Esteghlal F.C.

Infobox Football club
clubname = Esteghlal F.C.

current = Esteghlal F.C. season 2008-09
fullname = Esteghlal Tehran Football Club
nickname = Taj (PerB|تاج)
SS (PerB|اس اس)
shortname =
founded = September 26, 1945
dissolved =
ground = Azadi Stadium
Tehran, Iran
capacity = 90,000 [cite web
title=Azadi Stadium capacity
chairman = flagicon|Iran Amirreza Vaez Ashtiani
mgrtitle = Head Coach
manager = flagicon|Iran Amir Ghalenoei
league = Persian Gulf Cup
season = 2007-08
position = Persian Gulf Cup 13th
website =

Esteghlal Cultural and Athletic Club (PerB| باشگاه فرهنگی ورزشی استقلال ایران) is an Iranian sports club most widely known for its professional football team based in Tehran. It was founded as Taj (PerB| تاج), meaning 'Crown' in Persian and renamed after Islamic Revoloution in 1979. Founded in 1945, they play in the IPL and have spent most of their history in the top tier in Iranian football. It is one of the most famous and popular football clubs in Asia. The club also has a similarly successful futsal section.
They play their home games at the 90,000 capacity Azadi Stadium in Tehran. The club's traditional kit colours are royal blue shirts, shorts and socks.
Esteghlal have been Asian Champions 2 times and have also won 5 National Championship titles.



On 26 September, 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 Docharkheh Savaran (PerB| دوچرخه سواران), meaning 'The Cyclists' in Persian. "Docharkheh Savaran" football club played its first official match in 1946, and in 1947 was able to win the Tehran Hazfi Cup.

Emerging success

In 1949, the club officially changed its name to Taj. The club became the second most loved team in Iran after some years, and were able to make their fans happy by winning numerous league championships, Hazfi Cups and Asian Club Championships.The club has been able to get successful results in the past couple of years and is always looked at as a contender for the league championship. In the past two years it has finished 2nd or 3rd in the league, but Amir Ghalenoei was able to get the team its first championship in the IPL in the 2005-06 season after his third and final year as the manager.

1979 Islamic Revoloution

After 1979 Islamic Revoloution in Iran, the club was confiscated by newly established Islamic government and right now is under the control of the Physical Education Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran (PerB|سازمان تربیت بدنی جمهوری اسلامی ايران), a governmental organization, and change its name to Esteghlal (PerB| استقلال), 'Independence' in Persian. Taj (PerB| تاج) means 'Crown' in Persian, and after the revolution, any sign of the previous monarchist regime was not tolerated.

Tehran Derby

:"Main articles: Tehran Derby"The club's main rival and its opponent in the Tehran Derby is Persepolis F.C. The first derby match between the clubs took place on April 5, 1968 at Amjadieh Stadium. The Azadi Stadium is always sold out when the match takes place.Ali samereh Scored the earliest goal in Tehran derby for Esteghlal F.C. against Persepolis F.C.Since 1995, IRIFF have invited foreign referees to officiate the game to ease fan and player suspicions of referee bias. This occurred after the events of the 38th derby. In the 38th derby (January 11, 1995) Persepolis was leading in the match by a score of 2-0 until the last 10 minutes of the match. Esteghlal scored 2 goals in quick succession, including one which was a penalty. This angered the Persepolis fans and players who felt the referee was biased towards Esteghlal. Persepolis fans stormed the field, and many fights broke out on the pitch between fans and players. After this match it was decided that Iranian referees will no longer be used for the derby.

AFC Champions League

Esteghlal is the most successful club in Asian Champion's League with 2 champions tittle and 2 runner up tied with Al-Hilal Riadh Saudi Arabia.

AFC Champions League 2007

Esteghlal was dropped from the 2007 edition of the Asian Champion's League after the AFC did not receive the club's player list for the tournament in time. Despite efforts by the club management to reverse the decision, AFC upheld its decision [cite web
title=AFC uphold Esteghlal disqualification
] and the club's board resigned soon after.


:"Main articles: Azadi Stadium"

The Azadi Stadium (PerB| ورزشگاه آزادی) is a football stadium in Tehran, Iran. It is the home of Esteghlal F.C., Persepolis F.C. and Team Melli. Work on the grounds started in 1973, it was built to host the 1974 Asian Games in Iran. The football stadium is part of the much larger [ Azadi Sport Complex] . The stadium is the largest stadium in the IPL.

"Azadi Statium" was renovated in 2003, reducing the capacity of the stadium to 90,000.

Originally called the "Aryamehr Stadium" in honor of the Mohammad Reza Pahlaviafter 1979 Islamic Revoloution in Iran change its name.


First-team squad

:"See also": "Esteghlal F.C. season 2008-09" - As of August 92008. [cite web
title=en icon Esteghlal Teh. squad
Iranian clubs are limited to use four players without Iran Citizenship.

Esteghlal Line-up 2008-09

Esteghlal Starting Line-Up In The 2008/09 Season (3-5-2)

Famous players

1945 to 1970s
* Heshmat Mohajerani
* Nasser Hejazi
* Mansour Rashidi
* Nasrollah Abdollahi
* Faramarz Zelli
* Biouk Jeddikar
* Masoud Moeini
* Jalal Talebi
* Iraj Danaeifard
* Ezzat Janmaleki
* Behtash Fariba
* Ali Jabbari
* Hassan Roshan
* Hassan Nazari
* Andranik Eskandarian
* Mansour Pourheidari
* Gholam Vafakhah
* Gholam Hossein Mazloomi
* Parviz Ghelichkhani

* Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh
* Mehdi Fonouni Zadeh
* Farshad Falahatzadeh
* Reza Hasanzadeh
* Shahin Bayani
* Reza Nalchegar
* Amir Ghalenoei
* Shahrokh Bayani
* Mirshad Majedi
* Majid Namjoo-Motlagh
* Masoud Ghafourihaye Asl
* Abdolali Changiz
* Samad Marfavi
* Abbas Sarkhab
* Mohsen Garousi
* Reza Ahadi

* Behzad Gholampour
* Parviz Boroumand
* Hadi Tabatabaei
* Javad Zarincheh
* Mehdi Pashazadeh
* Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh
* Mohammad Navazi
* Mahmoud Fekri
* Alireza Mansourian
* Sirous Dinmohammadi
* Dariush Yazdani
* Farhad Majidi
* Alireza Vahedi Nikbakht
* Alireza Akbarpour

* Vahid Talebloo
* Mehdi Hasheminasab
* Mehdi Amirabadi
* Hossein Kazemi
* Mojtaba Jabari
* Siavash Akbarpour
* Ali Samereh
* Reza Enayati
* Mehdi Rahmati
* Omid Ravankhah
* Fábio Januário
* Arash Borhani

World Cup Players

flagicon|Argentina|alt 1978 FIFA World Cup
* Iraj Danaeifard
* Hasan Roshan
* Hassan Nazari
* Andranik Eskandarian
* Nasser Hejazi

"'flagicon|France 1998 FIFA World Cup
* Alireza Mansourian
* Javad Zarincheh
* Mehdi Pashazadeh"'flagicon|Germany 2006 FIFA World Cup
* Vahid Taleblou
* Reza Enayati
* Amir Hossein Sadeghi

Olympic players

Current national Players

* Vahid Taleblou
* Mojtaba Jabbari
* Pirouz Ghorbani
* Pejman Montazeri

Club captains

Current management team



*Iran Pro League / Azadegan League / Takht Jamshid Cup:"Winners (5): 74-75, 89-90, 97-98, 00-01, 05-06":"Runners-Up (5): 73-74, 91-92, 98-99, 01-02, 03-04"

*Iran Local League::"Winner (1): 1970

*Iran 2nd Division::"Runner-Up (1): 1993-94

*Hazfi Cup::"Winners (5): 1977, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2008":"Runners-Up (2): 1999, 2004"


*Asian Club Championships: :"Winners (2): 1970, 90-91":"Runner Up (2): 1991-92, 1998-99"

tatistics and records


*Official shirt sponsors -
*Official shirt manufacturer - Uhlsport
*Technological partner - [ DibaIT]
*Official Water - Damavand Mineral Water Co.

IPL Shirt sponsors and manufacturers


External links


* [ Official club website]
* [ Abieteh - Esteghlal Fan Club Official Forum]

Fan sites

* [ Esteghlali - Esteghlal Fan Club website]
* [ Esteghlal fc - Esteghlal Fan Club website]
* [ Abidelan - Esteghlal Fan Club Forum]
* [ Abiparastan - Fans Website]
* [ Esteghlal Tehran - Esteghlal Tehran]
* [ Esteghlal Fans - FCE Fans Website]

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