Alireza Vahedi Nikbakht

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Alireza Vahedi Nikbakht
Alireza Nikbakht Vahedi.JPG
Personal information
Full name Alireza Vahedi Nikbakht
Date of birth (1980-06-30) 30 June 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Mashhad, Iran
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Esteghlal
Number 22
Youth career
Aboomoslem
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 Aboomoslem 30 (6)
1999–2006 Esteghlal 138 (22)
2005 Al-Wasl (loan) 12 (1)
2006–2009 Persepolis 85 (26)
2009 Tractor Sazi 0 (0)
2009–2010 Steel Azin 8 (0)
2010 Saba Qom 14 (1)
2011–2012 Paykan 22 (1)
2012–2013 Damash Gilan 4 (0)
2013– Esteghlal 13 (0)
National team
2002 Iran U23 6 (5)
2000–2008 Iran 77 (14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 August 2013.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 1 January 2008

Alireza Vahedi Nikbakht (Persian: علیرضا واحدی نیکبخت‎, born 30 June 1980 in Mashhad) is an Iranian professional football player who currently plays for Esteghlal in Iran Pro League.

Club career[edit]

Starting out in Aboomoslem and then being transferred to Esteghlal, he improved in a short period of time. His excellent performance for his club eventually lead to his inclusion in the national squad.

He has experience with UAE club Al-Wasl, and has had trials with Atlético Madrid and Fenerbahçe. He had signed on with Fenerbahçe in 2004 and had even practiced with the team getting ready for the upcoming season in the Turkish league, but the deal was canceled before the starting of the season. Nikbakht was instrumental in helping Esteghlal grab the 2005–06 league championship with an electrifying display in the win over Bargh Shiraz. The win resulted in Esteghlal (59 points) edging Pas (58 points) for the IPL championship.

Persepolis[edit]

In June 2006 he signed a two-year contract with Esteghlal's fierce rival, Persepolis which caused him to lose his popularity among Esteghlal fans. He played in the final of the Hazfi Cup for Persepolis and scored in first match but missed a penalty in the second leg. In the 2006–07 season in Persepolis, Nikbakht played as a forward, which made him score 8 goals in 25 appearances and have 8 assists in the league. In his second season for Persepolis, he won the league and had his best season of his career with 9 goals and 7 assists.[1]

In January 2008, Nikbakht was invited to go on a trial with Sheffield United.[2] He was the most influential player after Ali Karimi for Persepolis in 2008–09 season.

Short Spells[edit]

He signed for Tractor Sazi in summer 2009 but for disciplinary reason he was not able to play for the first half of the season and his contract was canceled. For the second half of the season he joined Steel Azin.[3][4] He moved to Saba in 2010 and played in the first half of the season but for unknown reasons he did not continue with the team and there were rumours that again there has been disciplinary actions against him which prevented him to play in the top level. Then he moved to Paykan in Azadegan League which he got promoted to the league for the season after with the team. In July 2012, he signed a one-year contract with Gahar but he was still banned to play in Iran Pro League due disciplinary actions, so he terminated his contract with Gahar Zagros and joins Damash Gilan.[5]

Return to Esteghlal[edit]

On 1 July 2013, Nikbakht returned to Esteghlal after seven years, after signing a one year contract.[6]

Club career statistics[edit]

  • Last Update: 9 August 2013
Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Iran League Hazfi Cup Asia Total
1998–99 Aboomoslem Azadegan League 30 6
1999–00 Esteghlal 26 3 1 1 5
2000–01 18 5 1 3 9
2001–02 Pro League 19[7] 3 0 7 6 9
2002–03 21 6 1 3 0 9
2003–04 16 3 1 4
2004–05 13 2 0 0 13 2
United Arab Emirates League President's Cup Asia Total
2004–05 Al-Wasl UAE League 12 1 1 0 13 1
Iran League Hazfi Cup Asia Total
2005–06 Esteghlal Pro League 25 1 1 1 26 2
2006–07 Persepolis 25 8 5 4 30 12
2007–08 31 9 3 3 34 12
2008–09 29 9 2 0 6 2 37 11
2009–10 Tractor Sazi 0 0 0 0 0 0
Steel Azin 8 0 2 0 10 0
2010–11 Saba 14 1 1 1 15 2
2011–12 Paykan Division 1 22 1 2 0 24 1
2012–13 Damash Pro League 4 0 1 0 5 0
2013–14 Esteghlal 13 0 2 0 2 0 17 0
Total Iran 301 56 16 12
United Arab Emirates 12 1 0 0
Career total 313 57 16 12
  • Assists
Season Team Assists
05–06 Esteghlal 4
06–07 Persepolis 8
07–08 7
08–09 4
10–11 Saba 3
12–13 Damash 1

International career[edit]

He made his first appearance for Iran in a World Cup qualifying game against Guam in Tabriz in December 2000. He scored on his debut.

Nikbakht's performance in the national squad was instrumental in Iran's progress to the next WC qualifying round. However, his disciplinary problems has created difficulties for the national team coaches and he is often viewed as a primadonna. Nonetheless, his darting runs on the flanks and his pace continues to be a great asset for his team, and most fans will not forget his winning goal in a crucial World Cup 2006 qualifier against Jordan. He won the 2002 Asian Games and 2004 West Asian Football Federation Championship with Team Melli.

There had been rampant speculation that an in form Nikbaht would definitely make Branko Ivanković's final 23 men list for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Branko Ivanković had himself alluded to this by stating that "I love Nikbaht" in an interview, but that his hitherto out-of-form play was the major impediment for him reclaiming his spot in Team Melli. Many had tagged him as the saviour for Iran's left-back defensive complications as he is naturally left-footed, good physique, quick with his feet, a goal-getter and a workhorse. Unfortunately for him, an old injury caused him to be crossed off the main squad heading to Germany, and he was instead placed on the reserves list.

Another injury forced him be disqualified from Iran's squad for the 2007 Asian Cup, but he is back to join Team Melli in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.

Exit from national team[edit]

After a heated dispute with Federation official Komiteye Enzebati, Nikbakht was axed from playing for national team for the rest of his career. This marks the second time the player has been penalised for behaivour problems.

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Iran's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 24 November 2000 Takhti Stadium, Tabriz  Guam 4-0 19-0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 19 January 2001 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  China PR 3-0 4-0 Friendly
3 1 August 2001 Khalifa Stadium, Doha  Qatar 1-1 1-2 Friendly
4 15 August 2001 Tehelné Pole Stadium, Bratislava  Slovakia 3-3 4-3 Friendly
5 5 October 2001 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Thailand 1-0 1-0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 3 September 2002 Al Abbassiyyine Stadium, Damascus  Lebanon 2-0 2-0 2002 WAFF
7 7 September 2002 Al Abbassiyyine Stadium, Damascus  Syria 2-1 2-2 2002 WAFF
8 5 September 2003 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Jordan 2-1 4-1 2004 AFC Asian Cup qualification
9 19 November 2003 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut  Lebanon 3-0 3-0 2004 AFC Asian Cup qualification
10 21 June 2004 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Syria 2-0 7-1 2004 WAFF
11 8 September 2004 Amman International Stadium, Amman  Jordan 1-0 2-0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
12 18 February 2004 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Qatar 1-0 3-1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
13 24 March 2007 Khalifa International Stadium, Doha  Qatar 1-0 1-0 Friendly
14 26 March 2008 Kuwait National Stadium, Kuwait City  Kuwait 1-0 2-2 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Esteghlal
Persepolis

Country[edit]

Iran

References[edit]

External links[edit]