Tag: Milad Mohammadi

Azmoun doubtful for Korea match adding to the absentees list.

Team Melli will be with 4 key players for the top-of-the-table match versus South Korea in Seoul next month. “Sardar Azmoun’s ligament damage is still bothering him, he still needs treatment. I can’t say exactly when he will be able to play.” declared  the head coach of Bayer Gerardo Seoane “

Azmoun will need another 3-4 weeks to fully recover which will possibly mean he will miss the match in Seoul. Azmoun’s absence on the top of the 3 known absentees due to suspension and disciplinary issues. Moharrami is out for two matches due to his red card against the UAE, Ezatollahi is also suspended due to accumulations of yellow cards, and KananiZadegan is suspended by the FFIRI for misdemeanors he committed including endangering the health of his Team Melli colleagues by attempting to invite a girl while he was on COVID19 quarantine.

While the four players’ absence seems to be significant on paper, the pleasant surprise is that Team Melli has such a strength in depth that no dramatic action is needed to address these absentees.

Dragan Skocic has many options to replace Azmoun and Ezatollahi as he has a good number of replacements. In defense, with two absentees, it sounds more difficult but Siavaush Yazadni has performed well on his debut in the central defensive role, while Majid Hosseini, Milad Mohammadi, Saleh Hardani, and Aref Agasi are all capable to fill the roles in the defense.

 So, although Team Melli is not at 100% strength, it is hardly a crisis situation facing the Koreans and then Lebanon at Azadi in what is a formality matches as Team Melli already had qualified.

Milad Mohammadi signs for AEK Athens

The Team Melli left-back, who has been in Athens since Wednesday, successfully completed the medical and ergometric examinations on Thursday, and after the completion of formalities, he headed to AEK Headquarters and signed his contract with the club.

Milad Mohammadi leaves Gent and knockeing on AEK Athens doors.

Milad Mohammadi, the left-back of Team Melli, who was playing for the  Belgian team  Gent, unexpectedly terminated his contract with the club and is currently a free agent without a team.

According to Greek media, Mohammadi has reached an agreement with AEK Athens and is on the verge of joining the team. Greece’s “sdna” website reported that Mohammadi had even been issued a plane ticket to travel to Greece for medicals and that the player would travel to Athens today to sign a contract and finalize the details of his transfer. According to this site, a few months ago, during the summer transfers window, AEK offered Gent a net amount of 700,000 Euros for the transfer of Milad Mohammadi in addition to some significant rewards for the Belgian club, but the player’s agent claimed that he had more suitors and believed Mohammadi will have better offers before the transfer windows close. This, whoever, did not materialize. Gent pressured Mohammadi to extend his contract, which expires in 2022, but the player refused and the Belgian club recruited another player.

Eventually, Gant and Mohammadi mutually agreed to terminate the contract. It was after that that the president of AEK Athens started his efforts to attract Mohammadi and this transfer is on the verge of being finalized. SDNA predicted that with the presence of Milad Mohammadi on the left side of the AEK defense, Ehsan Haj Safi’s position will change and the captain of the Iranian national team, being such a versatile player will occupy other posts. Karim Ansarifard is another Iranian player of the AEK team who can help Mohammadi familiarize and incorporate into this team sooner and faster.

Iran to play a friendly against Syria

 As customary, Iran Football Federation has failed  to have more than one friendly match for Team Melli in preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers , and this time it will face Syria without the presence of the legionnaires.

Team Melli will play a friendly match against the Syrian national team in Tehran on 30th March ,  to fill the gap of the postponed qualifiers against Hong Kong and Cambodia.

Due to the late cancellation of the World Cup qualifiers, the Football Federation could not coordinate more than one match for the national team. As a result, Team Melli, as in previous months, instead of utilizing maximum time allowed and arranging at least two training matches, still misses part of the days called “FIFA Day” for arranging friendly and official matches.

* Iran plays without legionnaires

The match between the two teams Iran and Syria is to be held on the 29th of March, which occurs outside of the FIFA Day , a period which the international ruling body has earmarked from  18th to 26th March 2021. Most of the national teams arrange friendly international matches in this period.  Team Melli is not allowed to use its legionnaire players because the friendly arranged with Syria is outside of the FIFA Day !!

Although Iranian clubs are sacrificing their interests for the sake of the national team, there is no news of the presence of legionnaire players in this match, and Skocic will have to send his team to face Syria  without all his key players.

The absence of players such as Tarmi, Azmoun, Beiranvand, Milad Mohammadi, Saeed Ezatollahi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Amir Abedzadeh, Sadegh Moharremi, Kaveh Rezaei, Ali Gholizadeh, Karim AnsariFard, etc. is in a situation which translates to what is a Team Melli without all of its key players, renders the friendly against the Syrians as a nothing more than a formality and hardly constructive for the Team and Skocic.

If the Iran-Syria match was held inside FIFA Day, it could be a special help to the Iranian national team. It remains to be seen whether Skocic can convince European and some Arab clubs to release their Iranian international  for  three to four days .

It is probable that he will generally restrict the presence of the legionnaires in the Nowruz 1400 camp, which begins on the 23rd of March, in order to participate in training only for three or four days.

Skocic monitors Team Melli players in Belgium

Dragan Skocic headed to Europe for a close look at the Iranian legionaries players. The recently appointed head coach of Team Melli will be attending several matches involving the Iranian players.

This trip to Belgium by Skocic follows his attending of matches of Esteghlal and Persepolis matches in Kuwait and the Emirates in the AFC Champions League last week. Belgium is one of the countries with the most Iranian players in its league. Omid Ebrahimi and Saeed Ezzatollahi play for Eupen, Ali Gholizadeh, Younes Delphi and Kaveh Rezaei for Royal Charleroi and Milad Mohammadi for Gent.

On his trip to Belgium, Skocic first met with Saeed Ezzatollahi and Omid Ebrahimi and spoke with Eupen’s technical staff about the two Iranian players’ performances. Ezzatollah has not played for Eupen for a long time while Ebrahim is a fixed starter for the squad.

The Iranian teams competing in the AFC Champions League had a torrid start with only Sepahan managing a win in a total of 8 matches played by all the 4 Iranian teams. Skocic must have been concerned with such a performance especially since some of the Team Melli players have been less than ideal in those matches.

Analysis of the loss to Bahrain.

Team Melli’s loss to Bahrain is far from destructive and it is too early to call on the success of the coach. However, there were many factors in the loss that needs to be highlighted. Those factors are thus discussed

  • Weather
  • Tactical error
  • Players Selections
  • Late substitutions
  • Lack of Discipline
  • Bahrain’s solid defensive game plan.


The unbearable weather condition culminated into a lethargic & energy-less performance by Team Melli players. Of course, the bad weather conditions, principally the high temperature and humidity is the biggest challenge for players. It is true that weather affected both teams, Bahrain players, however, are more adapt to such weather than the Iranians.

Tactical Error

If the coaching staff of Team Melli analyzed and studied the opposition, then their reading was faulty for one main reason. Playing 4-3-3 away from home against a fairly solid defence is a risk especially when the weather condition is a disadvantage. A line up to fulfil a balanced game-plan seems a better proposition than prioritizing offence. There was no need for 3 front players, none of whom are adapt to supporting the defence on transitions or retreat on counter-attacks against them. It would have been more prudent for Wilmots to secure the back four with a couple of competent holding midfield players and two offensive midfield players.

As time was passing, it would have been quite clear for the coaches of Team Melli that the opposition has a solid defensive game. At no time was there an obvious plan change to penetrate this defensive wall. The lack of variety in Iranian attacks only helped Bahrain coach read the Iranians well and counter it.

Players Selections

There were no issues with the defensive line up where Hosseini & Kanan-Zadegan occupied the centre of the defence while Milad Mohammadi and Ramin Rezaeian operated on the flanks. Pouraliganji’s absence was claimed to be due to a slight knock but Majid Hosseini should have easily covered him. Unfortunately, the young Trabzonspor defender was far from his best committing two vital errors one of which lead to conceded a penalty. Hosseini was slow and caught off position several times in the match.

 The two main players’ selection issues were in the Midfield and Forward lines.

It is difficult to understand what the coach wanted to achieve with the trio of Ebrahimi, Hajsafi & Mohebbi in the centre of the field. There was a clear lack of a solid holding midfielder, and if Hajsafi was supposed to be the man then he fell short of carrying out the task. Mohebbi selection left many scratching their heads. Just because he scored two goals in his debut against Cambodia does not make him fit for a match away from home in a totally different environment and priorities. He was lost and should have been substituted much earlier. Ebrahimi was excellent in the midfield. He was the schemer and played some delightful balls for his teammates, but he was a one man show in the midfield. He would have benefitted from having Noorullahi or Dejagah on his side.

In the forward line, lining up with 3 forwards, one of whom was completely out of sync and disconnected from the rest, was a tactical suicide.   In fact, the trio was not complimenting each other but also becoming an obstacle in the heavy traffic of Bahrain’s penalty box. An experienced coach should have picked that as early as the first 20 minutes of the match. Karim Ansarifard was a non-performer in this lineup.

Late substitutions

Sometimes the game does not go according to plans and the team might need a shake-up or a change in the assets. Wilmots should have recognized that much earlier than he did against Bahrain. The coaching team was reactive rather than being proactive. It was easily one of the main shortfalls of Wilmots and his assistants in this match.

Lack of Discipline

The Achilles heels of Iranian football. Whether at club level or international, the players seem to be always in a combative mode arguing with referees and easily being intimidated by tricky opponents. Acts of indiscipline normally lead to loss of concertation and errors. In two consecutive matches, Team Melli must consider itself lucky not to lose two players for offences that deserved red cards. Against Cambodia, it was Pouraliganji with his wild lunge on the goalkeeper and against Bahrain; it was Azmoun who was the culprit.  Sardar reacted angrily against the referee for not giving a penalty to  Iran. Despite being awarded a yellow card for his dissent, Azmoun did not stop arguing. It was as if he was daring the Uzbek referee to give him another card! Such a petulant act by a player who does not seem to learn from his failings and continues committing these irrational acts.

Bahrain’s solid defensive game plan.

The Portuguese coach of Bahrain Hélio Filipe de Sousa was much better prepared for the match against Iran and put a solid defensive strategy that did not allow the top guns of Team Melli penetrating his defences. Using two layers of the defensive system, he managed to neutralize Azmoun and Taremi quite easily without allowing any of them clear shots at the target. With Ansarifard, the job of covering him was easier as the Iranian forward was ineffective. Bahrain depended on counter-attacks in the hoping of grabbing a goal which they did in their limited number of attacks.

Wilmots failed to react to such a defensive plan and slow to address it. Essentially, he had little solutions to counter the Portuguese game plan.

Final words

In summary, failure in a match is part and parcel of football. It is surely not a tragic loss to Bahrain as Team Melli still looked solid. This defeat, although caused by an individual error of Majid Hosseini, is the collective result of many factors that have been addressed above. Individual errors and slip-ups can occur anytime, the team that is prepared and has learned from its mistakes, usually can storm the weather and come out winners. The repeated occurrence of similar mistakes spells doom.

Marc Wilmots has not had enough time to get familiar with the team. It is quite doubtful that he selected many players, if any, of his own choice leaving Hashemian and others to offer suggestions. A two to three days training session before the match is simply not adequate enough for a new coach to get familiar with the capabilities of his squad.

However, Wilmots must address some issues immediately. In order for him to succeed, he needs to read the games much better and do his homework on Iraq from now.

Ezzatollahi welcomed in KAS Eupen

Team Melli’s 22-year-old midfielder who has joined the Belgian side KAS Eupen on a one-year loan spell from Russian Premier League side Rostov, has been welcomed and praised by his coach.

“Saeid Ezzatollahi proved his talent and abilities in the Russian league. He also represented Iran national football team in the 2018 World Cup and played in group matches against Spain and Portugal. Although he is only 22, he has played 28 times for the Iran national team,” Henkel told lavenir.net.

“I am confident that Ezzatollahi will be a real reinforcement for our team and will help us in the current season. We welcome Saeid to KAS Eupen and wish him every success in our club,” he added.

Ezatolahi is the fifth Iranian player in Belgian First Division League.

Ali Gholizadeh, Kaveh Rezaei, Milad Mohammadi and Younes Delfi are also playing in Belgian teams.

Milad Mohammadi transfered to GEent

Team Melli defender Milad Mohammadi signed a three-year contract with K.A.A. Gent club today. Mohammadi a 25 year-old Iranian international  has already collected 30 caps for the national team. He was present with Iran at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He is a versatile and fast left back that can also handle the right side of the defence too.

At the start of his career, he played in Iran for a number of years. Via the Iranian Damash Tehran and Niroeye Zamini. He then transferred to Rah Ahan where he broke through in the first team. In 2016, he opted for an adventure with the Russian first Division team Akhmat Grozny . He played 82 games in both the league and the cup and scored 3 times. He also delivered 5 assists.

Ghent or as they are known by their nickname De Buffalo’s (English: The Buffalos), is a Belgian football, track and field and field hockey club, based in the city of Ghent, East Flanders. Their football team have been playing in the Belgian Pro League since the 1989–90 season.

They won the national league once, in 2014–15, in addition to three Belgian Cup victories. Ghent played their home matches in the Jules Ottenstadion in Gentbrugge from 1920 until 2013, when they moved to the 20,000 seaters Ghelamco Arena. Their team colours are blue and white. The principal sponsor is the financial institution VDK NV. The team head coach is the Danish Jess Thorup

Mehrdad Mohammadi signs for Portuguese club CD Aves

Mehrdad Mohammadi, the 25 years old Sepahan midfielder has reached an agreement with the Portuguese side Clube Desportivo Aves to play for 3 seasons starting from 2019/20 season.

Mohammadi, whose twin brother Milad plays for Russian side Akhmat Grozny, has been enjoying an exceptional season with Sepahan , playing 29 matches and scoring 6 goals. The team under Amir Ghalenoei challenged Persepolis for the title until all the way to the end of the Persian Gulf League, eventually ending as Runner up.

CD Aves , is a small club in Portugal established in 1930. They won promotion to the top division of the Portuguese league in 2017/18 season when they finished runners up in the Iranian forward Segunda Liga. They achieved the same in season 2005/06. The pinnacle of CD Aves achievements is winning the Cup (Taça de Portugal) last season 2017/18.  The coach of CD Aves is the veteran Portuguese coach Augusto Inácio who has coached Foolad Khuzestan in 2007/08 and before joining CD Aves he was in Egypt as head coach of Zamalek.

CD Aves is currently uncomfortably laying in the 14th position in the Primeira liga with 36 points and 2 matches to go. The club is still not safe from relegation as the team in 16th place, Chaves has one match in hand with 32 points.

Vila das Aves is an industrial town and civil parish (freguesia) in northern Portugal with a population of less than 10,000 people. It is about 350 km north of capital Lisbon and 70 km from the Spanish boarder.

Azmoun lifts the Russian title with Zenit St. Petersburg

Moscow: Sardar Azmoun’s Zenit St Petersburg claimed their fifth Russian title on Saturday with a 1-1 draw at Akhmat Grozny after closest challengers Lokomotiv Moscow lost 2-0 at Arsenal Tula.

In this decider match Sardar Azmoun had to face his compatriot and Team Melli colleague Milad Mohammadi.

With three games to go Zenit are assured of the title with a nine-point lead and a better head-to-head record against second-placed Lokomotiv.

This was Zenit’s first title in four years and a great debut season for Team Melli international Azmoun, who has scored 12 goals in the campaign.

Akhmat dominated Zenit but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping by Andrei Lunev left the 13,000 home crowd frustrated. In the 33rd minute Argentinian forward Sebastian Driussi scored for Zenit but his goal was disallowed for offside.

Brazilian midfielder Ismael put Akhmat into the lead 10 minutes after the break with an unopposed shot from 22 yards out. Zenit’s Driussi levelled the score with a 10-yard effort through traffic with three minutes remaining.

Source: AFP