .


Alireza Mansourian , a coach of Iran’s U23 until recently and currently the head coach of Naft Tehran , was one of the coaches who blamed the World Cup. “ In the World Cup , we witnessed South American teams challenging the Europeans and taking the game to the last minutes. The most successful coaches where the ones that closed their defenses well and then targeted quick counters where they hoped to snatch a goal. It seems that our coaches in Iran have quickly picked up this strategy. Their defensive game plans have something to do with Job Security as well as none wants to be beaten and get the sack!” Mansourian , however , was diplomatic in his approach , refraining from commenting on Team Melli’s defensive strategy while many others openly pointed the finger at Team Melli


There was one defender of Team Melli game plan amongst the crowds and that is Morteza Mohasses. The Coaching instructor and lecturer, who is also a leading member of the Federation’s Technical and football development committee, rebutted the claims that the Team Melli is setting the example and laughed off the suggestion that dearth of goals in the league is because of the defensive plans as played in Brazil.

“The fact is , our national coaches are just not good enough. They have failed to implement offensive plans preferring instead to build up their defenses. Even in the midfield, they prefer holding or defensive midfielders rather than the offensive type. With such mentality, year after year, the end result would be lack of goal scoring and shortfalls in producing quality strikers. It has nothing to do with Team Melli that played a wise defensive game plan in its first two games!”

Mohasses’ logic , however , is found wanting. As a lead instructor in FFIRI, he bears much responsibility in producing what he refers to as “not good enough coaches”. In fact he is largely condemning himself as it appears that his year of guidance, tactical planning , lecturing , and teaching these Iranian coaches, has failing to yield the optimal results. His defense of Team Melli’s game plan seems to be blatantly off side too. What the clubs are copying from the national team, in itself is not a bad practice as many countries are on such approach. However, If the National Team game plan is fine and admirable, why does it become ugly if the clubs are following the same game plan?


There has been various articles in the newspapers and news agencies criticizing the standards of football displayed by the league teams this season. Of course m, there are some genuine concerns, but this is only the start of the season where most teams are not at their optimum because of changes in personnel or other factors. Like everything else in Iran , there has to be some political agenda behind these veiled attacks.


Talks of the Parliamentary investigation committee finding a wide range of corruption in football, has not raised much eyebrows amongst the elite in the Iranian football. Corruptions of all types , is one of the worst kept secrets in Iran, but naming Kaffashian as a possible culprit , has raised the level of interest in the press zone. The final report will be submitted to the Head of the parliament for his

Is Faraki groomed to take over from Queiroz?

Is somehow a surprised and questionable move, Hossein Faraki sternly refused to renew his contract with Foolad Khuzestan citing Medical problem (knee injury). Faraki who has guided Foolad Khuzestan to only their second ever League title this season parted company with Foolad as he explained  “an operation is needed on my knees. I have to quit as I will not be able to accompany the team and I believe the team will waste valuable time if I do not recover properly for the start of the pre-season training.I have to have a rest period so that I can be fully fit for future duties”

While the problem with Hossein Faraki’s knee is well known, it has not prevented his mobility in a major way , and the operation that he needs to carry out , is not deemed to have a crippling effect or long term mobility problem.

The CEO of Foolad Khuzestan has said that “the club will do anything to keep Faraki in Ahvaz, even if we have to drag him on a wheelchair, but Faraki wanted to leave and concentrate on his forthcoming knee operation and recovery process. We reluctantly agreed to his request to resign. We regret that this gentleman who has left a legacy with us , beautiful memories and a team that we are proud of , is going to be no more part of the organization.”

Things being what they are in Iran , in an essence , nothing is too straight foreword, rumors are already brewing that Hossein Faraki will be taking over from Carlos Queiroz after the Portuguese coach contract expires with the World Cup.

Kaffashian has already admitted that his federation cannot afford to renew the contract of Queiroz and his coaching staff , especially since the Portuguese rate has gone up. Kaffashian also said that no one is willing to tab the bill for Queiroz expenses ( ..we wonder why ?) and hence the chances of Carlos Queiroz leading Team Melli after the World Cup is extremely slim.

When asked about the prospects of Team Melli coaching job , Faraki said that he is honored to be considered for such a position however, he denied that he has been approached by the federation although later he added that he should not really be commenting on this issue!. Faraki wished Team Melli all the best in the World Cup under its present coach and insisted that in this period he wants to get over with his operation.

With FFIRI continual financial distress and the inability to afford a high profile European coach , Hossein Faraki seems to be quite an logical choice for Team Melli amongst the rest of the candidates. Recent Iranian coaches appointments from Ghalenoei , Ebrahimzadeh,  Daei  and  Mansourian did not yield the desired results although Ghalenoei and Daei had very respectable records during their reign while the other two were hardly given a decent chance (3 matches for Ebrahimzadeh and one for Mansourian).  

With a championship title in the bag, Faraki can claim a major achievement especially considering that he won the league based on team of young players, limited budget/resources, dearth of star players or high profile footballers and inexperienced team compared to his more illustrious rivals.

Whether Faraki will take over after June is still not clear yet, but knowing the people who pull the strings in the federation and their sense of urgency which is compatible with the of a turtle’s march, Faraki might very well find himself as an emergency coach albeit a temporary one, because the FFIRI fails to  find a suitable coach in such a short time!  None of the other high profile Iranian coaches will be available because they are contracted to their teams, Faraki however, will be out of contract creating the ideal opportunity to take over at short notice. That is one very possible scenarion


Stay tuned.




Hossein Faraki Career Information

Personal information
Full name Hossain Faraki
Date of birth March 22, 1957 (age 57)
Place of birth TehranIran
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976–1979 Pas Tehran
1979–1981 Al-Shaab (UAE)
1981–1992 Pas Tehran
National team
1977–1980 Iran 22 (11)
Teams managed
2009–2010 Kaveh
2010–2012 Naft Tehran
2012–2014 Foolad