Esteghlal F.C.

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Esteghlal Tehran F.C.
باشگاه فوتبال استقلال تهران
Esteghlal Logo Official.png
Full nameEsteghlal Tehran Football Club
Nickname(s)(The Blues)
FoundedSeptember 26, 1945; 66 years ago (1945-09-26)
(as Docharkheh Savaran)
GroundAzadi Stadium
Tehran, Iran
(capacity: 100,000[1])
OwnerMinistry of Youth Affairs and Sports
ChairmanAli Fathollahzadeh
Head CoachAmir Ghalenoei
LeagueIran Pro League
2011-12Iran Pro League, 3rd
WebsiteClub home page
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season
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Esteghlal Tehran F.C.
باشگاه فوتبال استقلال تهران
Esteghlal Logo Official.png
Full nameEsteghlal Tehran Football Club
Nickname(s)(The Blues)
FoundedSeptember 26, 1945; 66 years ago (1945-09-26)
(as Docharkheh Savaran)
GroundAzadi Stadium
Tehran, Iran
(capacity: 100,000[1])
OwnerMinistry of Youth Affairs and Sports
ChairmanAli Fathollahzadeh
Head CoachAmir Ghalenoei
LeagueIran Pro League
2011-12Iran Pro League, 3rd
WebsiteClub home page
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Esteghlal Tehran Football Club (باشگاه فوتبال استقلال تهران) which means 'Independence' in Persian, is an Iranian professional Football Club Based in Tehran, That Plays in The Iran Pro League. Founded in 1945 as Docharkhe savaran (دوچرخه سواران) meaning 'The Cyclists' in Persian. In 1949, the club first changed its name to Taj (تاج), which means 'Crown' in Persian; a name which quickly became a football powerhouse. They again modified their name to the current Esteghlal (Persian: Esteghlal‎) meaning 'Independence', after the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Great Esteghlal, because his former name (Crown), has always been oppressed.[2][3] The club spent the 1993–94 season in Division 3, however has mostly been in the highest level of Iranian football (known as the IPL). In 1970, under the management of Zdravko Rajkov, Esteghlal Tehran was the first Iranian football club to win the Asian Cup.

They have won overall fifteen official titles at the national and international stage since 1970, including seven Iranian League (1st tier) titles[4] and a record 6 Hazfi Cups,[5][6] with two titles in Asian Cup (in 1970 and 1991), so there are two golden stars above the team badge.

Esteghlal is one of the most popular football clubs in Asian football and they are also have been the most successful Iranian club in Asia and one of the most successful football clubs in Iran.




Esteghlal's Former emblem

On 20 September 2012, 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, 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 most beloved team in Iran after some years, and won numerous league AFC ChampionsLeague, Hazfi Cups and IPL.

The club has been successful in recent years and is always a contender for the league championship. In the past few years it has finished 2nd or 3rd in the league, and 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 Revolution

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 change its name to Esteghlal(Persian: استقلال‎), 'Independence' in Persian. Taj (Persian: تاج ها‎) means 'Crown' in Persian; after the revolution, any sign of the previous monarchist regime was not tolerated.

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. Today, all derbies and home matches occur at the 100,000 capacity Azadi Stadium which is invariably sold out for the derby.

In 1995, IRIFF began to invite foreign referees to officiate the derby 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 two 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 (there was speculation about Esteghlal bribing the referee and the officials). Persepolis fans stormed the field, and fights broke out on the pitch between fans and players. Following this match it was decided that Iranian referees would no longer be used for the derby. After 13 years of foreign referees, the second leg of the 2008–09 season Derby saw an Iranian once again refereeing the game. The game ended a draw with goals coming from Mojtaba Jabari and Maziar Zare.

AFC Champions League

Taj Tehran after winning the Asian Champion Club Tournament in 1970

Esteghlal is one of the most successful clubs in Asian Champion's League with 2 champions titles in 1970, 1991, in 1970 victory against Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Supporters and Fans

Famous Fans

  • Dariush Farziaee,[14] (TV Host)
  • Azadeh Namdari,[15] (TV Host)
  • Mehdi Yazdani Khoram,[16] (Journalist)
  • Parastoo Salehi,[23] (Actress)
  • Sharareh Rokham,[26] (Actress)
  • Shila Khodadad,[27] (Actress)
  • Laleh Eskandari,[28] (Actress)
  • Mina Lakani,[29] (Actress)
  • Rima Raminfar,[30] (Actress)
  • Leyla Bolokat,[31] (Actress)
  • Anahita Hemati,[32] (Actress)
  • Nima Shahrokhshahi,[46] (Actor)
  • Siavash Kheirabi,[47] (Actor)
  • Poya Amini,[48] (Actor)
  • Danial Hakimi,[49] (Actor)
  • Shahram Abdoli,[50] (Actor)
  • Saman Goran,[51] (Actor)
  • Saeed Aghakhani,[52] (Actor)
  • Shahnam Shahabi,[53] (Actor)
  • Reza Davoudnejad,[54] (Actor)
  • Ali Kazemi,[55] (Actor)
  • Babak Jahanbakhsh,[67] (Singer)
  • Behnam Safavi,[68] (Singer)
  • Hamid Asgari,[69] (Singer)
  • Mojtaba Kabiri,[70] (Singer)
  • Farshid Sarbaz Vatan,[71] (Singer)
  • Khashayar Etemadi,[72] (Singer)
  • Morteza Pashaei,[73] (Singer)
  • Sasy Mankan,[74] (Singer)
  • Mehrad Hidden,[75] (Singer)
  • Ali Pishtaz,[76] (Singer)
  • Ali Danial,[77] (Singer)


The Azadi Stadium is Iran's national stadium and the largest in the country. The Azadi Stadium officially has a capacity of 100,000 people[78][79] 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. Azadi Stadium is the fifth biggest association football stadium in the world, fourth in Asia and first in West Asia.[78][80]

Esteghlal's home stadium is the Azadi (Persian: ورزشگاه آزادی‎), a football stadium in Tehran, Iran. The Stadium's former name was Aryamehr Stadium but was changed after the Iranian Revolution. The stadium has an official capacity of 100,000 but has been filled over capacity on numerous occasions, for example when it faces rivals Persepolis F.C. 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.


Esteghlal have been the most successful Iranian club in Asia and one of the most successful football clubs in Iran.

Pos.ClubSeasonsPldWDLGFGAGDPtsBest Rank
4Zob Ahan1133814311085425336+895392nd
TeamWinnersRunners-UpYears WonYears Lost
South Korea Pohang Steelers301996–97, 1997–98, 2009-
Iran Esteghlal FC221970, 1990–911991–92, 1998–99
Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal FC221991–92, 1999–20001986–87, 1987–88
South Korea Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma221995–96, 20101996–97, 2004
Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad FC212004, 20052009



Unofficial titles

Statistics and records

Statistics in IPL

Statistics in Asian Club Championships

Statistics in Hazfi Cup

General statistics


Current Squad

As of 22 July 2012.
See also: 2012–13 Esteghlal F.C. season

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

1IranGKMehdi Rahmati (Captain)
2IranDFKhosro Heydari
3Trinidad and TobagoDFJlloyd Samuel
4IranDFAmir Hossein Sadeghi
5IranDFHanif Omranzadeh
6IranMFJavad Nekounam (Vice Captain)
8IranMFMojtaba Jabari (4th Captain)
9IranFWArash Borhani
10IranFWMilad Meidavoudi
11IranFWAmin Manouchehri
14IranMFKianoush Rahmati
16IranDFMeysam Hosseini
17IranMFMaysam Baou
18IranDFHashem Beikzadeh
20IranFWSiavash Akbarpour
29AustraliaGKLiam Reddy
30ItalyMFRodrigo Tosi
32IranMFFerydoon Zandi
33IranDFPejman Montazeri (3rd Captain)
37BrazilMFFabio Januario
40IranDFAli Hamoudi

For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers summer 2012.

Reserves and Academy

Reserve squad (Under 23)

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

15IranDFMohammad Ansari
21IranDFArmen Tahmasian
22IranGKHossein Hosseini
28IranMFMehran Ghasemi
35IranGKHadi Rishi Esfahani
39IranFWBabak Jabari
--IranDFMahdi Eslami
--IranFarid Lamali

Notable Players




Players with Dual Nationality

World Cup players

Argentina 1978 FIFA World Cup

France 1998 FIFA World Cup

Germany 2006 FIFA World Cup

Club Captains

#NameNatCareer in
Reza AdelkhaniIran1972–19751973–1975
Hassan RowshanIran1969–1978
Nasser HejaziIran1967–1977
Shahin BayaniIran1979–19921986–1992
Amir GhalenoeiIran1989–19971992–1997
Javad ZarinchehIran1986–20011997–2001
Mehdi PashazadehIran1997–1998
Mahmoud FekriIran1992–1993
Alireza MansourianIran1995–1997
Farhad MajidiIran1997–1999
Mehdi RahmatiIran2005–2007

Club Managers

Notable Managers

Only managers who have won at least one trophy are mentioned.

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Zdravko Rajkov1969–76
Iran Mansour Pourheidari
Iran Nasser Hejazi1996–99
Iran Amir Ghalenoei2003–06
Iran Parviz Mazloumi2010–12

IPL managers

Mansour PourheidariIranFebruary 2000July 200226139450%
Roland Koch[81]GermanyJuly 2002July 200326881031%
Amir Ghalenoei[82][83][84]IranJuly 2003July 20068646301053%
Samad Marfavi[85]IranJuly 2006Aug 2007301410647%
Nasser HejaziIranAug 2007Nov 20071455436%
Firooz KarimiIranNov 2007May 20082065930%
Amir Ghalenoei[86]IranMay 2008May 200934199656%
Samad Marfavi[87]IranMay 2009May 2010341611747%
Parviz MazloomiIranJune 2010June 20126837201155%
Amir GhalenoeiIranJune 2012Present742143%

Current Management Team

Amir Ghalenoei, Current Esteghlal Head Coach
Head coachIran Amir Ghalenoei
Assistant coachIran Majid Saleh
First team coachIran Sattar Hamedani
Second team coachIran Karim Boostani
Goalkeeper coachIran Hamid Babazadeh
Football academy presidentIran Ali Jabbari
Technical adviserIran Morteza Mohasses
DoctorIran Kaveh Sotoudeh
PhysiotherapistIran Amin Noroozi
PsychologistIran Abbas Montazeri
AnalyzerIran Iman Alami
AnalyzerIran Nima Rasouli
Technical managerIran Mansour Pourheidari
Team ManagerIran Mirshad Majedi


Iran Parviz Khosravani
September 1945 – June 1960
Iran Parviz Sheikhan
June 1960 – February 1979
Iran Ali Abdullahi Nourozi
May 1979 – May 1983
Iran Kazem Oliaei
January 1988 – May 1996
Iran Ali Fathollahzadeh
May 1996 – May 2003
Iran Hossein Gharib
June 2003 – July 2005
Iran Kazem Oliaei
July 2005 – December 2005
Iran Hossein Gharib
December 2005 – September 2006
Iran Meghdad Najafnejad
September 2006 – May 2007
Iran Ali Fathollahzadeh
May 2007 – September 2008
Iran Amir Reza Vaezi Ashtiani
September 2008 – May 2010
Iran Ali Nazari Juybari
May 2010 – June 2010
Iran Ali Fathollahzadeh
June 2010–present


For details on seasons, see List of Esteghlal F.C. seasons


IPL shirt sponsors and manufacturers

PeriodKit ManufacturerShirt Sponsor
2001-02Daei SWELG
2005-06Abi PooshanSAGEM
2006-07MeroojMTN Irancell
AghiliShahrvand Chain Stores
2008-09UhlsportIran Mobile Market
2010-11City Bank
2012Refah Bank

See also


  1. ^ "(Persian) استاديوم يكصد هزار نفری آزادی". 
  2. ^ "(English) Esteghlal Tehran Club History". 
  3. ^ "(Persian) تاريخچه باشگاه استقلال". Retrieved 26 July 2007. 
  4. ^ According to the list of Iranian football champions.
  5. ^ "(English) Esteghlal wins Hazfi Cup". Retrieved 16 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "(Persian) استقلال فاتح جام حذفي بيست و ششم شد". Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "(Persian) شعار طرفداران پرسپوليس عليه تيم همايوني". 
  8. ^ "(Persian) پيام تسليت رضا پهلوي به خانواده و دوستداران ناصر حجازي". 
  9. ^ "(Persian) سيدحسن خميني خطاب به حجازي:به عشق شما به استاديوم آمدم". 
  10. ^ "(Persian) متلک سيد حسن به علي دايي:پارسال برق رفت،قهرمان شديد". 
  11. ^ "(Persian)«حامد حدادي :من از کودکي طرفدار استقلال اهواز و استقلال بودم". 
  12. ^ "(Persian)«صمد نيکخواه بهرامي در جمع هواداران تيم شهرداري گرگان :استقلايم". 
  13. ^ "(Persian)«بيوگرافي عليرضا نادي: يک استقلالي دو آتيشه است". 
  14. ^ "(Persian)«داريوش فرضيياي استقلالي که به هيچ قيمتي نمي تواند استقلالي بودنش را کتمان کند". 
  15. ^ "(Persian)«واکنش آزاده نامداري به شکست استقلال". 
  16. ^ "(Persian)«گفت‌وگويي با مهدي يزداني‌خرم:اخبار ورزشي رو پيگيري مي‌كنم به‌عنوانِ يه استقلاليِ دو آتيشه". 
  17. ^ "(Persian)« شبنم قلي خاني:خانوادگي استقلالي هستيم". 
  18. ^ "(Persian)« يک نکته فوتبالي در مورد مهناز افشار اين که او استقلالي هستش". 
  19. ^ "(Persian)« نرگس محمدي: هوادار استقلال هستم". 
  20. ^ "(Persian)« رخدادهاي و حواشي جشن پانزدهم سينماي ايران:استقلالي بودن نيکي کريمي". 
  21. ^ "(Persian)« نيکي کريمي‌: استقلالي هستم". 
  22. ^ "(Persian)«  پانته آ بهرام: صد درصد استقلالي هستم". 
  23. ^ "(Persian)«پرستو صالحي کنار پوستراستقلال". 
  24. ^ "(Persian)« سحر قريشي از طرفداران تعصبي استقلال". 
  25. ^ "(Persian)« سحر قريشي :خودم فيلم قهرماني استقلال را مي سازم". 
  26. ^ "(Persian)« رخام: به استقلال علاقه دارم". 
  27. ^ "(Persian)« بيوگرافي شيلا خداد:تيم مورد علاقه اش استقلال است". 
  28. ^ "(Persian)«لاله اسكندري طرفدار استقلال". 
  29. ^ "(Persian)« مينا لاکاني:پرسپوليسي‌ها به خونم تشنه‌اند". 
  30. ^ "(Persian)« امير جعفري:همسرم استقلالي 2 آتيشه است". 
  31. ^ "(Persian)« لیلا بلوکات درمصاحبه با مجله فوتبال , ستقلالی ام". 
  32. ^ "(Persian)« آناهیتاهمتی در کنار آبی ها". 
  33. ^ "(Persian)«جمشيد مشايخي ضمن ديدار از تمرين تيم‌هاي پايه استقلال از آن‌ها به خاطر برد در دربي قدرداني کرد". 
  34. ^ "(Persian)«عليرضا خمسه طرفدار استقلال". 
  35. ^ "(Persian)«بهزاد فراهاني ، از استقلالي هاي قديمي و هنرپيشه هاي سرشناس کشور". 
  36. ^ "(Persian)«همايون ارشادي طرفدار استقلال". 
  37. ^ "(Persian)«بيوگرافي حميد گودرزي : به شدت به تيم استقلال علاقه دارد". 
  38. ^ "(Persian)"مهناز افشار" و "محمدرضا گلزار" مهمان جشن پيراهن استقلال". 
  39. ^ "(Persian)«مصاحبه قديمي محمدرضا گلزار با مجله خانواده سبز:تيم‌استقلال‌ را دوست‌ دارم‌". 
  40. ^ "(Persian)«بهرام رادان علاقه مند به ورزش فوتبال و يک استقلالي متعصب". 
  41. ^ "(Persian)«بهرام رادان و رضا يزداني در بازي استقلال". 
  42. ^ "(Persian)«داريوش ارجمند :من استقلال را دوست دارم". 
  43. ^ "(Persian)«امين زندگاني در مراسم جشن لباس تيم استقلال". 
  44. ^ "(Persian)« کري امير جعفري با پرسپوليسي ها در برنامه هفت". 
  45. ^ "(Persian)« امير جعفري: اگر عقلم رو از دست بدم پرسپوليسي ميشم". 
  46. ^ "(Persian)«نيما شاهرخ شاهي در حال بوسيدن پيراهن استقلال". 
  47. ^ "(Persian)«سياوش خيرابي در مصاحبه تلويزيوني: آبيته". 
  48. ^ "(Persian)«پويا اميني و نشان دادن عدد 4". 
  49. ^ "(Persian)«نوذري پرسپوليسي و حکيمي استقلالي داربي 71 را کنار هم". 
  50. ^ "(Persian)«کرکري فوتبالي بين مجري سيما و بازيگر تلويزيون". 
  51. ^ "(Persian)«سامان گوران:يک استقلالي تمام عيار هستم". 
  52. ^ "(Persian)«بحثهاي فوتبالي مهران غفوريان، مهران مهام و سعيد آقاخاني در برنامه زنده رود". 
  53. ^ "(Persian)«مصاحبه از شهنام شهابي :بچگي استقلالي بودم". 
  54. ^ "(Persian)«رضا داوودنژاد:طرفدار پر و پا قرص استقلالم". 
  55. ^ "(Persian)«حضور علي کاظمي در تمرينات استقلال". 
  56. ^ "(Persian)«خواستگاري غلامحسين آقاي گل از گوگوش". 
  57. ^ "(Persian)«علاقه هاي شخصي گوگوش از زبان خودش". 
  58. ^ "(Persian)« داريوش اقبالي:زماني که ايران بودم عاشق تاج بودم". 
  59. ^ "(Persian)« سياوش قميشي:اهواز شهري بود که همه هوادار استقلال بودنند خانواده ما هم استقلالي بود". 
  60. ^ "(Persian)« اندي در مصاحبه با تپش: ايران که بودم استقلالي بودم". 
  61. ^ "(Persian)«رضا يزداني: اميدوارم استقلال بازي بعدي‌اش را هم ببرد". 
  62. ^ "(Persian)"قطعه "آبي شو"، هديه رضا يزداني به هواداران استقلال". 
  63. ^ "(Persian)«محسن يگانه در نود:او يك هوادار دو آتشه استقلالي است". 
  64. ^ "(Persian)«متلک پراني خواجه اميري به پرسپوليسي ها به حمايت از رحمتي". 
  65. ^ "(Persian)«سروش هيچکس:عاشق استقلالم". 
  66. ^ "(Persian)«بيوگرافي اردلان طعمه:طرفدار استقلال". 
  67. ^ "(Persian)«مصاحبه بابك جهانبخش با مجله ي استقلال جوان". 
  68. ^ "(Persian)« مهاجم استقلال در بين مهمانان وي‍ژه کنسرت بهنام صفوي". 
  69. ^ "(Persian)«حميد عسگري: براي استقلال مجاني مي‌خواندم". 
  70. ^ "(Persian)«مجتبي کبيري در مراسم جشن لباس تيم استقلال". 
  71. ^ "(Persian)«فرشيد سرباز وطن در مراسم جشن لباس تيم استقلال". 
  72. ^ "(Persian)«خشايار اعتمادي :علاقه ام به استقلال را انکار نمي کنم". 
  73. ^ "(Persian)«مرتضي پاشايي: از بچگي که براي تشويق استقلال به استاديوم ميرفتم با ناصر حجازي آشنا شدم". 
  74. ^ "(Persian)«فرهاد مجيدي در کليپ ساسي مانکن". 
  75. ^ "(Persian)«بيوگرافي زدبازي : مهرداد استقلالي است". 
  76. ^ "(Persian)«علي پيشتاز هوادار طرفداران بارسلونا و استقلال". 
  77. ^ "(Persian)«موزيک علي دانيال با نام اســـــــتقلال". 
  78. ^ a b
  79. ^
  80. ^
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^
  84. ^
  85. ^
  86. ^
  87. ^

"استقلال پرطرفدارترین تیم ایران". 

Official Website

Esteghlal Fans


Preceded by
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Preceded by
Liaoning FC
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
Saudi Arabia
Preceded by
Iran Pro League
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Iran Pro League
Succeeded by