Tag: Jose Mourinho

Sardar Azmoun’s Future: Roma and Bayer Leverkusen Clash

Sardar Azmoun, Team Melli striker, made a significant move at the beginning of the season by leaving Bayer Leverkusen on a one-season loan contract to continue his football journey in Italy’s Serie A.

Roma secured a one-season contract with Sardar Azmoun, but the situation is far from settled. The Iranian player’s fate hinges on whether the permanent purchase clause will be activated by Roma. If not, he will return to Bayer Leverkusen. Recent meetings between the clubs’ managers have shed light on the financial aspects of this transfer. However, due to Bayer Leverkusen’s high asking price (12.5 million euros) for Azmoun’s departure, Roma’s leadership hesitates to commit to a permanent deal. According to the Italian website “ilromanista,” Sardar Azmoun is likely to part ways with Roma at the end of the season.

Europa League Showdown

The drama continues on the field as Roma and Bayer Leverkusen prepare for the second leg of the Europa League semi-finals. The match is scheduled for Thursday evening, May 9th, at the Bay Arena. In the first leg, held at the “Olympic” Stadium, Bayer Leverkusen secured a convincing 2-0 victory over their hosts.

Roma’s Challenges and Ambitions

Despite the setback in the first leg, Roma remains determined. Manager Daniele Del Rossi’s focus is unwavering as the team aims to overturn the result in Germany. Remy, one of Roma’s key players, regrets missed opportunities from the previous match against Bayer Leverkusen.

As the season unfolds, Roma faces uncertainties regarding their European Champions League qualification. Their performance in Serie A will ultimately determine their fate. Will they secure a spot in the prestigious tournament, or will they face disappointment? Only time will reveal the answer.

As far as Azmoun is concerned, it seems much better for him to return to Germany as a title holder of the Bundesliga while assured of playing in the UEFA Champions League. While his sterling performances at Zenit St. Petersburg and prolific scoring were not repeated with Leverkusen, he was still considered a main player until his long-term layoff due to injury losing his starting place and eventual loan to Jose Mourinho’s Roma.

Azmoun action week continues as his club coach is sacked!

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Italian side Roma after two-and-a-half years in charge – with former club captain Daniele De Rossi replacing him until the end of the season.

The Portuguese manager, 60, joined the Serie A side in May 2021 and won the Europa Conference League in May 2022. He was instrumental in bringing Sardar Azmoun to AS Roma.

The former Chelsea, Manchester United, and Real Madrid boss also guided the Italian club to the Europa League final last year, where they were defeated by Sevilla on penalties.
But Roma have won just one of their last six Serie A games this season – leaving them ninth in the table – and were recently knocked out of the Coppa Italia by city rivals Lazio.

He compared himself to Harry Potter – perhaps implying he still has the “magic” touch as a manager – following that defeat. During the match, he received a red card for the second successive game – saying he was “raising expectations” for what the club can achieve. The club’s American owners, Dan and Ryan Friedkin, thanked Mourinho for his “passion and efforts” in a statement announcing his sacking.

They later announced that Rome-born De Rossi – who spent 18 years at the club as a player, making more than 600 appearances – will take over the role until the end of the season.
Mourinho won two Premier League titles and three cups during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, before being sacked and joining Inter Milan, where he won two Italian league titles and a second Champions League.

Mourinho then joined Spanish giants Real Madrid, winning one La Liga title, before a second spell at Stamford Bridge, in which he won his third Premier League.

He later had spells at Manchester United – winning a Europa League title – and Tottenham Hotspur, before joining Roma.

With Azmoun in Doha playing for Team Melli in the AFC Asian Cup, it is not clear if he will be in Daniele De Rossi’s plans or if he will improve his game times in the presence of Lukaku and Dybala. A good showing in Doha will certainly improve his reputation in AS Roma.

Azmoun scores his first goal for Roma.

Team Melli center forward, opened his scoring account for his club AS Roma in the Italian league this evening when Roma beat Lecce 2-1 in a thrilling encounter at Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

AS Roma were trailing their guests 0-1 with a goal scored in the 72nd minute from Almqvist. However, two minutes into injury time, a cross from Roma’s Nicola Zalewski found Sardar Azmoun who headed into the net for the equalizer.

Two minutes later, Lukaku scored the winner deep into the injury time to the delight of Roma’s fans and its beleaguered coach Jose Mourinho.

Azmoun, who is been occupying the bench for most of the season, came in as a substitute in the 72nd minute. Mourinho’s first choices forward have always been the Belgian Romelo Lukaku and the Argentine Dybala. Azmoun is number three in the pecking order.

Roma had to drop Azmoun’s name from the European competition squad in order to comply with the foreign player’s quota registration by UEFA. That has taken the chance for Team Melli forward to at least play in the Europa Cup which Roma is involved in.

AS Roma is currently in 8th place in Serie A after 11 games and 11 points behind league leaders Internazionale (Inter Milan)

Team Melli players in European Club competitions

The European Clubs championships will start in earnest this evening with matches in the UEFA Champions League UCL on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the Europa League which is traditionally played on Thursdays.

6 Team Melli players will be involved in the European club competitions this season. Mehdi Taremi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Sadegh Moharrami, Sardar Azamoun, Ehsan Hajsafi and Milad Mohammadi. We will look at the individual players’ performances in the early season, their effectiveness for their clubs, chances of playing, and chances of their club qualification to the next round. The three competitions they are involved in are the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League.

Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto): presently he is without a doubt the most prominent amongst the Team Melli legionnaires possessing the highest value for his club. Being a key player with Porto and a title defender, there are a lot of expectations from Taremi. Despite some off-the-field distractions, that might have affected him, he returned back to what he does best by scoring the winning goal away to Estrela da Amadora last weekend. This season, Taremi started 4 out of 5 club matches.

FC Porto is in Group H which has the mighty Barcelona as the favorite, but also the Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk and Belgian Royal Antwerp. It is a tough group but Porto remains in contention for one of the two qualifying places.

Playing Status: Starter
Effectiveness: 8.5 out of 10
Chances of qualifying: 70%

Alireza Jahanbaksh (Feyenoord): The Team Melli Captain is not experiencing the best of times. His form has dipped considerably and he is now glued to the bench in the Eredivisie with Feyenoord. He played in two out of 5 league matches with only one starting and one as a substitute. Jahanbaksh neither scored nor provided any assists this season.

Feyenoord is in Group E of the UEFA Champions League along with favorites Atletico Madrid, Celtic, and Lazio, It is an even group but hardly an easy pass for Feyenoord, which will start with a match against the Scottish Champions Celtic on Tuesday 19th September.

Playing Status: Substitute
Effectiveness: 3.5 out of 10
Chances of qualifying: 68%

Sadegh Moharrami (Dinamo Zagreb): The Team Melli right-back has been having a good season with the Croatian champions. His rating has been amongst the best and also provided one assist in the 5 matches he has already played for the club.

In the Europa Conference League, Dinamo Zagreb is in Group C along with; Balkani (Kosovo), FC Astana (Kazakhstan), and Viktoria Plzen (Czechia). The former is the closest rival to Dinamo Zagreb. The first match is on Thursday 21st September.

Playing Status: Starter
Effectiveness: 7.5 out of 10
Chances of qualifying: 80%

Sardar Azmoun (Roma): After a shaky season with Bayer Leverkusen marred by long-term injuries, Azmoun is now on loan with AS Roma coached by Mourinho. Team Melli striker will not enjoy the UEFA Champions League this term as Roma is playing in the Europa League. Azmoun made his debut last Sunday as a late substitute for Romelo Lukaku in a 7-0 thrashing of bottom Club Empoli

Azmoun had a slow season start so far in Rome mainly due to injuries he carried from Leverkusen plus some personal issues. AS Roma is in Group G with FC Sheriff, Servette, and Slavia Prague and will begin the campaign with the Modovan Champions FC Sheriff on Thursday 21st September.

Playing Status: Substitute
Effectiveness: 4.5 out of 10
Chances of qualifying: 75%

Ehsan Hajsafi (AEK Athens): Team Melli Captain and most capped player has had a mixed season with the club. He has started 1 out of 3 league matches although he was also a starter in the UCL Qualifiers which AEK Athens lost narrowly to Antwerp.

AEK Athens is in a strong group that includes, The Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion, Ajax Amsterdam, and Marseille. It is arguably the strongest group in the Conference League and the Greek club needs to be at its best to have a chance of qualifying. The mission starts on Thursday with a match away to Brighton.

Playing Status: Substitute
Effectiveness: 6 out of 10
Chances of qualifying: 35%

Milad Mohammadi (AEK Athens): started 2 of the 3 matches in the Greek league and played the full 90 minutes each time as a left-back. He seems to be growing in confidence this season after a mixed season in 2022/2023.

Playing Status: Starter
Effectiveness: 6.5 out of 10
Chances of qualifying: 35%


Team Melli cnter forward Sardar Azmoun is officially a new AS Roma player.

The 28-year-old – who joined the club on loan from Bayer Leverkusen with a buy option at the end of the season – gave his first interview to Roma TV after signing his new contract.

During the interview, Azmoun described the process leading to his arrival in the Italian capital and the opportunity of working with Jose Mourinho.

“I am very happy, because I am in one of the most important clubs in the world and there are no words to describe my emotions but I am very, very happy to be here.”

“I am aware that I have arrived in one of the best clubs in Europe. Once I heard that Roma were interested in me I couldn’t sleep at night. I couldn’t wait to join the team. I think there is nothing more beautiful for a player.”

“Roma have excellent players, among the best in the world, in every position. When we met in the Europa League, they played aggressively the way I liked it. I like the team, I like how they play. They are very good.”

“For me, Mourinho is the best coach in the world, I can’t wait to work with him, I will definitely learn many things and we will give everything for the team.”

“Obviously we want to win some trophies this year, my goal and dream is to do it with Roma. It has a huge fan base, among the best in Europe. An excellent staff, and an excellent squad. I want to win here.”

The story behind the Special One’s interest – Mourinho finally welcomes Azmoun at Roma

Azmoun is set to join the Giallorossi from Bayer Leverkusen. He’s been a long-time target for Mourinho who had already tried to sign the 28-year-old in 2021, during his first season at the Stadio Olimpico.

Mourinho and Roma’s interest was so evident that Azmoun’s at-the-time club Zenit jokingly warned the Special One off their striker. The Iran international eventually joined Bayer Leverkusen the following summer.

Given Zenit’s reluctance to sell Azmun in 2021, Roma eventually signed Shomurodov from Genoa but the Uzbekistan forward didn’t live up to expectations at the Stadio Olimpico scoring just six goals in 48 games and joining Spezia and Cagliari on loan.

Mou and Azmoun crossed paths this past May during a Europa League semifinal between Roma and Bayer Leverkusen when the Special One hugged the striker before his introduction from the bench in the second half.

Roma needed a new center forward this summer following Tammy Abraham’s knee injury in the last Serie A game of 2022-23. At the moment, Andrea Belotti, scorer of a brace in the first league game of 2023-24, is the only center forward available for Mourinho.

Azmoun has arrived in Rome to undergo his medical tests, and his transfer is expected to be made official soon.

The Iranian forward will join the Capital giants on an initial loan with an option to buy for €13 million.

The Giallorossi are looking to add another centre-forward to their ranks before the end of the transfer window, with Lukaku’s name cropping up in recent times.

Jose Mourinho, who has managed Lukaku at both Chelsea and Manchester United, has indicated that the Belgium international could join alongside Sardar Azmoun.

When asked about Roma’s move for Lukaku, Mourinho said on Friday: “I struggle to talk about Azmoun, let alone talk about Lukaku who is still a Chelsea player.”


Sardar Azmoun is set to join Roma from Bayer Leverkusen.

The capital club has finalized a deal for the Iran international who is expected to join the Giallorossi on loan from Leverkusen after two underwhelming seasons in the Bundesliga.

According to Filippo Biafora of Il Tempo, Azmoun has already boarded a flight to Rome and landed in Ciampino airport at 20h00 local time.

The 28-year-old striker will undergo his medical with Roma tomorrow morning (Friday) before signing his contract with the Italian side.

Roma will have a buy option on Azmoun which will amount to around €13 million.

Roma’s transfer market escapades this season can be best described as a total slog. While certain moves happened in a flash, Roma’s hunt for a second striker to complement Andrea Belotti has hit snag after snag, and when Gian Piero Gasperini reportedly blocked Duvan Zapata’s move to Roma, it seemed like Roma might never get their striker.

Well, the hunt for a new striker is over.

Completely out of the blue, Serie A journalists started reporting this morning that instead of continuing to push for Duvan Zapata, Tiago Pinto decided to go in a different direction: signing Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun from Bayer Leverkusen and fulfilling one of José Mourinho’s original requests when he signed with Roma back in 2021.

Of course, back in 2021, Roma was unable to sign Azmoun and instead went to Eldor Shomurodov, while after his near-move to Roma, Azmoun continued with Zenit for one more season before moving to Leverkusen in the summer of 2022. Now, with both Roma and Azmoun unsatisfied with their current situations, it looks as if the Iranian Messi will truly be wearing a Roma kit.

Azmoun comes to Roma on an inexpensive loan with an option deal (what else), with that option valued at somewhere between €10 and €12 million. As opposed to the rumored Zapata deal, which Atalanta reportedly was finally going to accept this morning until Pinto decided to sign Azmoun, bringing in Azmoun on an inexpensive loan with an option likely leaves the door open for the Giallorossi to push hard for a January signing of Marcos Leonardo. A loan signing also makes Roma’s depth chart at striker seem slightly more manageable if Marcos Leonardo is signed, Belotti rediscovers his form, and Tammy Abraham returns from injury.

There are some hitches that prevent this move from being a perfect transfer, despite Roma seeming to beat out AC Milan for the striker’s signature. First is the simple matter that Azmoun is reportedly injured in the short term, with a reported return date of early September. That injury might make him feel right at home with Roma, but it doesn’t solve the immediate problems the Giallorossi are facing in terms of striker depth.

Perhaps more concerning is that Azmoun will undoubtedly be called up by the Iranian National Team for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, which takes place between January 12 and February 10 of 2024. Is it really worthwhile to bring in a striker on loan who’s unavailable right now and is almost guaranteed to be unavailable for an entire month later in the season?

This rumor seems to becoming reality incredibly fast, so expect more analysis on the Sardar Azmoun front once he’s landed in Rome. Keep an eye out on the Marcos Leonardo transfer saga as well, as reports indicate that Manchester United might be trying to swoop in on Roma’s pre-agreement with Santos. So that’s fun.

Beiravand in defiant mood

Team Melli and Antwerp’s goalkeeper was in a defiant mood when interviewed by a Dutch website. Here is the excerpt.

And then the sky cleared. He conceded seven goals in his first three matches, but in the past ten days, he collected three clean sheets. Alireza Beiranvand (28) is currently doing so well at Antwerp – last night he was Man of the Match against Eupen – that even an extra goalkeeper is no longer so urgent. ‘All the Iranian people are praying for me,’ he claims.

‘It was so difficult’ we could not describe the first months of Beiranvand near Antwerp any better. Months after his arrival was first announced, he still arrives at the Bosuil behind schedule. At a time when goalkeeper Jean Butez has been training for weeks with the team. Result: Beiranvand is warming the bench. ‘But the fact that I wasn’t playing meant that I had to train twice as hard. Leave? Didn’t think about it for a second. Never. I wanted to do my best to convince the coach.’  ‘You are two months behind,’ the coach told me when I arrived. But it’s not that I hadn’t done anything for two months, huh … It was frustrating that I didn’t get a chance. I was really angry. Watch out, that had nothing to do with Jean. He’s my best friend off the field. But on it, he is my nemesis. ‘


Casillas & Kepa

Ultimately, Beiranvand got his chance. Against Tottenham in the Europa League and afterward at home against Club Brugge. That did not go smoothly. Even more: Ivan  Leko was remarkably hard on Beiranvand after the match. Something Beiranvand and his 3 million Instagram followers could only accept moderately.

‘How could he say such a thing? You do not do that. I was mentally broken by those statements. A coach is like a father, then such a statement is a major mental blow. If a coach talks about you like that, you don’t think you will get a chance anymore of course. Look at the relationship between José Mourinho and Iker Casillas at Real Madrid at the time. He also put it behind him. But those things sometimes happen. Kepa, one of the best goalkeepers in the world, is now also on the bench at Chelsea. And somehow I knew that sooner or later I would get my chance. I’ve never doubted myself. Not a moment. And haven’t regretted signing here for a second, really. Every day I enjoy working more and more in Europe. And all the Iranian people are praying for me. That inspires me even further to work harder. I did not come to Antwerp to stay here for the rest of my life. From here I will go to one of the best clubs in the world, you will see. ”

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.


Carlos Queiroz honored in his homeland.

Team Melli’s Portuguese head coach was honored in a ceremony held in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Faculty of Human Kinetics (FMH), of University of Lisbon today honored various sport personalities who contributed to the history and development of the institution.

At the ceremony celebrating 75 years of the institution, the president of the FMH, João Alves Diniz, thanked the support given by all actors and sports-related entities, who built the school in the past.

The president of Portugal`s Olympic Committee , José Manuel Constantino, highlighted the work of the honorees and put physical education at the same level of other materials.

In this ceremony several sport figures were honored. In addition to Iran’s coach Carlos Queiroz, another coach who was involved with Iran Eduardo Manuel Vingada was also on the honors list.

Jose Mourinho , who has previously received an Honorary Doctorate from University of Lisbon was one of the speakers at the ceremony. The Chelsea Football Club manager was sacked by owner Roman Abramovic soon after the event.