Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh
|Full name||Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh|
|Date of birth||25 May 1966|
|Place of birth||Abadan, Iran|
|Height||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Rah Ahan (goalkeeping coach)|
|1981–1983||Helal Ahmar Isfahan|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Ahmadreza Abedzadeh (Persian: احمدرضا عابدزاده, born 25 May 1966 in Abadan) is a retired Iranian football goalkeeper. He played for Esteghlal, Sepahan, Persepolis and the Iranian national football team. His performance led Iran to the World Cup 1998 and his saves helped Iran attain respectable results in the tournament.
Abedzadeh began his football career in 1981, when he joined Helal Ahmar Isfahan. He later joined Tam Isfahan and worked under Hossein Charkhabi. He was promoted to the first team squad in 1995, when he was 19. After spending five seasons in Tam, he signed with Tehran-based club Esteghlal in 1990. He played for Esteghlal three seasons, where he helped team to win Asian Club Championship in 1991. He joined Sepahan in 1993, when his contract expires with Esteghlal.
After spending just one season in Sepahan, Abedzadeh joined Persepolis. In 1995, he a new record in Iranian football, with conceding only five goals in 28 games. Abedzadeh not played for Persepolis after he suffered a stroke in 2001 and was officially retired in 2005, leaving Persepolis after ten years. Abedzadeh had his farewell game on 13 January 2005, playing for his former club Persepolis in a friendly match against German club Bayern Munich.
Abedzadeh called up at the age of 18 for Iran national under-20 football team in 1984. After his good shows, he was invited to the senior team in 1987 by then-manager Parviz Dehdari. Abedzadeh made his debut in match against Kuwait on 27 February 1987, which he conceded a goal in a 2–1 victory. He started in 1990 Asian Games, which they won the gold medal after defeated North Korea in the final and Abedzadeh saved two penalties. At the tournament, he conceded only two goals which all was scored from penalty kicks.
Iran defeated Australia in the FIFA World Cup qualification play-offs to reach 1998 FIFA World Cup, their second participation in the World Cup and first since 1978. He missed the first match at the World Cup against Yugoslavia due to injury, then captained Iran at the next two matches against United States and Germany. Iran finished third at their group and Abedzadeh announced his retirement from international football after the final match.
Abedzadeh suffered a stroke in 2001 and that was the point in which he let go of professional football. He was released some weeks later, but required a number of surgeries after, and even to this day, has side effects from his stroke. Abedzadeh suffered again on 11 March 2007 when his mother died.
He was also goalkeeping coach in many clubs after retiring form playing football. He coached Saipa in 2001, Esteghlal Ahvaz in 2005, Persepolis from 2008 to 2009, Steel Azin in 2010 and Los Angeles Blues from 2011 to 2012. He is currently goalkeeping coach at Rah Ahan.
Dubbed the Eagle of Asia for his ability to protect the net, his international career stretched for an illustrious 11 years, a tenure that provided stability and uncanny leadership. His goalkeeping legacy in Iran is rivaled only by Nasser Hejazi.
- Iranian Football League: 1989–90, 1991–92 (runner-ups)
- Tehran Football League: 1989–90 (runner-ups), 1990–91 (runner-ups), 1991–92
- Asian Club Championship: 1990-91, 1991-92 (runner-ups)
- Iranian Football League: 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01 (runner-ups), 2001–02
- Hazfi Cup: 1998–99
- 1988 AFC Asian Cup: third place
- 1990 Asian Games: winners
- 1996 AFC Asian Cup: third place
- 1998 FIFA World Cup: group stage
|Iran national football team