Tag: FC Rostov

Rostov Midfielder Mohammad Mohebi Shines Despite National Team Commitments

Rostov, Russia — In a thrilling match during the 22nd round of the Russian Premier League, Rostov secured a resounding victory over Dynamo Moscow, triumphing with a 4-1 scoreline. The standout performance of the day came from none other than Mohammad Mohebi, Team Melli, and Rostov’s talented midfielder.

Rostov remained the only RPL team that did not lose points after the winter break. In the previous two rounds, Karpin’s team beat Krylia Sovetov (2-0) and Krasnodar (2-1).

After 22 rounds, Rostov are in 7th place in the RPL with 30 points. Rostov are one point ahead of Rubin and Krylia Sovetov (29 points each), who have one game in hand. In the 23rd round, Valery Karpin’s team will host Sochi. The meeting will take place on April 6 in Rostov-on-Don and will begin at 20:00 Moscow time.

Mohebi’s Remarkable Double and Assist

Mohebi’s impact on the game was undeniable. He not only scored a brace, finding the back of the net twice but also contributed an assist that helped secure Rostov’s dominant win. His versatility and ability to create opportunities for his team were on full display.

National Team Commitments: No Hindrance for Mohebi

Despite recently representing the Iranian national team in two matches against Turkmenistan, Mohebi showed no signs of fatigue. When asked about his readiness for the match against Dynamo Moscow, he responded confidently:

“I talked with the physical training coach both in the national team and in Rostov. They gave me a plan that I followed. I have recovered. Three days ago, I played a difficult game against Turkmenistan on an artificial pitch that was not of the best quality, but today I was fresh. Thank God we won.”

Mohebi’s dedication to maintaining peak performance levels is evident. His commitment to both club and country is commendable.

Team Effort and Personal Rituals

When questioned about his consistent goal-scoring prowess, Mohebi humbly deflected the praise:

“This is the merit of the whole team; we play as a unit. Sometimes you can score one, sometimes two. Today, we succeeded. Let’s move forward. After the game, I always talk to my mother. She’s my rock, regardless of the result.”

Indeed, Mohebi’s pre- and post-match ritual of calling his mother underscores the importance of family support in his career.

Memorial Match in Memory of Tragedy

The match against Dynamo Moscow held deeper significance. It was a memorial match dedicated to the victims and survivors of a terrorist attack in Crocus. Mohebi expressed his unwavering commitment to the cause:

“Even if the team did not go to the scene of the tragedy, I would go alone or with an interpreter. Having played in Russia for about seven months now, I’ve experienced the warmth and kindness of the people. I can only be grateful for this.”

Mohebi’s compassion and empathy extend beyond the football pitch, reflecting the spirit of unity and resilience.

As Rostov continues its campaign in the Russian Premier League, fans eagerly anticipate more stellar performances from the Iranian. His dedication, skill, and heartwarming gestures make him a true asset to both the club and the community.

Mohebbi leads Rostov to victory over League leaders.

In the 20th round of the Russian Premiere League, Rostov FC hosted the league leader Krasnodar, on Friday evening and managed to win thanks to a brace by Iranian forward Mohammad Mohebbi.

The hosts won a landslide victory with a score of 2 -1, to upset the top of the table as both Zenit St. Petersburg (37 pts) and Dinamno (38 pts) are yet to play their matches in round 20.

Rostov started the game after the break in the RPL very energetically: they scored and played an excellent game against the league leaders. I expected them to have difficulties

Now Krasnodar must emotionally survive the previous draw and defeat from Rostov. If they can handle it, then they will fight for gold. If they sink into depression, then it will be the end – we will lose the option of a new champion,” Chervichenko commented in an interview with the correspondent of Championat.

After the victory, Rostov climbed to 9th place in the RPL table, Krasnodar remained at the top of the table..

in the 49th minute, Krasnodar‘s player Olakunle Olusegun was sent off for receiving a second yellow card.

Mohebbi was part of Team Melli squad that participated in the recent AFC Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar where Iran was defeated by the eventual winner Qatar in the semi-finals.

Football. Russia. RPL. 20th round.

“Rostov” – “Krasnodar” – 2:1 (1:0).

Goals: Mohebi (25, 62) – Cordoba (66).

Red cards: Olusegun (49).

Mohebbi joins FC Rostov

Mohammad Mohebbi, is seeking a new adventure in Russia.

The Team Melli forward who played last season on loan from Portugal’s Santa Clara team in Iran’s Esteghlal, has signed a three-year contract with Russian side FC Rostov club. The club is based in Rostov-on-DonRostov Oblast, and is coached by Valery Karpin.

After signing Mohebi’s contract, his agent made a bold statement and claimed that Mohebbi could be the next Cristiano Ronaldo of world football! In this regard, Saadati told the Russian RB Sport website: I can write a book about Mohammad. First, he is the complete professional player and a person with an incredible character.

He added: “Mohebi was one of the best young talents that Iranian football has produced in recent years, and with all his football and physical characteristics, he can play in the top European clubs.”

Saadati emphasized: ” I am sure that if this player is used wisely, Mohebbi can be the next Cristiano Ronaldo! He added: “If the coach gives Mohebbi enough time to adapt to the Russian league, the club can get incredible benefits.”

Notwithstanding the promotion and the hype that the agent is creating, Mohebbi will find life quite tough in the Russian league that is dominated by Zenit St. Petersburg for many years. Of course, Sardar Azmoun also played in Rostov and contributed to the success of the club and his eventual transfer to Zenit.

Rostov was 2nd in the 2022–23 Russian Premier League with 5 games left, but lost 4 out of 5 games and dropped to 4th place at the final table. Russian clubs are suspended from European competitions.

Sardar Azmoun: Bayer Leverkusen Add Goals And Depth Below Market Value

Manuel Veth

It is one of the more exciting transfers of this Bundesliga transfer window. On the day before deadline day, Bayer Leverkusen signed Sardar Azmoun for $4.4 million from Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg. The 27-year-old Iranian had previously agreed on a free summer transfer with Die Werkself. Overall it is a brilliant deal for Leverkusen, who signed the forward in a deal significantly below Azmoun’s $27.5 million Transfermarkt market value.

“We’re delighted to have completed this transfer,” Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said in a club statement. “Sardar Azmoun has been one of Russian football’s top goalscorers for several years. He’s been champion three years in a row there with Zenit, regularly played in the Champions League, and shown himself to be of international class at the highest level. Our attack gains extra quality with him. Sardar will make our attack even more unpredictable and powerful.”

Azmoun, without a doubt, brings added depth to Leverkusen’s attack. The 27-year-old has been a star in Russia for some time and joined Zenit from Rubin Kazan in February 2019 in a deal worth $13.2 million. It was Kazan who found the striker in Iran, where he played for Sepahan’s youth academy. But it would be at Rostov where Azmoun made a name for himself, scoring 25 goals and six assists in 77 games. Two of those goals came against Bayern Munich and Atlético Madrid in Rostov’s memorable 2016/17 Champions League campaign.

Rostov had bought the striker for just $2.53 million in 2016 from Rubin Kazan. But Russian football is not always that straightforward. Like many Russian clubs, Rostov always struggled with finances, and Azmoun wanted out of the club. Around that time, Azmoun was consistently linked with a move to one of the top four leagues; reports suggested links to Liverpool, several Italian clubs, but also Borussia Dortmund.

Instead, what happened was so very typical for business practices of clubs in the post-Soviet space. Only very few institutions in the region are able to develop players and sell them at the right time. Also, players often fail to find the right move, add agents to the mix, and it becomes a difficult proposition all around. Azmoun, for example, did not move to Europe but instead back to Rubin Kazan in 2017, where the owner, the Republic of Tatarstan, was once again on a spending spree.

Those spending sprees, however, also come and go; Rubin as a club has always been between very rich and very poor; there is no middle ground. As a result, Azmoun was sold to Zenit in 2019. For most talented players based in Russia, the story would have ended here—Zenit, owned by Gazprom, can pay wages at a tax rate that is often impossible to match for the big clubs in Europe and, as a result, players are unlikely to move on.

The same was thought of Azmoun, but instead, the Iranian has made the move to a top-four league after all. What remains to be seen is whether the move comes at the right time; Azmoun is no longer a talent but, at 27, a veteran. At the same time, that can be an asset too; Leverkusen receives a player with significant experience in the ups and downs of a football career.

But how will Azmoun fit in the squad? At first glance, Azmoun is a clear-cut number 9, and in that position, Leverkusen has Patrik Schick, one of the most productive strikers in European football. But Schick has been heavily linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund, where he could replace Erling Haaland. Azmoun could be an investment for the future, a possible replacement for the Czech goalscoring machine.

There is, however, also room for Schick and Azmoun to play together. Although most commonly employed as a lone-striker in a 3-4-3 system by Zenit this season, Azmoun has also played with a Schick type of number 9 in Artem Dzyuba this year. Azmoun can add more tactical depth to Gerardo Seoane’s side at Leverkusen. In fact, the Swiss head coach previously preferred a 4-4-2 system rather than the 4-2-3-1 system used by Leverkusen this year, adding Azmoun now.

Manuel Veth is the host of the Bundesliga Gegenpressing Podcast and the Area Manager USA at Transfermarkt. He has also been published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler, Pro Soccer USA, and several other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @ManuelVeth 

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Saeed Ezatollahi returns to Rostov

The Iranian midfielder Saeed Ezatollahi has returned to his original team Rostov after finishing his loan period with Eupen, since his contract with the Belgian team will expire by the end of this month.

Ezatollahi,  23-year-old midfielder, spent the 2019-2020 season on loan at Upen Belgium. During this time, he has played only six games and provided one assist. Of course, Ezatollahi spent some extended time off the field due to injury and could not play for his team.

His contract with Rostov expires at the end of June, and it is unclear whether Valerie Carpin will need the player in his roster. Rostov has not yet announced any plans in regard to the injury-prone midfielder, and it remains to be seen whether he will stay at Rostov or join another team. Ezatollahi will become a free agent at the end of June unless Rostove renews his contract.

Since 2017, the footballer has played four times on loan at Anzhi Makhachkala, Amkar, England’s Reading and Eupen Belgium, but so far he has not been able to get a secure a starting lineup with any of the clubs he was loaned to or a good position in “Rostov”.

Mahdavikia urges Sardar Azmoun to continue his European success.

Sardar Azmoun has been one of the few Iranian players that continue shinning in European football.

The Team Melli striker who has never played a league game in Iran’s domestic league has broken the record of goals scored in UEFA Champions League competition by Iranian players held jointly by Ali Daei and Mehdi Mahdavikia who both scored 3 goals in total in that competition.

On Wednesday 2nd October 2019, in the Zenit St. Petersburg match against Benfica, Sardar scored his second goal in as many matches in this competition this season to increase his tally to 4 goals overall. Sardar has already scored for FC Rostov before joining Zenit.

Mehdi MahdaviKia in response to Sardar Azmoun’s achievement said: “I am very happy to see Sardar scoring in the Champions League. After a few years, we see a bright Iranian player at this level who is making us all proud.” He continued: “We have not had an Iranian player at this level for many years and I am very happy Azmoun has been able to achieve this. I hope his goals scoring continues.

Mahdavi Kia, in response to Sardar’s passing his record, said: “It was not a record that was impossible to achieve as three goals were there to be broken. However, I hope Sardar can score more goals and continue his success in the UEFA Champions League to achieve a much better record”

On the other side of Europe, and to be precise, in Glasgow, there still seems to be some regret with the fact that Sardar did not transfer to the Scottish Champion and instead elected to Join Zenit.

Glasgow Celtic reportedly wanted to bring Sadar Azmoun to the Scottish Premiership before he started scoring Champions League goals for Zenit St Petersburg.

Most Celtic fans would give an arm, or perhaps a finger or two, to reach the latter stages of the Europa League this season according to Scottish sports journalist, Danny Owen

“It’s been far too long since The Hoops really competed on the continent and Neil Lennon has a huge challenge even plotting a way out of a Europa League group containing Lazio, Rennes and a Cluj side who triumphed 4-3 at Parkhead just two months ago.” He wrote in his blog.

“Fortunately, Celtic have one of the sharpest young strikers anywhere on the continent now. In his third season in green and white, Odsonne Edouard is showing the sort of form that will have defenders everywhere quaking in their boots.”

But, for all his qualities, and that clinical header against Cluj on Thursday, Edouard still cannot hold a candle to Sardar Azmoun when it comes to scoring goals in European competition.”

According to The Mirror (22 April, page 48), Celtic wanted to sign the so-called ‘Iranian Messi’ back in the summer of 2018, shortly before he left Rubin Kazan for Zenit St Petersburg in a deal worth £10.5 million (L’Equipe).

Since Azmoun was linked with a move to the Scottish giants, he has taken his game to a whole new level, scoring five goals in just six games in both the Champions League and the Europa League. His most recent, a brilliantly taken solo effort against Benfica, sealed three points for Zenit on Wednesday night in the Champions League group stage.

In total, Azmoun averages a goal every 1.2 European games, compared to Edouard’s 2.7.

Saeed Ezzatollahi to Join Belgium’s Eupen

Team Melli player Saeed Ezzatollahi is joining Belgium’s K.A.S Eupen on a one-year loan deal, it was announced today

Ezzatollahi one of the most promising Iranian youngsters who was recruited by Atletico Madrid talent hunters during his youth has had a quite disappointing career. Marred by injury and instability in performance, Ezatollahi has never achieved his potential. The unsettled midfielder changed many clubs and hardly spending enough time to establish himself before moving to the another. The Gilani midfielder seemed to be prone to injury spending much time on the injury list at his clubs.

Saeed Ezatollahi has joined the lowly Belgian team which recently had Morteza Pouraliganji on its books, in a one-year loan contract from the Rostov-based Russian club. The 22-year-old has started his career in Malavan Bandar Anzali, Spain’s Atletico Madrid, Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala, Amkar and  English Championship side Reading.

Ezzatollahi has played in 30 matches for Team Melli scoring a solitary goal. He was in Iran’s squad for FIFA World Cup 2018.

Reading concerned with Ezzatolahi’s long absence

Reading face being without Iranian midfielder Saeid Ezatolahi for a further month due to the Asian Cup.

The 22-year-old, who is on a season-long loan switch to Royals from Russian club FC Rostov, has been named in a provisional 35-man squad for the competition.

National team boss Carlos Queiroz will cut that list down to 23 players on Saturday, December 15, ahead of a training camp in Doha, Qatar.

Ezatolahi, who is one of nine midfielders on the provisional list, is currently sidelined for club and country due to a quad injury he picked up while on international duty back in October.

He has played just four times for Reading since joining at the end of August, but caught the eye with some impressive performances in the midfield.

The Iranian is set to be back at full fitness at the end of this month but his involvement in the Asian Cup could prolong his return to Royals.

The competition, which is being held in the United Arab Emirates, takes place between Saturday, January 5 and Friday, February 1.

Reading have four games in that time, along with two either side and a possible FA Cup replay as well.

It means Ezatolahi could miss up to seven games for his club, depending on how far Iran progress in the competition.

Few hours before the World Cup 2018 Draw

Team Melli is only hours away from knowing its fate in the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 draw. Iran is in Pot3 with a potential of a tough draw. This is the first time that Team Melli has qualified for the FIFA World cup for a second successive time. This feat was achieved by the Carlos Queiroz and for that, the Portuguese will be forever remembered.

Team Melli was the first Asian side to qualify for this tournament and did so with an impressive 12 consecutive clean sheets. However, the downsize of this record is that Team Melli is hardly exemplary at the front with only an average of 1 goals scored per game.

Queiroz is well known for his philosophy of solid defense and closing all the flanks. His facet of tactics is “reactive football” with a deep-lying defense and quick counterattacks. Queiroz changed the game plan in recent friendlies against Russia, Panama and Venezuela, where Team Melli played with a differently, pressing higher up the pitch and adopting a more aggressive approach.

Carlos Queiroz Plans

Carlos Queiroz, despite a temper and petulance that has caused many outwardly senseless controversies in recent years, is very popular in Iran because of the results and performances. The Portuguese is the football equivalent to Donald Trump who picks up fights, with anyone that crosses his line be it a charity worker, footballer, journalist or a club coach. Despite his irritable and vindictive character, most critics believe that he has made a difference in Iran’s football, at least at National Team level by giving Team Melli real character and building a solid group of player. For that, he is much more accomplished in his job that the American President.

What he lacks in finesse and character, Queiroz certainly makes up in coaching skills, passion and man management. Iranian players are not very well versed in discipline or professionalism, but under Queiroz some of Team Melli players with attitudes or transgressions, soon found themselves out of the squad in a flash. The rest heard the message well and learned the lesson.  Queiroz, not much of an aficionado of the domestic league, has always preferred Europe-based players, as this gives him some assertion of technical discipline that the domestic leagues sorely lack.

Luckily, there are a large number of players in the current squad that play in Europe, including 3 who actually earn their living in Russia; Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan) , Saeid Ezatolahei ( FC Amkar Perm on loan from FC Rostov) and Milad Mohammadi ( Akhmat Grozny)

 Regardless to which teams will be in Iran’s group, Germany, Spain and Nigeria being about the toughest or an easier ride on paper of Russia, Croatia and Panama, Team Melli will be a tough nut to crack.

The fans, however, would wish to see some more courage by Queiroz and less of the “Park the Bus” approach.

Sardar Azmoun vs. Manchester United under Queiroz watchful eyes.

The prolific young Team Melli striker, Sardar Azmoun has scored two goals on Friday for his club FC Rostov  in a 6-0 routing of the struggling Tom’ Tomsk in the Russian Premier league to lay a strong claim for a starting line up against Manchester United in the UEFA Europa cup next week.

On Thursday 9th March, FC Rostov will be hosting the famous Red Devils at home for a memorable encounter. Carlos Queiroz will have a golden opportunity to fly to Russia to be close to the action and hit two birds with one stone. Queiroz spend a few years in Manchester United as the right hand man of Sir Alex Ferguson. He has a chance to meet with his compatriot Jose Mourinho and some of the senior players he worked with , while also checking on the hot Sardar Azmoun against strong opposition of the highest class.

Azmoun has been performing admirably with Rostov and speculation are rife that he is wanted by many clubs while the Chinese have also shown interest in acquiring his services. Azmoun is adamant to continue with Rostov until the end of the World Cup before deciding on his future.

Queiroz will be also checking on Ghoochannejad and Jahanbakhsh in the Netherlands.  Both these plyers have been doing well and scoring vital goal for their repective clubs and helping them climb up the table.

While their is strong speculations that Queiroz is leaving to South Africa, a claim that seems to be be re-occuring every now and then, the Portuguese coach continues his preparation plans for two crucial FIFA  World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Qatar in Doha then at home in Azadi against China. Full points from these two matches virtually guarantees Iran qualification to the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.


Iran still leads the table ahead of Korea and Uzbekistan.