Karim Bagheri

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Karim Bagheri
Karim Bagheri Semnan 2008.jpg
Personal information
Full name Karim Bagheri
Date of birth (1974-02-20) 20 February 1974 (age 40)
Place of birth Tabriz, Iran
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Persepolis (Assistant)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1994 Tractor Sazi 28 (2)
1994–1996 Keshavarz 65 (11)
1996–1997 Persepolis 20 (4)
1997–2000 Arminia Bielefeld 51 (6)
2000 Persepolis 0 (0)
2000 Al-Nasr (loan) 8 (4)
2000–2001 Charlton Athletic 1 (0)
2001–2002 Al-Sadd 11 (5)
2002–2010 Persepolis 178 (29)
Total 362 (61)
National team
1993–2010 Iran 87 (50)
Teams managed
2012– Persepolis (Assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Karim Bagheri (Persian: کريم باقری ‎, born 20 February 1974 in Tabriz, Iran) is a retired Iranian professional football player and coach. He played over half of his professional career for Persepolis in the Iran Pro League. He was known as a two-footed midfielder and was famous for his powerful and thundering long range shots and free kicks.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Bagheri was discovered by manager Vasile Godja and began his football playing for his hometown club Tractor Sazi where he impressed enough to land himself a contract with Keshavarz On 1 August 1996 Bagheri was signed on free transfer by the capital's club, Persepolis. Bagheri enjoyed there much success winning numerous titles and becoming a firm fan favorite. Numerous impressive displays ended up in Bagheri attracting attention from many European clubs and on 1 August 1997, a year after he signed a contract with Persepolis, Bagheri signed with German Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefeld along with his fellow Iranian international Ali Daei.

Move to Europe[edit]

Germany

Bagheri's first season in Germany was not a huge success and the club was relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga. In his second season, he established himself as a starter playing in the libero position, helping the team make it back to the Bundesliga. His performances during the 98-99 season earned him a place in Kicker magazine's team of the year. He remained in Arminia for one more season, though his time in Germany ended sourly when he bought out his contract and returned to Persepolis again, though Persepolis loaned him to Al-Nasr in the UAE.

England

At that time English clubs were interested in Bagheri and Charlton Athletic of the Premiership quickly signed him for an initial fee of £400,000. His father's death, international call-ups and injuries restricted him from making appearances in the his first year. Alan Curbishley his manager on Bagheri:

"We took him as cover for Kinsella," Curbishley said. "Bagheri is a holding midfielder with great physique and an eye for goal. His goal- scoring record is unbelievable. He's got almost a goal every other game in 70 internationals which is an amazing feat for a midfield player. "The problem was he never stayed fit while he was with us. After playing against Ipswich he went off to play for Iran and came back with a groin strain. Then it was a hamstring. His father died and he had to return to Iran the next day and we didn't see him for three weeks. Then he injured his hamstring again. It was one thing after another. It was a pity because the boy can play. He has all the attributes and understood the English game. "He's an affable lad and from day one the other players liked him. Though he didn't speak English he got on with the others who respected him. He can play a bit and in 12 reserve matches for us he managed six goals. Had he stayed fit it may have been a different story. When the loan deal ended he came to me and said `I've loved it here but I haven't done myself justice'. "I've noticed he is scoring regularly for Iran and whoever picks him up at set pieces on Saturday must be alert while he times his runs from midfield very well."[1]

He had very little success there, only playing 15 minutes during the entire season in a game against Ipswich Town.[2] Despite the disappointing season he had the honour of being the first Iranian to play in the Premiership. He then moved to Al Sadd in Qatar.

Persepolis return[edit]

In 2002, he decided to return to Persepolis once again. In September 2006, many thought he had been released from the team after arguments with management and staff over the club's financial commitments and unpaid wages. Bagheri instead was disciplined but remained on the team. Bagheri has since then established himself as one of the greatest icons of Persepolis and many compare his popularity with Ali Parvin. In the 2007–08 season, he captained the team to glory in the IPL after a six-year drought. For the season 2008–09 he was injured for many matches and missed many matches. He also missed matches because of the differences he had with the coach Nelo Vingada at the end of the season. He was the top scorer of the team for 2009–10 season and the most influential player of the team. In the second Sorkhabi derby of the season, Bagheri scored in the 87th minute with a trademark long-range shot to gain victory for Persepolis after six consecutive draws in the derby.

Club retirement[edit]

On 1 December 2010, Bagheri announced that he would retire and leave Persepolis.[3]

Persepolis statistics[edit]

As of 11 November 2010
Karim Bagheri Statistics in Persepolis
League Cup Asian Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
198
33
22
10
11
3
231
46

Club Career statistics[edit]

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Iran League Hazfi Cup Asia Total
1992–93 Tractor Sazi Azadegan League - -
1993–94 - -
1994–95 Keshavarz - -
1995–96 - -
1996–97 Persepolis 20 4 0 0 4 3 24 7
Germany League DFB-Pokal Europe Total
1997–98 Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga 18 3 0 0 - - 18 3
1998–99 2. Bundesliga 22 2 3 1 - - 25 3
1999-00 Bundesliga 11 1 1 0 - - 12 1
Qatar League Emir of Qatar Cup Asia Total
1999-00 Al-Sadd Qatar Stars League 8 4 0 0 - - 8 4
England League FA Cup Europe Total
2000–01 Charlton Premier League 1 0 0 0 - - 1 0
Qatar League Emir of Qatar Cup Asia Total
2001–02 Al-Sadd Qatar Stars League 11 5 0 0 4 0 15 5
Iran League Hazfi Cup Asia Total
2002–03 Persepolis Persian Gulf Cup 9 0 4 3 3 0 16 3
2003–04 20 3 4 3 - - 24 6
2004–05 28 2 1 0 - - 29 2
2005–06 23 0 3 0 - - 26 0
2006–07 13 2 2 0 - - 15 2
2007–08 26 3 2 1 - - 28 4
2008–09 29 9 1 0 4 0 34 9
2009–10 22 10 5 3 - - 27 13
2010–11 8 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
Total Iran 291 46 11 3
Germany 51 6 4 1 - - 55 7
Qatar 19 9 0 0 4 0 23 9
England 1 0 0 0 - - 1 0
Career total 362 61 15 3
  • Assist Goals
Season Team Assists
2007–08 Persepolis 5
2008–09 Persepolis 4
2009–10 Persepolis 2
2010–11 Persepolis 0

[4][5]

International career[edit]

He was first invited to Iranian national team during the 1994 World Cup qualifiers, making his debut versus Pakistan on 6 June 1993. He displayed great football and soon became a starter for Iran in the midfield. He played in 1996 AFC Asian Cup for Team Melli and finished third.

He became famous though for sparking Iran's comeback against Australia in the second leg of their 1998 World Cup qualifier in 1997. He scored the first of two goals that brought new light on what seemed to be an already dark 2–0 defeat and sprung Iran back to tie the game 2–2 and eventually become the last team to qualify for the World Cup. He played in 1998 Asian Games and won the competition. Bagheri also had one of the strongest right-legged shots and scored many fantastic goals against opponents, such as his game-tying goal against South Korea in the quarter finals of the 2000 Asian Cup in Lebanon.

Goal scoring record[edit]

On 2 June 1997, he scored seven times against the Maldive Isles, and equalled the record for the most goals scored in a World Cup match, which was held by the Australian Gary Cole since 1981. Their joint record was broken on 11 April 2001 when another Australian, Archie Thompson scored 13 goals against American Samoa.[6] He was named the world's second top goal scorer in official international matches by International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), having scored 20 goals for Iran in 1997.[7]

Early retirement[edit]

He retired from the national team with 80 caps and 47 goals for Team Melli after Iran's unsuccessful FIFA World Cup 2002 qualification campaign which ended with an aggregate defeat to Republic of Ireland in November 2001. He was called up to the national team again soon after World Cup 2006, but said he would not participate as he is retired from international football and has no plans on returning to it.[8]

Return to national team[edit]

On 9 October 2008, Team Melli coach Ali Daei stated that because of Andranik Teymourian's injury Bagheri will be called up for the national team once again.[9] On 9 November 2008 in a friendly match against Qatar, he appeared for Team Melli once again after almost seven years. Bagheri captained Iran in the 2010 World Cup match against UAE on 19 November 2008, scoring for Iran. He has been given his favorite number 6 jersey back.He played few inmportant matches for Team Melli in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification against UAE and South Korea. He was invited again by Afshin Ghotbi but he stated in Navad that he only returned to Team Melli because of Ali Daei and will not participate in any more matches for Team Melli.

Retirement match[edit]

On 2 October 2010, Bagheri announced he would play his last match with Team Melli on 7 October 2010 against Brazil in the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[10]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Iran's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 3 June 1993 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Pakistan 3–0 5–0 ECO Cup 1993
2 24 April 1996 Olympic Stadium (Ashgabat), Ashkhabad  Turkmenistan 1–1 1–1 Friendly
3 26 April 1996 Olympic Stadium (Ashgabat), Ashkhabad  Turkmenistan 1–0 1–0 Friendly
4 10 June 1996 Azadi Stadium, Tehran    Nepal 5–0 8–0 1996 ACQ
5 10 June 1996 Azadi Stadium, Tehran    Nepal 1–0 8–0 1996 ACQ
6 12 June 1996 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Sri Lanka 2–0 7–0 1996 ACQ
7 17 June 1996 Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat  Sri Lanka 3–0 4–0 1996 ACQ
8 17 June 1996 Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat  Sri Lanka 2–0 4–0 1996 ACCQ
9 17 June 1996 Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat  Sri Lanka 1–0 4–0 1996 ACQ
10 19 June 1996 Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat    Nepal 3–0 4–0 1996 ACQ
11 19 June 1996 Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat    Nepal 2–0 4–0 1996 ACQ
12 21 June 1996 Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Muscat  Oman 2–1 2–1 1996 ACQ
13 7 December 1996 Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai  Saudi Arabia 1–0 3–0 1996 Asian Cup
14 16 December 1996 Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai  South Korea 1–1 6–2 1996 Asian Cup
15 2 June 1997 Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus  Maldives 16–0 17–0 1998 WCQ
16 2 June 1997 Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus  Maldives 13–0 17–0 1998 WCQ
17 2 June 1997 Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus  Maldives 12–0 17–0 1998 WCQ
18 2 June 1997 Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus  Maldives 10–0 17–0 1998 WCQ
19 2 June 1997 Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus  Maldives 3–0 17–0 1998 WCQ
20 2 June 1997 Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus  Maldives 2–0 17–0 1998 WCQ
21 2 June 1997 Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus  Maldives 1–0 17–0 1998 WCQ
22 4 June 1997 Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus  Kyrgyzstan 2–0 7–0 1998 WCQ
23 4 June 1997 Abbasiyyin Stadium, Damascus  Kyrgyzstan 1–0 7–0 1998 WCQ
24 9 June 1997 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Kyrgyzstan 2–1 3–1 1998 WCQ
25 11 June 1997 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Maldives 5–0 9–0 1998 WCQ
26 11 June 1997 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Maldives 2–0 9–0 1998 WCQ
27 17 August 1997 Varsity Stadium, Toronto  Canada 1–0 1–0 Friendly
28 13 September 1997 Jinzhou Stadium, Dalian  China PR 1–2 4–2 1998 WCQ
29 19 September 1997 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Saudi Arabia 1–1 1–1 1998 WCQ
30 26 September 1997 Kuwait National Stadium, Kuwait City  Kuwait 1–1 1–1 1998 WCQ
31 3 October 1997 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Qatar 3–0 3–0 1998 WCQ
32 3 October 1997 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Qatar 2–0 3–0 1998 WCQ
33 17 October 1997 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  China PR 3–0 4–1 1998 WCQ
34 29 November 1997 Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne  Australia 1–2 2–2 1998 WCQ
35 10 December 1998 Suphachalasai Stadium, Bangkok  Tajikistan 4–0 5–0 1998 Asian Games
36 12 December 1998 Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok  China PR 2–1 2–1 1998 Asian Games
37 19 December 1998 Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok  Kuwait 1–0 2–0 1998 Asian Games
38 9 June 2000 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Macedonia 1–0 3–1 Friendly
39 12 October 2000 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut  Lebanon 1–0 4–0 2000 AFC Asian Cup
40 23 October 2000 International Olympic Stadium, Tripoli  South Korea 1–0 1–2 2000 AFC Asian Cup
41 24 November 2000 Takhti Stadium, Tabriz  Guam 2–0 19–0 2002 WCQ
42 24 November 2000 Takhti Stadium, Tabriz  Guam 3–0 19–0 2002 WCQ
43 24 November 2000 Takhti Stadium, Tabriz  Guam 4–0 19–0 2002 WCQ
44 24 November 2000 Takhti Stadium, Tabriz  Guam 5–0 19–0 2002 WCQ
45 24 November 2000 Takhti Stadium, Tabriz  Guam 6–0 19–0 2002 WCQ
46 24 November 2000 Takhti Stadium, Tabriz  Guam 7–0 19–0 2002 WCQ
47 31 October 2001 Al-Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi  United Arab Emirates 2–0 3–0 2002 WCQ
48 19 November 2008 Al-Maktoum Stadium, Dubai  United Arab Emirates 1–1 1–1 2010 WCQ
49 2 January 2009 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  China PR 2–0 3–1 Friendly
50 9 January 2009 Azadi Stadium, Tehran  Singapore 2–0 6–0 2011 ACQ

Coaching career[edit]

Two years after his retirement, he was offered a coaching role at Persepolis by newly appointed head coach Yahya Golmohammadi. He was promoted as the fist-team coach in the coaching staff of Ali Daei.

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Persepolis
Arminia Bielefeld
Al-Sadd

Country[edit]

Iran

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]