Dejagah playing for VfL Wolfsburg in 2008
|Full name||Seyed Ashkan Dejagah|
|Date of birth||5 July 1986|
|Place of birth||Tehran, Iran|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder / Winger|
|1999–2000||Tennis Borussia Berlin|
|2004–2007||Hertha BSC II||56||(21)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:10, 8 December 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Seyed Ashkan Dejagah (Persian: اشكان دژآگه, born 5 July 1986), known as Ashkan Dejagah or Ash, is an Iranian-German footballer who plays for Fulham, usually as an attacking midfielder or a right winger. He has represented Germany at youth levels, and currently plays for the Iranian national team.
Dejagah made his pro debut for Hertha BSC against VfL Bochum in the opening match of the 2004–05 season, playing the last five minutes in a 2–2 home draw in his only first team appearance that year, thus becoming the youngest player to ever play for the club since it was founded in 1892. In his three years at Hertha, he also played in the regional league. Despite starting out as a central defender, he was quickly moved to the forward position and finished as the team's top scorer in 2005–06, with twelve goals in 23 appearances. Hertha's manager, Falko Götz, showed continuous faith in Dejagah by gradually giving the youngster playing time in the Bundesliga, as well as three UEFA Cup showdowns in 2005–06, playing the following season in the Intertoto Cup against FC Moscow.
In 2007, Dejagah joined VfL Wolfsburg. In his first season at Wolfsburg, he showed himself as a talent by scoring eight goals and in his second season, he was a regular part of the Bundesliga winning team. In the 2009–10 season, after the selection of Armin Veh as club manager, he lost his place in the starting line up and he could not return to the starting team under Steve McClaren. With the return of Felix Magath, he found his form and in the 2011–12 season, he showed himself as a key player by scoring and assisting several goals for his club. After Askhan stated a desire to join Fulham FC in order to fulfill his childhood dream of playing in the Premier League, Magath stated that he wanted Ashkan to stay at Wolfsburg; however, he later sided with the player's wishes to play at Fulham. Dejagah ended his career in the Bundesliga with 19 goals and 25 assists.
On 31 August 2012, Dejagah joined Fulham on a three-year deal with an additional year's option, reportedly for €2.5 million, reuniting with his former Wolfsburg teammate Sascha Riether. He became only the third Iranian, after Andranik Teymourian and Karim Bagheri, to play in the Premier League. He made his league debut on 20 October, in a 1–0 home win against Aston Villa, coming off the bench for Fulham with 20 minutes remaining. He made his first start at Arsenal on 10 November, less than a month after his debut, in a 3–3 draw. His first assist came on New Year's Day to Dimitar Berbatov in a 2–1 win at West Brom. His season ended early due to an ankle injury on 1 April against QPR.
Dejagah missed the first matches of the season due to a calf injury. He played his first game of the season for Fulham in a League Cup win over Burton Albion, and started his first league match of the season against Manchester United on 2 November. On 4 December, Dejagah scored his first goal for Fulham against the Spurs in Rene Meulensteen's first game as manager. In the next match, Ash assisted Steve Sidwell in a 2–0 win over Aston Villa.
In 2004, upon being called up to the German U-19 team, Dejagah managed to score seven goals in 15 international games, including two against the Netherlands after his team was down 2–0. In 2005, he was invited to play for Germany's U-21, and was given the coveted number 10 shirt.
It had been suggested that Dejagah might play for Iran at the international level rather than Germany, but he claimed to have never really considered it an option. Having played for Germany at the age of 21, he was originally no longer eligible to play for Iran, however, FIFA rule changes in July 2009 meant that he could then play for Iran. In late December, Iran's coach Afshin Ghotbi approached Dejagah in regards to playing for Iran at the upcoming 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar, but his playing for Iran was placed on hold as he wanted to pursue first team football with his club VfL Wolfsburg instead. On 21 September 2011, he was invited to the Iranian national team by Carlos Queiroz. He scored twice on his debut for Iran against Qatar on 29 February 2012 in a World Cup qualifier. Due to his outstanding performance, he was the runner-up for the AFC Player of the Month in February. On 6 February 2013, Dejagah assisted Reza Ghoochannejhad and won two penalties in a 5–0 Asian Cup qualifier win over Lebanon. His next international goals came on 15 and 19 November in Asian Cup qualifying wins over Thailand and Lebanon, sealing Iran's place in the 2015 Asian Cup.
Club career statistics
- As of 8 December 2013
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Total|
|1||29 February 2012||Azadi Stadium, Tehran||Qatar||1–0||2–2||2014 WCQ|
|2||29 February 2012||Azadi Stadium, Tehran||Qatar||2–1||2–2||2014 WCQ|
|3||15 November 2013||Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok||Thailand||1–0||3–0||2015 ACQ|
|4||19 November 2013||Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut||Lebanon||2–0||4–1||2015 ACQ|
In October 2007, Dejagah refused to play an under-21 international match of Germany against Israel, citing “very personal reasons” and saying “everybody knows I am half Iranian”, which could be interpreted that his family was threatened abroad. Charlotte Knobloch, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and Ronald Pofalla, General Secretary of the Christian Democratic Union, demanded that Dejagah be excluded from Germany's national team. Dejagah confirmed in a Stern interview, that he only made that choice because of his family and not because of political, antisemitic or racist reasons. After a personal meeting with Theo Zwanziger, the president of the German Football Association, and national technical director Matthias Sammer, he convinced both of his personal reasons and was not excluded from Germany's national team.
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/09/2012 and 30/09/2012" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- "Dejagah, Ashkan" (in German). kicker.de. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
- "Dejagah, Seyyed Ashkan" (in German). WazAz. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
- "Iran's Dejagah leaves Wolfsburg to join Fulham". Yahoo. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Fulham Sign Dejagah". Fulham F.C. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- McIntyre, David (4 December 2013). "Latest: Fulham 1 Tottenham 0 – Dejagah strikes for Meulensteen’s men". westlondonsport.com. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Interview mit Ashkan Dejagah 'Das habe ich für meine Familie getan'" (in German). Stern. 24 October 2007. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2007.
- "FIFA statutes". FIFA. 2006. Retrieved 24 October 2007.
- "FIFA removes age limit on players switching nations". Reuters. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2009.[dead link]
- "FIFA approves Dejagah switch from Germany to Iran". footballindia.com. 16 December 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "اعلام لیست اولیه کی روش برای بازی با بحرین / اشکان دژاگه به تیم ملی دعوت شد !". Goal (in Persian). 21 September 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "Iran vs. Qatar Official Match Report". FIFA. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "Ashkan Dejagah". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Der Fall Ashkan Dejagah wird zu einem Politikum" (in German). Welt. 9 October 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2007.
- "Das habe ich für meine Familie getan" (in German). Stern. 14 October 2007. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2007.
- "Ashkan Dejagah weiterhin U 21-Nationalspieler" (in German). German Football Association. 16 October 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2007.