Tag: Saeed Ezatollahi

Dragan Skocic’s fears and hopes

The Croatian coach’s survival and leading Team Melli in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is quite certain, but Skočić still has concerns.

Hamshahri newspaper, in an article about the current status of Team Melli, wrote: “The finalization of the friendly match against Canada on the morning of June 6th is a very good event; It is both technically useful for the national team and shows that the uncertainty of the football federation has not affected Team Melli after all. This game should be considered auspicious. Surely Dragan Skucic is happy too. The Croatian head coach of the national team felt the danger of being fired after the defeat against South Korea in the Nowruz ceremonial game, but now it seems that his position is steadfast and solid.

Even for some time after the World Cup draw, some saboteurs pushed the idea of a much higher profile world-class coach will is needed for Team Melli in Qatar instead of Skocic, but if there was a will to do so, it would seem futile and nothing more than feeble lobbying that found very little attention and consideration. . There are only six months left until the start of the World Cup, and the friendly matches of Team Melli are being fixed with Skocic. Therefore, the Croatian is relieved that he will lead the Iranian national team in Qatar and is focused on hard work.

However, that is not to say that Skočić is worry-Free at this stage, for the challenge is huge and far from simple. Is Canada enough? Many claimed that for various reasons, the game against Canada is a good and precious opportunity for the Iranian national team; Both their football is similar to USA’s and they are a good and strong team. Anyway, Canada managed to win four points from the United States in two games, and our game and theirs will surely benefit us. However,  just this one game to prepare for the biggest football show on the planet is not enough for Team Melli.

It is said that the rest of the package of friendly matches is supposed to be completed with the games against the likes of New Zealand and Albania, but these matches are not very useful. In fact, there is a concern that the federation will feel satisfied after arranging the game with Canada and will not leave much to be desired for the rest of the friendly matches. It is a pity if that is the case. Do not forget that we are playing against England, the most expensive national football team in the world at the moment. Wales or Scotland may be added to the Iran group and we need to play with a team that has such characteristics.

Which posts are missing?

Dragan Skocic, however, should also have concerns about some of the national team posts. For example, the right-back position is a very serious challenge. Skocic’s favorite choice for the post is Sadegh Moharrami who does not seem to be the fan’s favorite. Moharrami has long been lost in the club category. He has had a great performance at Dinamo Zagreb and even recently Branko Ivankovic criticized the club’s technical staff for benching the Iranian. The quality of Moharrami’s in Team Melli has been inconsistent. On the other hand, Ramin Rezaian returned to the Iranian league to show himself to Dragan Skoucic, but he was not very successful and failed to convince Team Meli selectors to include him in the squad. Rezaeian also has discipline issues. For Voria Ghafouri, his best years are behind him at this stage and almost done at the international level while Saleh Hardani lacks the experience that is required to help the Team in the World Cup.

If you have followed the Asian Champions League, you must have noticed the decline of Daniel Ismaili at that post.

Other positions of concern are defensive midfielders. Ahmed Noorullahi has not had an outstanding performance in the weaker team of Al-Ahly in the UAE League, while Saeed Ezzatullahi in the weaker team of Al-Gharafah in Qatar has only become in huge big margin defeats. Even recently, Milad Sarlak’s performance in Persepolis has had many critics. In general, Skocic should also be concerned about the decline of the Legionnaires. Alireza Biranvand, Ali Gholizadeh, Karim Ansarifard Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Ehsan Hajosafi, and some others have played very little these months.

Maybe the problem of some of these players will be solved by choosing a better team in the World Cup year. “In that case, we hope they will make an open-minded choice.” The reality is that Iranian Players do not easily integrate well n the western teams, the best problem being the language and work ethics. In the Iranian Domestic league, the way the players are developed and the relaxed and indisciplined attitude of the clubs, do not augur well for players to become legionnaires. Only a few percent of Iranians make it while most struggle and eventually return home.

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.

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”.

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.

Iran, the strongest contender for the title.

As the AFC Asian Cup is drawing closer, the pressure on Carlos Queiroz mounts to prove his worth with Team Melli by winning the 17th edition of the continents top prize.

The Portuguese head coach, whose resume included world class teams like Real Madrid, Manchester United, Portugal and South African national teams, has spent enough time in Iran and Asia to mount a serious challenge for the continent most coveted trophy which eluded Iran for 43 years.

For over 5 years, Team Melli has been ranked at the top of FIFA Ranking, rudely interrupted by Japan in one or two occasion. Under Queiroz’s leadership, Iran made it to two World Cups with ease it should be said, against tough opponents such as South Korea and Uzbekistan.

Iran stars such as Azmoun, Jahanbakhsh and Ansarifard have not performed anywhere near some of the other Asian footballers in Europe and none of them seem to be able to hold a place in their teams. South Korea’s Son Heung-min ,  is indispensable  member of the English Premiere league title contenders , Tottenham ,  Ki Sung-yueng is an important player for Newcastle, Australia’s brilliant goalkeeper  Mathew Ryan , has been Brighton’s saviour, Tom Rogic of Celtic  plays a major role for the Scottish champions, Japan’s Maya Yoshida (Southampton) ,  Shinji Kagawa (B. Dortmund),and Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) all passed the grade for their  European Teams. It is interesting to note however, that Japan’s coach Hajime Moriyasu in true Japanese tradition opted for a team filled with young Europe-based talents, leaving stars like the latter two players off the squad. In brief, individually, the other Asian footballer have fared much better in Europe than Team Melli players.


Success at National team level in a competition such as the AFC Asian Cup cannot be judged on the individual star of a team. In the true meaning of the word, it is the team, in a collective sense that makes a difference at the end. The combination of Queiroz with his experience, knowledge and tactical acuteness with this group of talented and capable Iranian footballers, whom he has built and molded to his liking, is an excellent recipe for success. This is perhaps the best Iranian team since 1976 and many pundits know it and swear by it.

It is football, after all. One or two teams can spring a surprise. Australia, the defending champion minus a few of their stars from 2015 , Japan’s young yet tactically sound team, South Korea with a tradition ,  tactical discipline and winning mentality are as good as any to win the title.  There are also some outsiders, including Qatar, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia who might have a say in the tournament too.

Considering all factors, Iran and Queiroz still hold the upper hand and they are the team to beat. Barring some of the reckless finishing that have marred their recent performances, the trio up front in Team Melli can beat the best of their opponents. A solid defense is vital for any team with aspiration of winning championships and Team Melli has it all. In fact, Queiroz has a problem of riches in defense with all the defenders in the squad on similar forms and standards.

Ezatollahi’s absence in the defensive midfield role is a real, perhaps the only blow to Queiroz, but there is enough quality in the team to ensure his absence is not felt.

Success and chances of lifting the trophy will be greatly enhanced when personal, and tactical discipline (Queiroz is most defiantly should lead by example from the touchline) is at its highest. Not allowing the outcome of the match to be dependent on vacillating referees’ such as Ben Williams calls is a key factor.

On a positive note, Team Melli will have the greatest support outside of Iran in the UAE. The great Iranian community will be ever present to cheer the boys. This support cannot be underestimated.

Now all that remains is for the likes of Azmoun, Taremi, Ansarifarfd and Jahanbakhsh to convert their chances on the pitch and leave lady luck in the dressing room.

Saeid Ezzatollahi is out of Asian Cup 2019

Saeid Ezzatollahi  the Iranian national team midfielder who  has recently joined Team Melli squad in Doha, has been declared unfit and will lose the chance to take part in the 17th AFC Asian Cup 2019.

The disappointing news on Ezzatollahi who was injured and recently recovered, was released after the medical team examined the English championship side, Reading the defensive midfielder for fitness and recovery. In consultation with the coaches, it was decided that Ezzatollahi was not at the optimum shape and condition for the grueling tournament. Ezzatollahi  has not featured for his team , Reading for the last three weeks but it was hoped that he will be fully recovered by the time the championship starts in Abu Dhabi. Queiroz personally relayed the bad news to the midfielder.

The news is a big blow for the team and the supporters.

Team Melli head Coach will be announcing the final squad list  for the Asian Cup 2019 on Wednesday, and he has already mentioned that he needs fully fit and ready players against the tough opponents in the Asian Cup. Queiroz has emphasized, that the list of omitted players will be privately discussed with the individuals and will be conducted in a civilized and respectful atmosphere before being publicized.

Team Melli is scheduled to meet Qatar on December 10 at Khalifa Stadium at 20:00. The seventeenth Asian Cup will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates on January 5th, and the Iranian team is set to end 43 years of misery at these Championship. Yemen, Vietnam, and Iraq, are Iran opponents in the group stage of the competition

Iran’s golden boy scores a hat trick against Macedonia

Sardar Azmoun scored a hat trick, his first at international level to lead Team Melli 3-1 against Macedonia in the match played At Philip II stadium at Skopje.

Azmoun scored early in the 8th minute from an assist by Dejagah , however the host quickly replied back and scored the equalizer in the 10th minute by A. Trajkovski assisted by I. Tričkovski

The parity however did not last long as once again Sardar Azmoun pounced on an easy opportunity to beat S. Dimitrievski with an easy shoot from Hajsafy’s assist.  The half time finished 1-2 for Iran although Team Melli could have still added another goal.

In the second half Macedonia rested their star player Pandev and made a few changes but to no avail as The star of the Team was on a roll. Assisted by the fine pass of Saeed Ezatollahei , Azmoun found himself one on one from the through ball with only the keeper to beat. The FC Rostov top scorer finished immaculately to make it 3-1 for Team Melli. Azmoun was subbed in the 64th minute with Karimi Ansarifard who had a good season in the Greek League himself. Ansarifard managed to score a goal but it was disallowed for offside.

The result was never in doubt as Queiroz stuck to his game plan of building a solid defense and packing the midfield to feed the brilliant Azmoun. The result was a fine win for Team Melli against a European opponent , albeit not a very high ranked team. On the other hand South Korea was humiliated by Spain  6-1 in their international friendly in Switzerland.

Team Melli’s next friendly is against Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday.


Big blow for Omid team.

Iran Olympics football Team U 23, Omid Team received a setback when it was confirmed that 3 of its top players will not be competing in the finals of the AFC U23 championship which is also the qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Men Olympics Games Football competition.

Sardar Azmoun, Saeed Ezatollahi and Alireza Jahanbakhsh will not be part of the squad that will be competing in Doha in two weeks time.

Habib Kashani , the head of Team Omid said “These 3 players are registered as professionals in European club. We were unable to obtain the release from their respective clubs. The competition for the Olympics are not played in FIFA days and as such these clubs are not obliged to release their players for their national representative teams. All these clubs will be either busy in their own league competitions or preparing for the league as the case with the two Russian based players are.”

Sardar Azmoun, Saeed Ezatollahi  (FC Rostov) and Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar) are also in Team Melli squad in addition to playing for the U23 team. Their  quality and European experience is considered vital for the Omid team which is trying to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in 40 years. Kashani , however, played down the significance of the 3 players absence and said that their team has been mainly competing and training without the 3 players most of their campaign and their absence for the final will not produce a shock for the team.

Iran, under coach Mohammad Khakpour,  will be playing in Group A with host Qatar , Syria nd China. Omid’s first match will be on 12th January against Syria U23.