||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2014)|
Nekounam during presentation with Esteghlal
|Full name||Javad Nekounam|
|Date of birth||7 October 1980|
|Place of birth||Rey, Iran|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:50, 16 March 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Javad Nekounam (Persian: جواد نکونام; born 7 October 1980), nicknamed "Neku", is an Iranian professional footballer who plays for Kuwait SC, and the current captain of Iran. Usually a central midfielder, he is known for his passing ability, defensive acumen and powerful long-range shots.
Nekounam was born in Rey. Having played for Pas Tehran F.C. for several years, appearing in the AFC Champions League with the club, he signed a five-month contract with Al-Wahda S.C.C. in the United Arab Emirates for US$1 million, in 2005.
After his performance at the 2006 World Cup many clubs in Europe were in the running to sign Nekounam, mainly Hertha BSC of the Bundesliga and French Ligue 1 outfit Olympique Lyonnais, but he eventually joined La Liga side CA Osasuna on a two-year contract, with an option to a third year with player and club agreement and a €5 million minimum release-fee clause on his contract. He thus became the first Iranian player to be signed by a Spanish club and, after a particularly successful first season, began to attract interest from other European clubs noticeably Scotland's Rangers, who had a £1 million pound offer rejected.
On 14 August Nekounam suffered an anterior cruciate ligament rupture in his right knee and, after undergoing a successful surgery in Augsburg, Germany, missed eight months of action. His number 24 was given to new signing Jaroslav Plašil, as he recovered from his injury.
On 24 November 2007, Osasuna showed faith in Nekounam signing a three-year contract extension on his existing contract that was set to end on 30 June of the following year, with a €5 million buy-out clause for the first two seasons and €2.5M for the last. In February of the following year he made his first training appearance since the injury – incidentally, a week later, Xavier Margairaz (teammate and also a central midfielder) suffered a similar injury, missing an estimate period that could amount to one year, on 27 April he made his long-awaited return against Valencia CF, replacing Francisco Puñal in the 70th minute, in a 0–3 away loss.
On 31 August 2008, Nekounam scored Osasuna's first goal of the season, from the penalty spot, in a 1–1 home draw against Villarreal CF. In November/December he also netted, but the Navarrese failed to win at Málaga CF (2–4) and with Real Valladolid (3–3), also scoring the opener against Real Madrid, in a 1–3 away loss on 18 January 2009.
On 22 March 2009 Nekounam netted a last-minute goal against RCD Espanyol (1–0 home win), and finished the season as Osasuna's second goalscorer behind Walter Pandiani, scoring nine times in the league (a career-best in Spain). In the 2009 summer the team received offers from both Espanyol and Villarreal, with the latter in particular being ready to pay the buy-out clause in Nekounam's contract; however, the player repeatedly insisted to be "happy at the club", waiting until he "hears some better deals".
Nekounam was again a regular starter for Osasuna in the 2010–11 campaign, but also spent one month at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup with his national team. On 20 February 2011, in the second game upon his return from Qatar, he scored twice in a 4–0 home win against Espanyol, and eventually finished the campaign with six goals in 26 appearances, as his team again avoided relegation.
On 21 May 2011 Nekounam renewed his contract with Osasuna for another two seasons, with the option of an annual renewal of his link. In July of the following year, amidst interest from Iranian powerhouse Esteghlal F.C. and unnamed Turkish and Qatari clubs, it was reported that he would only remain with the Rojillos if he accepted a salary reduction – he was the side's highest-paid player.
On 21 July 2012, aged almost 32, Nekounam returned to his country and signed a two-year contract with Esteghlal, for a record US$1,500,000. He scored his first goal for his new club in a 2–3 loss against Foolad FC, through a penalty.
On 5 May 2013, against the same opponent, he also found the net, helping his team secure the 28th major title in its history and winning his second national championship.
On 14 January 2014, Nekounam agreed to a four-month deal with Kuwait SC. He scored his first goal for the club on 2 February, netting the only in an AFC Champions League qualifier against Al Shorta SC. On 19 March 2014, Nekounam scored his third goal in his third AFC Cup match.
Nekounam received his first call-up to Iran in May 2000. He became a starter for the national side during the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and, already a key midfield element, played in two of the national team's matches during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, being suspended for the final group game against Angola after his second yellow card against Portugal.
Additionally, Nekounam helped Iran win the 2002 Asian Games and the 2004 West Asian Football Federation Championship, and also represented the country in the 2004, 2007 and 2011 Asian Cups. He was Team Melli's leading goalscorer in its successful 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
|37||19 November 2013||Beirut, Lebanon||Lebanon||4–1||Win||2015 Asian Cup qualification|
|36||11 June 2013||Tehran, Iran||Lebanon||4–0||Win||2014 World Cup qualification|
|35||11 June 2013||Tehran, Iran||Lebanon||2–0||Win||2014 World Cup qualification|
|34||6 February 2013||Tehran, Iran||Lebanon||5–0||Win||2015 Asian Cup qualification|
|33||6 February 2013||Tehran, Iran||Lebanon||3–0||Win||2015 Asian Cup qualification|
|32||6 February 2013||Tehran, Iran||Lebanon||2–0||Win||2015 Asian Cup qualification|
|31||16 October 2012||Tehran, Iran||South Korea||1–0||Win||2014 World Cup qualification|
|30||15 November 2011||Jakarta, Indonesia||Indonesia||4–1||Win||2014 World Cup qualification|
|29||5 October 2011||Tehran, Iran||Palestine||7–0||Win||Friendly|
|28||2 September 2011||Tehran, Iran||Indonesia||3–0||Win||2014 World Cup qualification|
|27||2 September 2011||Tehran, Iran||Indonesia||3–0||Win||2014 World Cup qualification|
|26||2 January 2011||Al Rayyan, Qatar||Angola||1–0||Win||Friendly|
|25||3 March 2010||Tehran, Iran||Thailand||1–0||Win||2011 Asian Cup qualification|
|24||14 November 2009||Tehran, Iran||Jordan||1–0||Win||2011 Asian Cup qualification|
|23||11 February 2009||Tehran, Iran||South Korea||1–1||Draw||2010 World Cup qualification|
|22||15 October 2008||Tehran, Iran||North Korea||2–1||Win||2010 World Cup qualification|
|21||6 September 2008||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia||1–1||Draw||2010 World Cup qualification|
|20||22 July 2008||Tehran, Iran||Kuwait||2–0||Win||2010 World Cup qualification|
|19||25 May 2008||Tehran, Iran||Zambia||3–2||Win||Friendly|
|18||18 July 2007||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Malaysia||2–0||Win||2007 Asian Cup|
|17||15 July 2007||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||China PR||2–2||Draw||2007 Asian Cup|
|16||2 July 2007||Tehran, Iran||Jamaica||8–1||Win||Friendly|
|15||2 July 2007||Tehran, Iran||Jamaica||8–1||Win||Friendly|
|14||6 September 2006||Tehran, Iran||Syria||1–1||Draw||2007 Asian Cup qualification|
|13||16 August 2006||Damascus, Syria||Syria||2–0||Win||2007 Asian Cup qualification|
|12||24 August 2005||Tehran, Iran||Libya||4–0||Win||Friendly|
|11||24 August 2005||Tehran, Iran||Libya||4–0||Win||Friendly|
|10||29 May 2005||Tehran, Iran||Azerbaijan||2–1||Win||Friendly|
|9||30 March 2005||Pyongyang, North Korea||North Korea||2–0||Win||2006 World Cup qualification|
|8||17 November 2004||Tehran, Iran||Laos||7–0||Win||2006 World Cup qualification|
|7||17 November 2004||Tehran, Iran||Laos||7–0||Win||2006 World Cup qualification|
|6||6 August 2004||Beijing, China||Bahrain||4–2||Win||2004 Asian Cup|
|5||20 July 2004||Chongqing, China||Thailand||3–0||Win||2004 Asian Cup|
|4||25 June 2004||Tehran, Iran||Syria||4–1||Win||2004 WAFF|
|3||23 June 2004||Tehran, Iran||Iraq||2–1||Win||2004 WAFF|
|2||17 June 2004||Tehran, Iran||Lebanon||4–0||Win||2004 WAFF|
|1||1 February 2003||Hong Kong, Hong Kong||Denmark||1–0||Win||2003 Carlsberg Cup|
- AFC – OFC Challenge Cup: 2003
- Asian Games: 2002
- West Asian Football Federation Championship: 2004; Third-place 2002
- Asian Cup: Third-place 2004
- Football Iran News & Events: Player and Midfielder of the Year (Osasuna, 2006–07)
- AFC Champions League: Dream Team 2013
- Asian Footballer of the Year: Runner-up 2013
- As of 16 April 2014
|2001–02||Iran Pro League||25||4||–||–|
|United Arab Emirates||League||President's Cup||Asia||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|2012–13||Esteghlal||Iran Pro League||27||5||4||1||8||3||39||9|
|2013–14||Al-Kuwait||Kuwaiti Premier League||7||1||0||0||7||5||14||6|
|United Arab Emirates||22||8||3||3||–||–||25||11|
|Iran national team|
On 9 July 2012 Nekounam became a father for the first time, following the birth of his son Arian.
- "Nekounam Fan Thread". Persian Football. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Nekounam states Euro ambition". Sky Sports. Retrieved 7 April 2007.[dead link]
- "Buh, Bye". The Guardian. 10 July 2007.
- "Osasuna sign Javad Nekounam". Persian Football. Retrieved 7 July 2006.[dead link]
- Javad Nekounam – Osasuna's new star
- Gers miss out on Iranian ace
- Nekounam sidelined at Osasuna; UEFA.com, 16 August 2007
- Javad Nekounam renueva su contrato hasta 2011 (Javad Nekounam renews contract until 2011); Osasuna's official website, 24 November 2007 (Spanish)
- "Osasuna 1–1 Villarreal". ESPN Soccernet. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Málaga 4–2 Osasuna". ESPN Soccernet. 30 November 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Osasuna 3–3 Valladolid". ESPN Soccernet. 7 December 2008. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Real Madrid 3–1 Osasuna". ESPN Soccernet. 18 January 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Osasuna 1–0 Espanyol". ESPN Soccernet. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- Javad Nekounam not interested in leaving Osasuna; Goal.com, 21 June 2009
- Villarreal looking to recruit Iran's Nekounam; Press TV, 17 June 2009
- "Nekounam at the double". ESPN Soccernet. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
- Iranian duo to stay at Osasuna; Persian Football, 31 May 2011
- Javad Nekounam could stay at Osasuna if he accepts pay cut; Goal.com, 9 July 2012
- "Javad Nekounam officially joins Esteghlal". Kabir News. 21 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "گرانقیمت ترین بازیکن تاریخ فوتبال ایران با رقم قراداد 4.5 میلیارد تومان!" [Javade Nekoonam: The most expensive player in the history of football in Iran with 9 million dollars contract] (in Farsi). Jam News. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- Esteghlal won the league; Goal.com, 5 May 2013 (Persian)
- الإيراني نيكونام كويتاي رسمياً; Kuwait Club's official website, 14 January 2014 (Persian)
- Javad Nekounam – Century of International Appearances; at RSSSF
- فرزند کاپيتان تيم ملي به دنيا آمد (Nekounam's son born); Varzesh3, 9 July 2012 (Persian)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Javad Nekounam.|
- Osasuna official profile (Spanish)
- BDFutbol profile
- TeamMelli official profile
- Javad Nekounam at National-Football-Teams.com
- Javad Nekounam – FIFA competition record
- Transfermarkt profile
|Iran national football team captain