Tag: Mohammed Mohebbi

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.

New list of domestic players published for Team Melli camp

The list of invited players has been published while the new/old coach hasn’t set foot in Iran and has hardly seen a single league match in action.

FFIRI on behalf of Carlos Queiroz announced the names of 24 players who are invited to the Team Melli camp. The names of the footballers domestic league players are as follows:


Payam Nazamand (Sepahan)
Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal)
Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis)


Ramin Rezaeian and Omid Nourafken (Sepahan)
Mehdi Shiri and Aref Agassi (Foolad Khuzestan)
Saleh Hardani and Abolfazl Jalali (Esteghlal)
Saman Fallah (Peykan)
Armin Sohrabian (Gol Gohar)
Mortezapour Pouraliganji (Persepolis)

Mehdi Mehdipour (Esteghlal)
Mohammad Karimi and Yasin Salmani (Sepahan)
Reza Asadi (Tractorsazi)
Mehdi Hosseini (Mes Rafsanjan)
Mohammad Khodabandelou (Gol Gohar)
Milad Sarlak (Persepolis)

Mohammad Mohebi and Mehdi Gheydi (Esteghlal)
Saeed Sadeghi, Mehdi Torabi (Persepolis)
Shahriar Mughanlou (Sepahan)

The above players are required to be present at the Olympic Hotel on Wednesday, September 13th at 12:00. The list of Legionnaire players will be announced later through the official website of the Football Federation at the appropriate time.

Positive vibes of Marc Wilmots.

Marc Wilmots has crossed out the names of a few players in the new Team Melli list for the matches against Cambodia and Bahrain.

The significance of the omitted names goes beyond of numbers but it strengthens the belief in the Team Melli squad and the old mentality that a player has a place in the squad for life. Carlos Queiroz had a list that lasted for as long as he can. He trusted this group and had no regards to their current form in their leagues of the fact that other options are available. Queiroz zone of comfort was with his list of favourite players that he trusted.

Marc Wilmots is quickly showing that this mentality will not prevail in the new atmosphere of team Melli and its selection process. Every player needs to prove his worth. There is no place for just names. Players losing a form or being sidelined by their clubs will go down the pecking order. This is, in fact, the real methods of players selection that are practised across the globe with a few exceptions.

Wilmots called up two new figures in Mohammad Mohebbi and Morteza Mansouri to emphasize the message that players in excellent form in the domestic league and those whose performances merit selection for Team Melli will indeed be noticed and called upon.


On the other hand, a household name like Alireza Jahanbakhsh who assisted a goal against Hong Kong has no place in the squad, despite being a permanent fixture of Team Melli for over 7 years now. The current form of the player, rather than his fame will determine selection an in Jahanbakhsh’s case he has been a poor performer at club level.



Here’s a look at some of the players invited.

New Callouts:

Payam Niazmand

Rashid Mazaheri

Rashid Mazaheri (Tractorsazi) and Payam Niazmand (Sepahan): Both the goalkeepers in the list have been in the previous squads with Nazmand still to make a debut for Team Melli. Both have kept clean sheets since the start of the league competition and the position in the table of Sepahan and Tractorszai is an indication of the team success which both keepers respectively have played a major part in. hence they deservedly replaced  Seyed Hossein Hosseini and Amir Abedzadeh. Although Beiranvand is still the number guardian of Team Melli goal, his recent mixed form with Persepolis and his suspect temperament can easily outset him from the secure No. 1 choice in the pecking order. In any case, Wilmots have good and competent replacements if needed be.

It is hardly likely that Beiravand will be tested in the next two matches, with Bahrain being a more serious test.

Morteza Mansouri

Morteza Mansouri: The most prominent player invited to the camp is the 29-year-old Sepahan defender, who is in Team Melli squad for the first time and has been favoured over Esteghlal Club Captain Vouria Ghafoori. After an excellent season last year with Shar Khodr culminating in qualifying the club for the AFC Asian Champions League for the first time in their history, Mansouri moved on to Sepahan.

The tenacious defender came to the forefront of the defensive backs of Sepahan and immediately became a fixed player for AMir Ghalenoei. Sepahan’s clean sheet and continued excellent performance have made him a natural choice for selection to Team Melli.  However, he is still behind Ramin Rezaian, who plays for a lowly club in Qatar almost every week and has managed to score a few goals too.


Mohammad Mohebbi

Mohammed Mohebbi: Mohebbi has played for several Team Melli age level and is no stranger to the tri-colour jersey. His goal against Persepolis, however, instantly boosted his value and worth as a quality Midfield player amongst the fans. Mohebbi joined Sepahan this season with the persistence of Amir Ghalenoei who needed a competent player to fill the role of the departed Mehrdad Mohammadi. Mohebi not only was able to fulfil the role well but he exceeded expectations by helping Sepahan reach the top of the league. Mohebbi is vying for the role of Jahanbakhsh after the Brighton player was dropped due to poor form.

Mehrdad Mohammadi

Mehrdad Mohammadi: An Iranian legionnaire who recently moved from Sepahan to Portuguese football club Aves. Mehrdad has managed to score some impressive goals for his team in the last few months becoming a major player in Portugal league. Mehrdad joins his twin brother Milad in the squad for the first time. Mohammadi continued where he left off as his form with Sepahan put him high in the ranking as one of the best forwards in the Persian Gulf League. Although Mehrdad has been named in the squad several times, he has not made his official debut yet. However, in the training camp that Wilmots and the coaching staff arranged for domestic players, Mohammadi scored the only goal for Team, Melli that was facing Omid team under Majidi.


Mehdi Tarami:  Taremi’s absence from the previous match vs. Hong Kong was purely based on his fitness. He was injured and needed some time away to recover. After a brilliant performance in Portugal and fully recovering, Taremi is a sure bet to not only be in the starting line-up but also high odds of scoring against Cambodia and Bahrain.

Dropped  players :

Sayed Hossein Hosseini and Amir Abedzadeh: Two goalkeepers who were part of the last squad that played against Hong Kong, but were on the bench. Hosseini has not managed to keep a clean sheet all season and his team is lying in the bottom half of the table.

 Abedzadeh, who was the number goalkeeper for his team last season, has been relegated to the bench this season. It is clear that those two have lost form and subsequently, the selectors had other option thy picked instead of these two.

Varia Ghafouri: The captain of Esteghlal, who has been a member of almost every national squad except the World Cup, has lost his place in Team Melli. Ghafoori is a victim of his team’s poor performance in the league this season. Estghlal is a shadow of last year’s team and has been suffering defensively, hence both Ghafoori and goalkeeper Hosseinin lost their places. , Ramin Rezaian his usual rival in the lineup has been having a good season so far.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh: Perhaps the biggest omission but not entirely unexpected either. The English club Brighton midfielder has been less than satisfactory since his move from the Dutch League. He has not settled in and despite some factors that have curtailed Jahanbakhshs true potential, at this professional level clubs have little time to waste on recovery. Jahanbakhsh is a bench player now and in danger of being relegated to lower team. Wilmots had no choice except to leave him out with so many other good options available to him.

 Mehdi Torabi: This one is perhaps the more surprising of the lot. The Persepolis midfielder who plays behind Vahid Amiri this season has failed to impress Wilmots. Unlike Jahanbakhsh, Torabi is having an average to a good season but he is not at his best and that is the result of the turmoil in Persepolis. The reds are not doing too well in the league and changes in personnel and coaches have increased the pressure on the players. In Torabi’s place, Wilmots has several options like the recently called out Mohammed Mohebbi and Mehrdad Mohammadi.

Allahyar Sayyidmanesh: The youngest Team Melli scorer after being part of the two friendly games of Wilmot’s reign has been replaced by the much experienced  Mehdi Taremi in the camp. After his move to Istanbulspor on loan, Sayyadmanesh continues to be a bench player. If that situation continues, the young striker would need some long years before he can be picked again for Team Melli

Overall, none of the absent players is considered critical for Team Melli. Wilmots is spoilt for riches and will confidently use players with an eye of introducing the newer joiners for future.