|Full name||Esteghlal Tehran Football Club|
Asian blue boys (پسران آبی آسیا)
|Founded||26 September 1945 as Docharkheh Savaran|
|League||Persian Gulf Pro League|
|2015–16||Persian Gulf Pro League, 3rd|
|Website||Club home page|
Esteghlal Tehran Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال استقلال تهران, meaning Independence) until 1979 known as Taj Tehran Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال تاج تهران, meaning Crown) is an Iranian professional football club based in Tehran that plays in the Persian Gulf Pro League. Esteghlal F.C. is the football club of the multisport Esteghlal Athletic and Cultural Club (Persian:باشگاه فرهنگی ورزشی استقلال تهران).
Founded in 1945 initially as Docharkhe Savaran( دوچرخه سواران) meaning "The Cyclists" in Persian and later in 1949, the name of the club was first changed to Taj (تاج) that means "Crown" in Persian. The name of the club was finally modified into Esteghlal (Persian: استقلال) that is the current name of the club, meaning "Independence", subsequent to the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
They have won several official titles on the national and international stage since 1970, including eight Iranian League (1st tier) titles and a record 6 Hazfi Cups. There are two golden stars above the team's official badge to represent winning two titles in Asian Club Championship (1970 and 1991).
On September 20, 1945 three Iranian military officers—Mirzani, Jananpour and Navab—started a sports club on Ferdowsi Street, Tehran. Since the founders of the club were mostly interested in cycling, the club's original name was Docharkhe Savaran (Persian: دوچرخه سواران), meaning 'The Cyclists' in Persian. Esteghlal football club played its first official match in 1946.
From the beginning Taj or Docharkeh Savaran competed in the Tehran Local League, which at the time was the highest ranked league in Iran. On 6 March 1950, Taj played its first official game in front of over 20,000 spectators in Amjadieh Stadium against Shahin; Taj managed a close 1–0 win. Later in that year, the club's name was officially changed to Taj which means crown in Persian. In 1970, Taj defeated Hapoel Tel Aviv of Israel 2–1 in the final to win its first ever Asian Club Championship.
After the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the club was confiscated by the newly established Islamic government and put under the control of the Physical Education Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: سازمان تربیت بدنی جمهوری اسلامی ايران), a governmental organization, and changed its name to Esteghlal (Persian: استقلال), 'Independence' in Persian; Taj (Persian: تاج ) means 'Crown' in Persian. After the revolution, any sign of the previous monarchist regime was not tolerated.
During the 1980s, Esteghlal won the Tehran Football League twice. The 1989–90 season was a memorable one for Esteghlal. The club finished 1st in Group B of the Qods League and advanced to the semifinals. Esteghlal defeated Malavan 4–0 on aggregate to advance to the final against the hated rival: Persepolis. Esteghlal defeated Persepolis 2–1 through a 74th-minute goal by Samad Marfavi to win the Qods League; this proved to be one of the most memorable derbies for Esteghlal. In the following season, Esteghlal made it to the final of the Hazfi Cup only to lose to Malavan on penalties. 1991 proved to be one of Esteghlal's most memorable years as they won the Asian Club Championship for the 2nd time defeating Chinese club Liaoning 2–1. Esteghlal once again reached the final of the Asian Club Championship in 1999, this time losing to Japanese club Júbilo Iwata 1–2.
Iran Pro League
2001 marked the first year of the newly founded Iran Pro League. Going into the final day, Esteghlal was on top of the league's table; however, with an Esteghlal loss and a Persepolis win, Persepolis was crowned as the league's inaugural champion. However, the 2001–02 Hazfi Cup provided some consolation for Esteghlal as they beat Fajr Sepasi 4–3 on aggregate to win the cup. The 2002–03 season was one of the worst years in club history, as they finished 9th under the management of Roland Koch and were eliminated in the group stage of the AFC Champions League.
In July 2003, Amir Ghalenoi was appointed manager of Esteghlal. In his first year, Esteghlal finished runner-up in the league, finishing two points behind the champion Pas Tehran. Ghalenoi also made it to the final of the Hazfi Cup losing 2–5 on aggregate to Sepahan. His second season proved to be less successful as Esteghlal finished 3rd and failed to qualify to the AFC Champions League. However, the 2005–06 season was a completely different year; Esteghlal were crowned champions of the Iran Pro League for the first time in the Pro League era. At the end of the season, Ghalenoi left Esteghlal for the national team job.
In 2006 after the departure of Amir Ghalenoi, his assistant and youth team coach Samad Marfavi took over the head-coaching job. Esteghlal had a disappointing season, finishing fourth, thus failing to secure a spot in the AFC Champions League, as well as only reaching the Round of 16 in the Hazfi Cup with a shock defeat to Fajr Sepasi. After Marfavi's departure in August 2007, another Esteghlali great, former goalkeeper Nasser Hejazi took over; but after only 14 games and 4 defeats, Hejazi was fired as manager in November 2007. Firouz Karimi was hired as the temporary head coach for the remainder of the season; he did not fare much better than Hejazi and the team finished 13th in the league, its lowest finish ever. Firouz Karimi was fired in May 2008 and Amir Ghalenoi was hired again in July 2008. He quickly regrouped the team and the Hazfi Cup proved to be a valuable consolation, as Esteghlal became champions after defeating Pegah Gilan 3–1 on aggregate, thus securing a Champions League spot after a two-year absence. During Ghalenoi's first full and only season in his second stint with Esteghlal, he led the team to a Iran Pro League championship, finishing ahead of Zob Ahan on goal difference. However, after a group stage exit in the AFC Champions League, Ghalenoi resigned. Samad Marfavi took the reigns of Esteghlal for a second time; Marfavi led the team to a 3rd place league finish in the 2009–10 season and also led the team to the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League, losing to Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia 2–3 on aggregate. In the spring of 2010, Marfavi extended his contract for another year, but strangely a few days later he resigned. This time Esteghlal turned to Parviz Mazloumi, a former Esteghlal player in the 1980s. During his 2-year tenure with Esteghlal, he led the team to 2nd and 3rd place league finishes, as well as a Hazfi Cup trophy in 2012. After a 0–2 loss to fellow countrymen Sepahan in the Round 16 of the AFC Champions League, Mazloumi was sacked by the club and Amir Ghalenoi took the reins of Esteghlal for a third time.
Return of Ghalenoi
The new era started with an exciting year for Esteghlal as both former Aston Villa man Jlloyd Samuel and Iran national football team captain Javad Nekounam joined the team. With these players, Ghalenoi had no trouble leading Esteghlal to a comfortable league victory in his first season back. The team also made it to the semi-finals of the Hazfi Cup which they eventually lost to Sepahan. The year was also marked by advancing to the AFC Champions League semi-finals where they met Korean side FC Seoul. After a 0–2 away loss in the first leg, Esteghlal faced an uphill task; they returned to the Azadi Stadium with much belief but eventually lost to FC Seoul 2–4 on aggregate. The next season however was a disappointing one for Ghalenoi and his team. With a chance to win the league on the final match day, Esteghlal lost 1–3 to Tractor Sazi and dropped to 5th place, and out of a champions league slot. Esteghlal also faced a shock defeat at the hands of Mes Kerman in the Hazfi Cup semi-finals. To top off Esteghlal's horrendous year, the team failed to reach the AFC Champions League knock-out stage, finishing 3rd in its group. Amir Ghalenoi earned the title of "General" from the club's fans for his performance.
The club's biggest rival and its opponent in the Tehran Derby is Persepolis. The first derby match between the clubs took place on April 5, 1968 at Amjadieh Stadium. Today, all derbies and home matches are played at the Azadi Stadium which is usually sold out for the derby.
In 1995, IRIFF began to invite foreign referees to officiate the derby to ease fans and players suspicions of referee bias. This occurred after the events of the 38th derby (January 20, 1995) in which Persepolis was leading by a score of 2–0 until the 79th minute when Esteghlal scored two goals within 8 minutes to erase the deficit; 1st goal was scored from the penalty spot which angered the Persepolis fans and players who felt the referee was biased towards Esteghlal. Persepolis fans stormed the field in the 88th minute and fights broke out on the pitch between fans and players. Following the match, it was decided that Iranian referees would no longer be used for the derby. After 14 years of foreign referees, the second leg of the 2008–09 season saw an Iranian once again refereeing the derby. The game ended in a draw with goals coming from Mojtaba Jabari and Maziar Zare.
Supporters and fans
Esteghlal is the highest supported team in Iranian football. The club is based in Tehran and is popular in all parts of the country. Esteghlal also has a fan base in the United States, Europe and Persian Gulf countries.
The Azadi Stadium is Iran's national stadium and the largest in the country. The Azadi Stadium officially had a capacity of 100,000 people at the beginning and was built to host the 1974 Asian Games. The stadium is part of the much larger Azadi Sports Complex and is surrounded by a rowing river, football training pitches, a weightlifting complex, swimming facilities and indoor volleyball and futsal courts, among many other amenities. Today, Azadi Stadium has a capacity of 78,116 after renovations in 2016.
Esteghlal's home stadium is Azadi (Persian: ورزشگاه آزادی), a football stadium in Tehran, Iran. The Stadium's former name was Aryamehr Stadium which was changed after the Iranian Revolution. The stadium has been filled over capacity on numerous occasions; for example, when it has faced rivals Persepolis in the Tehran Derby or in several AFC Champions League matches. Prior to the construction of Azadi, Esteghlal used to play their games at Amjadieh Stadium.
- See also: 2016–17 Esteghlal F.C. season
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- List of Esteghlal squad in Iran Football league Organization
- [U19 = Under 19 Player | U21 = Under 21 Player | U23 = Under 23 Player]
For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers summer 2016.
- For all former Esteghlal players with a Wikipedia article see Esteghlal F.C. players.
Esteghlal captains since 1990
||Ali Reza Mansourian||2007–2008|
||Mehdi Rahmati|| 2013–2014|
||Amir Hossein Sadeghi||2014–2015|
World Cup players
|Head coach||Alireza Mansourian|
|Assistant coach||Mohammad Khorramgah|
|Assistant coach||Ali Chini|
|Assistant coach||Saleh Mostafavi|
|Goalkeeper coach||Hamid Babazadeh|
|Fitness coach||Steven Jones|
|Football director||Behtash Fariba|
|Academy director||Sadegh Varmazyar|
|Esteghlal B manager||Peyman Saheb Jami|
|Youth team manager||Siavash Akbarpour|
|Team manager||Nasrollah Abdollahi|
|Secretary of the board|
|Other board members|| Masoud Moeini |
Only managers who have won at least one trophy are listed.
|Mansour Pourheidari|| 1983–86
Last updated: 27 October 2016
|Mansour Pourheidari||February 2000||July 2002||26||13||9||4||50%|
|Roland Koch||July 2002||June 2003||26||8||8||10||31%|
|Amir Ghalenoei||July 2003||July 2006||86||46||30||10||53%|
|Samad Marfavi||July 2006||August 2007||30||14||10||6||47%|
|Nasser Hejazi||August 2007||November 2007||14||5||5||4||36%|
|Firooz Karimi||November 2007||May 2008||20||6||5||9||30%|
|Amir Ghalenoei||July 2008||June 2009||34||19||9||6||56%|
|Samad Marfavi||July 2009||June 2010||34||16||11||7||47%|
|Parviz Mazloumi||June 2010||May 2012||68||37||20||11||54%|
|Amir Ghalenoei||June 2012||June 2015||92||47||26||19||51%|
|Parviz Mazloumi||June 2015||June 2016||30||13||13||4||43%|
|Alireza Mansourian||June 2016||Present||10||3||5||2||30%|
|Parviz Khosravani||September 1945 – June 1960|
|Parviz Sheikhan||June 1960 – February 1979|
|Ali Abdullahi Nourozi||May 1979 – May 1983|
|Kazem Oliaei||January 1988 – May 1996|
|Ali Fathollahzadeh||May 1996 – May 2003|
|Hossein Gharib||June 2003 – July 2005|
|Kazem Oliaei||July 2005 – December 2005|
|Hossein Gharib||December 2005 – September 2006|
|Meghdad Najafnejad||September 2006 – May 2007|
|Ali Fathollahzadeh||May 2007 – September 2008|
|Amir Reza Vaezi Ashtiani||September 2008 – May 2010|
|Ali Fathollahzadeh||June 2010 – May 2014|
|Bahram Afsharzadeh||May 2014 – August 2016|
|Reza Eftekhari||August 2016 – present|
- Iranian Football League (Iran Pro League 2001–2006, Persian Gulf Cup 2006–2014, Persian Gulf Pro League since 2014):
- Hazfi Cup (Record):
- Tehran Football League (Record):
- Winners (13): 1949–50, 1951–52, 1957–58, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1963–64, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1991–92
- Runners-up (6): 1946–47, 1958–59, 1969–70, 1982–83, 1989–90, 1990–91
- Tehran Hazfi Cup (Record):
- Winners (4): 1947, 1951, 1958, 1959
- AFC Champions League (Iran Record):
- Caspian Cup:
- Winners (1): 1996
- Kish Quartet Competition Cup:
- Winners (1): 1996
- Ettehad Cup:
- Winners (1): 1973
- Turkmenistan President's Cup:
- Winners (1): 1998
- Bordoloi Trophy:
- Winners (1): 1989
- Milz Cup:
- Winners (4): 1969, 1970, 1971, 1989
- Runners-up (1): 1972
- Qatar Independence Cup:
- Winners (1): 1991
- Emirates Quartet Competition Cup:
- Runners-up (1): 1996
- Shohada Cup:
- Runners-up (1): 2014
- Velayat International Cup:
- Third place (1): 2011
Statistics and records
Statistics in IPL
- Seasons in IPL: 15 (all)
- Best position in IPL: First (2005–06, 2008–2009, 2012–13)
- Worst position in IPL: 13 (2007–08)
- Most goals scored in a season: 70 (2008–09)
- Most goals scored in a match: 6 – 0 (1 time)
- Most goals conceded in a match: 4 – 1 (3 times)
Statistics in ACL
- Most goals scored in a match: 8 – 0 (1 time)
- Most goals conceded in a match: 4 – 0 (1 time)
- Player with the most goals in a single match: Ali Jabari with 3 goals
Statistics in Hazfi Cup
- Most goals scored in a match: 13 – 0 (1 time)
- Most goals conceded in a match: 0 – 3 (1 time)
- Player with the most goals in a single match: Arash Borhani with 5 goals
- All-time top scorer: Arash Borhani with 106 goals
- All-time Most Appearances: Amir Hossein Sadeghi, 285
- Player who has won most titles: Farhad Majidi with 5 titles
Esteghlal has been the most successful Iranian club in Asia and the most successful football clubs in Iran.
- Table shows the Iran Premier League rankings for the top five clubs since 2001–02 season (15 seasons).
- The following table lists clubs by the number of titles in the Asian Club Championship and AFC Champions League.
|Team||Winners||Runners-up||Years won||Years runner-up|
|Pohang Steelers||3||0||1997, 1998, 2009||—|
|Al-Hilal||2||3||1991, 2000||1986, 1987, 2014|
|Esteghlal||2||2||1970, 1990–91||1991, 1999|
|Seongnam FC||2||2||1995, 2010||1997, 2004|
For details on seasons, see List of Esteghlal F.C. seasons
Season Div. Pos. Hazfi Cup Asia 2001–02 IPL 2nd Champion CL 3th 2002–03 IPL 9th Quarter-Final CL Group Stage 2003–04 IPL 2nd Final – – 2004–05 IPL 3rd Quarter-Final – – 2005–06 IPL 1st Quarter-Final – – 2006–07 IPL 4th Round of 16 CL Disqualified 2007–08 IPL 13th Champion – – 2008–09 IPL 1st Round of 16 CL Group Stage 2009–10 IPL 3rd Quarter-Final CL Round of 16 2010–11 IPL 2nd Semi-Final CL Group Stage 2011–12 IPL 3rd Champion CL Round of 16 2012–13 IPL 1st Semi-Final CL Semi-Final 2013–14 IPL 5th Semi-Final CL Group Stage 2014–15 IPL 6th Quarter-Final – – 2015–16 IPL 3rd Final – –
Asian club ranking
World club ranking
|310||Newell's Old Boys|
|2008–09||Uhlsport||Iran Mobile Market|
|2015–16||361 Degrees||Hamrah Aval|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Esteghlal FC.|
- ظرفیت ورزشگاه آزادی کم شد
- According to the list of Iranian football champions.
- (English) "Esteghlal wins Hazfi Cup". goal.com. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
- "استقلال فاتح جام حذفي بيست و ششم شد". aftabnews.ir. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- تاج و پرسپوليس در آيينه انقلاب
- رضا پهلوی: اگر زندگی دوباره داشتم، شاید کارگردان سینما می شدم
- عکس یادگاری شهردار تهران با پیراهن فرهاد مجیدی/ قالیباف و لباس کاپیتان استقلال
- شبی که سید حسن خمینی عادل فردوسیپور را شوکه کرد
- از خواندن سرود ای ایران، استقلالی بودن نیکی کریمی تا حق مدیری به گردن عطاران
- نیکی کریمی: استقلالی هستم! دوست دارم چلسی- آرسنال را از نزدیک ببینم
- شبنم قلی خانی: خانوادگی استقلالی هستيم
- کری خوانی پریناز ایزدیار و حسین مهری برای پرسپولیس و استقلال
- يک نکته فوتبالی در مورد مهناز افشار اين است که او استقلالی است
- پانته آ بهرام: صد درصد استقلالی هستم
- سحر قریشی هوادار استقلال + عکس
- سحر قريشی: خودم فيلم قهرمانی استقلال را مي سازم
- شراره رخام: به استقلال علاقه دارم
- پرستو صالحی استقلالی دو آتیشه است
- مينا لاکانی: پرسپوليسی ها به خونم تشنهاند
- آناهيتا همتي در کنار آبی ها
- شیلا خداداد: استقلالی دوآتشهام
- لاله اسکندری: فقط در دربی هوادار استقلالم
- عليرضا خمسه طرفدار استقلال
- مصاحبه با شهنام شهابی:از بچگی استقلالی بودم
- شش تا گل زدند 30 سال به رویمان آوردند
- بهزاد فراهانی، از استقلالی های قديمی و هنرپيشه سرشناس کشور
- همایون ارشادی طرفدار استقلال
- حمید گودرزی: به شدت به تیم استقلال علاقه دارد
- بهرام رادان علاقه مند به ورزش فوتبال و يک استقلالی متعصب
- داريوش ارجمند: من استقلال را دوست دارم
- جوهرچی: تنها استقلالی هستم که دایی را دوست دارم
- امين زندگانی در مراسم جشن لباس تيم استقلال مجری شد
- پويا امينی با پرچم استقلال
- ایرج نوذری پرسپولیسی و دانیال حکیمی استقلالی
- کری امير جعفری با پرسپوليسی ها در برنامه هفت
- امير جعفری و نشان دادن عدد چهار
- کرکری فوتبالی بين مجری سيما و بازيگر تلويزيون
- بحثهای فوتبالی مهران غفوريان، مهران مهام و سعيد آقاخانی در برنامه زنده رود
- عکسی از کری سام درخشانی برای پرسپولیسی ها
- کری خوانی محسن افشانی با نیما شاهرخ شاهی برای دربی/عکس
- گفتگوی خواندنی با رضا داوودنژاد: طرفدار پر و پا قرص استقلالم
- شادمهر عقیلی استقلالی است! +عکس
- رضا يزدانی: اميدوارم استقلال بازی های بعدی اش را هم ببرد
- خواجه امیری: استقلالی بودنم را پنهان نمی کنم
- مصاحبه بابك جهانبخش با مجله ي استقلال جوان
- بهنام صفوي: من به استقلال ايمان دارم
- حميد عسگري: براي استقلال مجانی ميخواندم
- عسکری: آقای گلها باز هم برای استقلال گل بزنید
- حاشيه مراسم جشن باشگاه استقلال با حضور مانی رهنما
- خشايار اعتمادی: علاقه ام به استقلال را انکار نمی کنم
- مرتضی پاشايی: از بچگی که براي تشويق استقلال به استاديوم ميرفتم با ناصر حجازی آشنا شدم
- ترانه سعید عرب برای تیم استقلال
- گفتوگويی با مهدی يزدانی خرم:اخبار ورزشی رو پيگيری ميكنم بهعنوانِ يه استقلاليِ دو آتيشه
- نیکخواه بهرامی: از بچگی استقلالی بودم
- حامد حدادی: همه میدانند استقلالیام
- "Azadi Sport Complex [www.AzadiSportComplex.com]". Azadisportcomplex.com. 2001-04-03. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "Stadium List :: 100 000+ Stadiums". World Stadiums. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "دکتر گودرزی:ورزشگاه آزادی تا پایان مردادماه آماده می شود". msy.gov.ir. 2016-05-22. Retrieved 2016-08-01.
- لیست بازیکنان استقلال در سایت سازمان لیگ
- شرایط سنی رده های تیم های پایه فوتبال آقایان
- "League table (overall)". Iplstats.com. 2005-12-27. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "League table (overall)". Iplstats.com. 2005-12-28. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "League table (overall)". Iplstats.com. 2005-12-29. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "League table (overall)". Iplstats.com. 2006-04-21. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "League table (overall)". Iplstats.com. 2007-05-28. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "League table (overall)". Iplstats.com. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- "League table (overall)". Iplstats.com. 2010-02-06. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
- Official: Alireza Mansourian is Esteghlal's new manager
Maccabi Tel Aviv
|Champions of Asia
| Succeeded by|
Maccabi Tel Aviv
|Champions of Asia
| Succeeded by|