Tag: Brighton

Smiles all across with Team Melli European competitions.

in the first round of this season’s UEFA club competitions, five out of six Iranian players were involved with their teams which all resulted in victories.

On Tuesday, Mehdi Taremi led his club Porto to a 3-1 win against Shakhter in Hamburg. Taremi scored one goal and was influential in another to start his campaign in a positive manner.

On the same night, Alireza Jahanbakhsh came in as a substitute and contributed a goal for his team Feyenoord in a 2-0 win against the Scottish champions Celtic.

Both the goals of Taremi and Jahanbakhsh were of high quality being praised by pundits.

On Thursday, AEK Athens with the presence of Team Melli Captain Ehsan Hajsafy who started the match, but was replaced by Milad Mohammadi, created the first shock of Europa League competition when they beat the south coast English Premier side Brighton 3-2 in a thrilling and eventful match.

In this match, Hajsafy was a major influencer as he gave away a penalty that Brighton scored, but then redeemed himself by providing an assist for the second AEK Athens goal. Hajsafy suffered a head injury and was replaced by Milad Mohammadi on the hour. Interestingly, when Mohammadi entered, the British TV commentator mentioned the AEK Players, nicknamed Milad “peep..peep” in reference to the speedy cartoon character “Road Runner”.

Due to the injury to Hajsafy in the second half, 14 extra minutes were added.

Sadegh Moharrami enjoyed the biggest win of the first round with Dinamo Zagreb after they defeated FC Astana 5-1 in Zagreb. Moharrami played the full 90 minutes and was one of the top-rated players of the match.

The surprise of the day, however, was the absence of Sardar Azmoun from the match sheet of AS Roma against FC Sherif. MOurinho’s team won that close match 2-1 away in Moldova with the winning goal coming from Lukaku.

The absence of Azmoun and Kristensen is due to restrictions imposed on AS Roma within the context of UEFA. For several years now, Roma has had to deal with the tight restrictions of the settlement agreement with UEFA over Financial Fair Play.

That includes the ‘transfer balance’ – so the current squad must be worth the same or less than last season’s group.

If that value is off balance, then the one way to get it back onto the right level is by leaving out new signings rather than those who were already part of the team.

Therefore, in order to make room for Lukaku, Roma has to leave out fellow new signings Azmoun and Kristensen.

So, it was a perfect week for Team Melli players with Taremi and Jahanbakhsh scoring while Hajsafy provided an assist.

Jahanbakhsh scores a brace for Feyenoord.

Team Melli winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh scored twice in the opening 34 minutes on his third appearance for Feyenoord at home to Lucern in the Europa Conference League against Swiss club Luzern.

The match ended 3-0 for Feyenoord for an aggregate of 6-0 win and qualification to the next round. The second goal by Jahanbakhsh was rather spectacular and was a reminder of Alireza during his heydays in AZ Alkmaar where he scored at will and managed to win the Golden Boot award of the Eredivisie.

The bad news is that Jahanbakhsh left the field limping.  The Iranian winger was on fire but just before the break he hobbled off injured and had to be replaced by Robert Bozenik.

Jahanbakhsh joined Brighton for a record club fee and endured two miserable seasons under Graham Potter management before moving on to Feyenoord this summer for a reported fee of less than 1 million Euro.

The attacking midfielder and winger will be playing under a completely different environment in Feyenoord a club that is usually at the top of the leagues and compete for trophies and honors, while in Brighton he was playing for a club whose highest success and ceiling of ambition are to remain in the premiership and avoid relegation, year in years out.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh - Feyenoord

The rich boys of Team Melli

Becoming a legionnaire is perhaps the dream of many young footballers all over the world.

Football has passed the stage of being a sport for fun and competition, it is now a business and a money-generating activity filled with fortunes. Not all the sources are clean money though as the sport is still suffering blatant money laundering schemes, however, at players’ level these sinister plots are invisible.

Iranian players have played in Europe from the onset. After the 1998 Fifa World Cup, the biggest number of Iranian players transferred to European leagues, specifically the Bundesliga. With the failure to qualify for the World Cup there were fewer suitors for Iranian players,  but the migration never completely stopped.

There are around 50 Iranian players exercising their profession outside of Iran. Europe, Persian Gulf states, and to a lesser extent the Far East have been the favorite destination.

The top earners are those who are successful and play in the European leagues. The Premier League is the richest league in the world and hence it is not a surprise that the top Iranian money earner comes from that league. Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who has been mostly a bench warmer in Brighton & Hove Albion, is the Top Earner of all Iranian footballers with a salary of nearly 4 million dollars per annum.

Iran’s best player of the season 2020/21 by far is Sardar Azmoun, yet he earns less than Jahanbakhsh. Taremi comes third in the table, despite his brilliant season with Porto, he earns half what Jahanbaksh earns with Brighton. Note that Brighton just avoided relegation in England while Porto defeated Chelsea, the current titleholder of the Champions League by the brilliant overhead kick by Taremi, ended the season in second place in Portugal.

In 4th position in the table is Saman Ghoddos who plays his football in the second tier club Brantford. The team from West London has won promotion to the premier league now,



Weekly Annual
Rank Player Club Wages US$ Wages US$
1 Alireza Jahanbakhsh Brighton  $ 75,260.00  $3,913,520.00
2 Sardar Azmoun Zenit  $ 62,480.00  $3,248,960.00
3 Mehdi Taremi FC Porto  $ 32,660.00  $1,698,320.00
4 Saman Ghoddos Brentford  $ 19,880.00  $1,033,760.00
5 Kaveh Rezai Charleroi  $ 17,040.00  $   886,080.00
6 Milad Mohammadi Gent  $ 12,638.00  $   656,040.00
7 Ali Alipour Maritimo  $   4,970.00  $   258,440.00
8 Ali Gholizadeh Charleroi  $   4,970.00  $   258,440.00
9 Reza Ghoochannejhad PEC Zwolle  $   3,834.00  $   169,832.00
10 Amir Abedzadeh Maritimo  $   2,130.00  $   102,240.00

AZ Alkamaar turns down Jahanbakhsh

Brighton has offered Alireza Jahanbakhsh to his former Dutch Club AZ Alkmaar, says technical director Max Huiberts. The English club wants to get rid of the Iranian attacker and recently called his old club with the request to move him there.

Jahanbakhsh (27) made the switch from AZ to Brighton two seasons ago for nineteen million euros, but his English adventure was not a success. He can leave and has already been associated with Ajax and PSV, but Brighton has offered him to AZ.

“I’ve been in contact with Brighton,” Huiberts told FOX Sports. “In fact, the initiative came more from them. They asked if it would be an option for us. His perspective has diminished a lot. We talked about it a while ago, but at the moment it is not. an option.”

Jahanbakhsh played 19 matches in his first season at Brighton but barely appeared for any game since the new coach took over last season. He made 10 appearances and scored two goals, one of which was a spectacular scissors kick, however that was a temporary cameo appearance as he was relegated to the bench for the rest of the season.  Jahanbakhsh has a contract with Brighton until 2023.

Continue reading “AZ Alkamaar turns down Jahanbakhsh”

Bad news all over for Iran’s football.

If you are a die-hard fan of Iranian football, the bad news coming out of Iran is enough to send one into depression.

It seems that since Carlos Queiroz left the country to seek his fortunes in Latin America with the Colombian National team, hardly anything has gone right for Team Melli and Iran’s football in general. It all started with the recruitment of Marc Wilmots, a coach who has been sacked in his last two jobs with the latest appointment lasting only six months with the Ivory Coast. For the first time in decades, Team Melli suffered two consecutive defeats and that was in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

There have been a lot of secret talks and behind the scene negotiation to find a competent and true replacement for the legendary Queiroz. The odds on that were quite low for a lot of reasons. Not only the leading and the renowned coaches were already active coaching teams and thus not available, the second tiers looking for a job, did not put Iran’s Team Melli coaching on the top of their priority. Any potential foreign coach fancied the job but examined Queiroz’s experience in Iran or heard about the pandemonium in the football federation management with several layers of governance making decisions, would have thought twice before indulging in such an adventure.

Not surprisingly there were no quality takers for the job. Is this a Queiroz curse ?!

 Then came the real shock. While the masses were waiting for an Amir Ghalenoei or an Ali Daei to take over the helm, there comes an outsider and takes over the chair. To the utter shock of many, Dragan Skocic, a Croat who was coaching Sanat Naft was announced as Head Coach of Team Melli and assumed responsibility without much fanfare.

While the Croat enthusiastically started his mission by building rapport in preparing for the two upcoming matches, the coronavirus struck and chances of the fans seeing Skocic in action is delayed for at least 3 or 4 months.

Team Melli at least has a leader in Skocis, the football federations do not. The leadership struggles, political interference, influences, and the circus, continues in the head-less FFIRI. Mehdi Taj was forced to resign citing ill-health while the government is looking for an obedient regime stooge to install him as President of the Federation in the upcoming election!

FIFA got hold of these games and finally put its foot down hard on the authorities and the FFIRI itself declaring any elections under the current conditions and rules will not be recognized by FIFA unless the FFIRI amends its statute and rules in compliance with the international football law governance.

Away from Team Melli, Iranian clubs in the AFC Champions league displayed their worst performances and results ever with one solitary win in 8 matches. It was not only the results that were disappointing but the manner of defeats and the amateurish attitudes of the Iranian players with a lack of character and professionalism that hurt the most.

The so-called professional football league devoid of proper competition is full of drama, however, yet nothing like what Sepahan club did when they refused to turn up for the match against Persepolis in their home ground Naghsh Jehan stadium in Esfahan for. These things belong to the fifties and in Europe, such acts may result in relegation to lower divisions, but the FFIRI disciplinary committee like the rest of the federation is as incompetent as the rest of the federation. When it comes to applying strict discipline and punitive measures.

And then there are players who receive a cheque from one club to turn up playing for another club in a league match!

The initial enthusiasm of Iranian legionnaires in Europe all but evaporated with one player after another struggling to make the starting line-up. Even Sardar Azmoun was benched in Zenit last match with Jahanbakhsh remaining a solid benchwarmer in Brighton, Ezattolahi making a rare cameo appearance in a lowly Belgian league club and Taremi losing that initial goalscoring brilliant run of his in the Portuguese league.

Very little good news to report from Iran’s football. Perhaps it needs a real shake-up and severe jolt for it to recover again.

Iranian legionnaires mixed fortune.

2019 has been a difficult year for Team Melli.

There was high hope for the Team to lift the Asian Cup for the first time since 1976. Iran was the favorite for the AFC Asian Cup and reached the semi-final without much difficulty too. Then a moment of madness and breakdown of discipline allowed the Japanese to open the scoring and the rest was a steep uphill struggle for the Team Melli. The match ended in one of the worst defeats of the decade after Japan scored 3 goals. That was also the end of an era as Carlos Queiroz Finally packed his bags for good.

Then came a relatively unknown quality in the form of a Belgian coach who did not last the distance on his last job with the Ivory Coast. Marc Wilmots started brilliantly with a big win in a friendly against Syria and a draw away to South Korea. The real test, however, was the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. It started well against the two weakest teams of the group, but when they faced the first real test, Team Melli failed tactically and lost to Bahrain. There was hope that the second match away to Iraq will yield a better result but like the match against Japan the semi-final of the Asian Cup, the poor tactical discipline of the players and lack of concentration in the last seconds meant another defeat and now the qualification is at perils.

Wilmots left the Job, which he frankly hardly got involved in, and Team Melli is now coachless.

Despite the disappointing Team Melli results, some of the players have been having a good year abroad.

The most delightful of the successes must be that of Al-Shahaniyah Iranian defender, Ramin Rezaeian. Despite his post of a defender, he is one of Qatar’s top five goalscorers by the end of the year.

Rezaian who is on his second season with Al-Shahaniyah is becoming a hot commodity in Qatar Star League (QSL). Rezaian, despite being a defender, has also been among the best players in Qatar. His name in Top Scorers list is among the elite of the league such as  Baghdad Bonajah (19 goals), Akram Afif (17 goals) who are the two top scorers. Rezaeian, Mohammed Montari and Thiago Parisa of Al-Khour are next all on 9 goals.

Interestingly enough, Team Melli center forward, Karim Ansaifard has scored 5 goals only in the same, he plays for  Al -Sailiya.

The Other refreshing performance must go to Kaveh Rezaei who is making real waves in the Belgian league. His disappointment at Brugge last season is all but forgotten as the 27 years old Sporting Charleroi forward has scored an average of a goal in every two matches bagging 8 goals so far this season. His compatriot and teammate Ali Golizadeh also scored 3 goals.

Sardar Azmoun is also having his best season ever and is being sought after by many clubs hoping to lure him out of the Russian League.  Sardar has scored 7 goals in the league so far which is on winter break. He scored 9 all season last term. Zenit is leading the table in Russia.

Another of the legionnaires who exploded on the scene abroad is Mehdi Taremi.  The Team Melli Center forward and Azmoun partner upfront joined the Portuguese club Rio Ave and not only he managed to make a sensational start in the cup competition by scoring 4 goals, his tally so far is 5  goals in 10 games ( a goal every two matches) in the league. Taremi suffered several nagging injuries meantime while in Portugal, but the winter break should keep him fit and ready for another adventure.

Also in Portugal, another Team Melli player has been doing quite well with Desportivo Aves. Mehrdad Mohammadi has been brilliant and scored 5 goals in a team that is struggling near the end of the table.

Alireza Jahanbaksh who is the most expensive Iranian player in history had been having a torrid time since joining Brighton from AZ Alkmaar, but in one week the star player scored two wonderful gaols for his club to take the headlines.

Two very disappointing stories of Team Melli players are those of Saeid Ezatollahi and Samman Ghoddos. The former had a long injury that threatened his career. After a full recovery, he struggled to regain even a fraction of his previous level. He is now warming the bench in AS Eupen, a team in the Belgian league at the bottom of the standing. The 23-year-old Ezatollahi has made one appearance for Eupen this season, while his Team Melli teammate in the same club, Omid Ebrahimi has featured 12 times in the league for AS Eupen.


Saman Goddos is a sad story as he is suspended by FIFA for breach of contract. On 29 August 2019, FIFA suspended the  French Ligue 1 side Amiens SC Saman Ghoddos from all football activities for four months plus a €4 million fine for his failure to report to Huesca in the La Liga in accordance with a signed contract.

Stunning bicycle kick from Alireza Jahanbakhsh.

For the second successive game, Alireza Jahanbakhsh was left in almost stunned disbelief, this time after scoring the goal of the decade.

For Frank Lampard and Chelsea, it was an all too familiar feeling of frustration as their attempts to build momentum were checked once more.

Their failure to grab a second goal proved costly, though, and left the door open for Jahanbakhsh’s jaw-dropping late heroics, a sensational overhead kick to cancel out Cesar Azpilicueta’s landmark opener.

Their failure to put Brighton away when they had the chance to do so was punished in stunning style by Team Melli winger Jahanbakhsh.

The Iranian winger arrived in the summer of 2018 under Chris Hughton as a £17m club record signing having just won the golden boot in Holland with AZ Alkmaar.

To say he had failed to live up to his price tag would be an understatement. His first 26 appearances produced a grand total of zero goals and sparked talk he would be loaned out this month to kickstart his career. His agent claimed that many clubs were seeking Alireza’s service, but the player insisted on remaining with Brighton and proving his worth to the coach who has not been too keen to play him in Brighton colors.

But Jahanbakhsh broke his duck against Bournemouth on Saturday, a moment that reduced him to tears, then topped that against Chelsea.

The highly talented Iranian was a substitute for the Chelsea match. He replaced Aaron Mooy in the 68th minute. On the 84th minute, he scored the stunning goal. He was also instrumental in a near goal right at the end when he passed to Maupy but for a spectacular save by Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizbalaga.

Finally……Jahanbakhsh scores.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Brighton and Hove Albion and Team Melli winger, finally opened his scoring in the 3rd minute of the match against Bournemouth in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Jahanbakhsh, a record signing for the Brighton club failed to score any goals last season. With a  new boss in-charge at Brighton, Jahanbaksh was relegated to the bench but on many occasions, he did not even make the bench in the Premier League matches. opportunities.

Today’s match line up by Graham Potter was a Pleasant Surprise for the Iranian International as Jahanbakhsah was not even in the squad for the last match Brighton played the Premier League. On the third minute, Alireza smashed a powerful diagonal shot into the bottom far corner of the Bournemouth goal.

Jahanbakhsh was clearly emotional during his goal celebration with all his teammates surrounding him. Finally, he broke the jinx and scored. Not only he opened his account with the club, but he also set the record for the earliest goal in Brighton’s history in the Premier League.

Jahanbakhsh went on to play until the 84th minute when he was then substituted to receive a standing ovation from the appreciative Brighton fans at the American Express Stadium.

Jahanbakhsh has have been left out of the Team Melli squad in the last two matches. He missed both the defeats against Bahrain and Iraq.


Mixed fortunes of Kaveh Rezaei and Alireza Jahanbakhsh

Kaveh Rezaei has returned back to scoring in the Belgian First Division League

The Iranian striker’s return to the scoring process was long due. on Saturday night in Sporting Charleroi’s 14th league match of the season at Mechelen’a AFAS Stadion, Rezaei scored the opener in the 11th minute for Charleroi. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. It was the second match in a row that Kaveh Rezai finds the net.
Last week, the former Team Melli player scored the winner for his team away at KV Oostende with a late goal.

The Belgian media reports mentioned Kaveh Rezaei’s scoring and brilliance had a clear message that the Iranian player was able to return to the scoring process again with confidence. Rezaei did not have a good time at Club Brugge due to loss of form after a prolonged injury. Although he was picked up for several matches and showed good touches, he was unable to meet expectations at the champions. However, when he returned to Sporting Charleroi’s, he was able to regain some of the confidence he lost and improve his form to show the coach that he is a goal scorer with a lot of confidence.
Karim Belhocine, the French coach of Charleroi is now counting on Rezaei to reach his peak days, marking the end of the torrid days for Kaveh.
Charleroi is currently ranked sixth in the standings with 22 points from 13 matches.


One Iranian player who has not experienced the same joy and success is Alireza Jahanbakhsh. Brighton’s most expensive player who topped the scoring chart only two years ago in the Dutch league has failed to score any goal last season and is still out of sight in Brighton’s matches. Once again, Jahanbakhsh did not even make the bench in last Saturday’s Brighton 2-0 win at home against Norwich.

With the new coach Graham Potter, Jahanbakhsh role has been relegated to the bench or under 23 team. This season 2019/2020 The Team Melli winger has managed to be on the bench for 3 matches out of 11 Brighton has played in the Premier Leauge.
Jahanbakhsh who desperately needs a confidence booster has been left out of Team Melli’s last squad and will probably be out again against Iraq.  Marc Wilmots, desperate himself for a good result against Iraq on the 14th of November, will be looking at players who are at their best as he has no room for trials and sentiments.


Analyzing Wilmots’ selection.

Marc Wilmots started his first official match with Team Melli in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers with a 2-0 win away to Hong Kong, is determined to build his own team rather than rely on the previous one created by Queiroz.

Morteza Mansouri
Morteza Mansouri (Sepahan)

In an evolutionary move, the Belgian head coach of Iran’s national team made a few changes to his players’ list for the next two matches against Cambodia at home and away to Bahrain. Wilmots is determined to show that he plans to evaluate and pick new players. The new squad list indicates that the Belgian coach has a great deal of confidence in the domestic League players, unlike his predecessor.

Wilmots invited Mohammad Mohebbi (21 Years) and Morteza Mansouri (29 years), two key players for current league leader Sepahan, for the first time. Wilmots’ decision to continue including Siavash Yazdani and Mohammad Naderi’s in the squad is another proof that he has much confidence in the domestic league players.

Although neither Yazdani or Naderi played in the match against Hong Kong, however, they were preferred over the experienced but ageing Vouria Ghafouri of Esteghlal. The four new players along with the regular defence players Majid Hosseini, Morteza Pouraliganji, Hossein Kanan-Zadegan will significantly lower the overall average age of Team Melli squad

The most notable omission in the list, however, must be the exclusion of Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who has been a regular fixture in the national team’s camps for the past seven years. Jahanbakhsh has just recovered from a slight knee injury and was a non-utilized bench player in today’s 3-0 Brighton win against Tottenham Hotspurs in the English Premier League.

Jahanbakhsh has been having an unfortunate time since his move to Brighton at the beginning to last season. The record signing by Brighton failed to score a single goal in all competitions last season. With the change of the head coach, Jahanbakhsh failed to even make it on the bench for his club and has yet to feature in the Premier League this season. His performance with Team Melli in the AFC Asian Cup was far from brilliant either.

Wilmots has also created a serious competition in goal for the ever-present Alireza Biranvand. In contention for the number one spot in the goal are Payam Niazmand and Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri, who have both managed to keep a clean sheet record after six weeks of Persian Gulf Premier League competition matches.

Biranvand, despite some flashes of brilliance, with the penalty save from Cristiano Ronaldo is the top of his achievements, has many suspect moments and quite a questionable temperament. Many critics believe that Niazmand is a better goalkeeper but lacks the international experience of Beiranvand.

Persepolis with five players, Tractorsazi Tabriz with four and Sepahan Isfahan with three players have the highest number in the new list of Team Melli squad. Esteghlal also has only two players after Vouria Ghafouri and Seyyed Hossein Hosseini were crossed off the final list.

Team Melli will play against Cambodia on Thursday, October 10, in Tehran and then travel to Bahrain to play against their national team on October 15th.