Afshin Ghotbi

Afshin Ghotbi
Personal information
Full name Afshin Ghotbi
Date of birth (1964-02-08) 8 February 1964
Place of birth Tehran, Iran[1]
Playing position Manager
Youth career
Years Team
1981–1985[2] UCLA Bruins Men's
Teams managed
Years Team
1984–1988 UCLA Bruins Women's[3]
1988–2001 Global Soccer School[4]
1988–1991 La Cañada High School[4]
1997 Golden Eagles[3]
1997–1998 United States (Assistant)
2000–2002 South Korea (Assistant)
2002–2004 Suwon Bluewings (Assistant)
2004–2005 Los Angeles Galaxy (Assistant)
2004–2007 South Korea (Assistant)
2007–2008 Persepolis
2009–2011 Iran
2011–2014 Shimizu S-Pulse
2016 Buriram United
2016– Shijiazhuang Ever Bright

Afshin Ghotbi (Persian: افشین قطبی, born 8 February 1964 in Tehran, Iran)[5] is an Iranian American football coach.

Early life

Afshin Ghotbi was born in the Tehran. He is the son of a teacher in Iran [6] (See below) with whom he left Iran at the age of 13 and moved to Los Angeles, United States of America where he has been a resident for more than two decades. He received his B.Sc. qualification in Electrical Engineering from UCLA where he was a member of the football team.[3][7]


Early years

Prior to coaching in the professional ranks, for years he was a highly thought of coach Southern California youth football scene, responsible for the discovery and development of players such as Peter Vagenas and John O'Brien.

In Korea

He worked for Korea Republic national football team under Dutchman Guus Hiddink from December 2000 till July 2002 as a football analyst.[8] He continued his journey in Korea by taking the role of an assistant coach of Samsung Bluewings from 2002–2004. He returned to Korean National Team, as an assistant coach under Dick Advocaat from October 2005 until July 2006. He continued as an assistant coach for Korea under Dutch head coach Pim Verbeek from July 2006 till July 2007.

Return to Iran

In 2007 he was Head-Coach of Persepolis F.C., an Iran Pro League club, in compliance with the new contract he signed in August 2007. In February 2008 his name was on the shortlist for coaching the Iranian national team, however the job went to Ali Daei. He ultimately led Persepolis to Iranian Pro league championship in May 2008. Ghotbi left Persepolis in June 2008.[9]

Afshin Ghotbi was re-appointed as the new Persepolis head coach on 3 July 2008, after agreeing to sign a two-year deal following meeting Persepolis officials in Dubai.[10]

Leaving Iran

Following the session held at Persepolis club on 18 November 2008, Ghotbi announced his resignation to the club’s board and left Iran on 19 November 2008. In a letter released on Persepolis’ official website, Ghotbi said, “I returned to Persepolis with great hopes but I think there is a conspiracy outside the club to prevent the team’s success. I am the target of this conspiracy. I love Persepolis and its fans, however I ought to leave the team. I am heartbroken and leave Persepolis in hope of the team’s prosperity. If my presence hinders the success of the team, I would rather leave.” [11]

Appointment as the National Team Coach

After just three weeks after being announced as manager, Mayeli Kohan became the spearhead of a heated dispute between himself and Esteghlal F.C. manager Amir Ghalenoei.[12] This resulted in the IRIFF forcing Mayeli Kohan's resignation as manager of Team Melli.[12] A week later, Afshin Ghotbi agreed to succeed Mayeli Kohan as head coach of the Iranian national team.[13] After this appointment, Ghotbi said in an interview "A life dream, a longtime ambition and a journey written in the stars is about to be realized I have to thank all the people around the world who have cheered, supported and inspired me to have this opportunity,[14] however, under Afshin Ghotbi, Iran failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but his contract has been renewed to continue coaching Team Melli. He continued to coach Team Melli in 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification where he won 3 matches out of 4 and lost the other one to Jordan Away which he the team earned 13 points and qualified as the group leaders.But he had some results in the friendlies (such as winning against Bosnia-Herzegovina and China and South Korea in their land) which surprisingly caused a lot of criticism and even some people in IRIFF decided to replace him as Iranian coaches and journalists could not accept an American-Iranian success over Team-melli. However, after a few days his job was secured and the Iranian Federation decided to keep him at least up to 2011 Asian Cup .He had poor results in the friendlies at the beginning and then was able qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup and slowly improved the results.In 2010 his team was able to win 8 matches in a row and gain trust.Later on he finished second in West Asian Football Federation Championship 2010. In 2011 Asian cup Iran got knocked out after the extra time goal against Korea Republic.

Move to J. League

After the Asian Cup, Ghotbi signed three-year contract with Japan's J. League Division 1 side Shimizu S-Pulse.[15] He led the team for the end of 2011 seasion which ended in the tenth rank. In his second season at the club, his team started the league very successfully but later on they lost their form and finished the league in 9th place with one progress. They also reached the final game of J. League Cup but lost 1–2 to Kashima Antlers. On 30 July 2014, Ghotbi left Shimizu by mutual contest after leaving the club at the 12th place.

Buriram United

On 24 May 2016, Thai League side Buriram United made an announcement of the appointments of Afshin Ghotbi. He has become the first Asian foreign head coach of the club. On 28 May, Afshin Ghotbi made his managerial debut for Buriram United in a domestic league game against Nakhon Ratchasima and collected the win with 1-0 result. On 21 August, Afshin Ghotbi got contract termination from Buriram United after 3 months in charge. [16]

Managerial statistic

As of 20 August 2016
Naty Team From To Record
G W D L GF GA GD Win %
United States San Fernando Valley 1997 1997 18 9 7 2 30 31 −1 50.00
Iran Persepolis 27 July 2007 18 November 2008 51 26 15 10 88 59 +29 50.98
Iran Iran 22 April 2009 22 January 2011 30 16 6 8 39 27 +12 53.33
Japan Shimizu S-Pulse[17] 1 February 2011 30 July 2014 146 59 29 58 219 198 +21 40.41
Thailand Buriram United 24 May 2016 20 August 2016 22 12 7 3 61 28 +33 54.55
Career totals 267 122 64 81 437 345 +92 45.69

Note: win or lose by penalty shoot-out is counted as the draw in time.

List of seasons

Champions Runners-up Third / SF
Season Club Domestic International Trophies
League Cup League Cup ACL
2007–08 Persepolis W R16 1
2008–09 Persepolis 4th QF R16 0
2011 Shimizu S-Pulse 10th QF SF 0
2012 Shimizu S-Pulse 9th 4R RU 0
2013 Shimizu S-Pulse 9th 4R GS 0
2014 Shimizu S-Pulse 12th 3R GS 0


Shimizu S-Pulse



  1. افشين قطبي سرمربي تيم ملي فوتبال ايران شد. Retrieved on 22 August 2013.
  2. "UCLA alums leading U.S. and Iran toward World Cup". Los Angeles Times.
  3. 1 2 3 United Soccer Leagues (USL). (13 July 2009). Retrieved on 22 August 2013.
  4. 1 2 Afshin Ghotbi.
  5. "Afshin Ghobti's Official Bio". Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  6. "Aftab" (in Persian). Aftab.
  7. Duerden, John (31 October 2007). "Meet the American who could lead Iran". The Guardian. London.
  8. Bell, Jack (23 April 2009). "Iran Asks Iranian-American to Salvage Cup Bid". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  9. "Coach quits after triumph". FIFA. Archived from the original on 31 May 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2008.
  10. Azim-Araghi, Ali (3 July 2008) Afshin Ghotbi Appointed as the New Perspolis Coach.
  11. Ghotbi leaves Persepolis. (19 November 2008).
  12. 1 2 IFF confirms Mayelikohan resignation. (22 April 2009). Retrieved on 22 August 2013.
  13. Iran Appoint Afshin Ghotbi As National Team Coach. (22 April 2009). Retrieved on 22 August 2013.
  14. Bell, Jack (23 April 2009). "Iran Asks Iranian-American to Salvage Cup Bid". The New York Times.
  15. "Ghotbi took control Shimizu S-Pulse". Afshin Ghotbi. 26 January 2011. Archived from the original on 6 May 2011.
  16. J.League Data Site(Japanese)

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Afshin Ghotbi.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ali Daei
Iran Pro League Winning Manager
Succeeded by
Amir Ghalenoei
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