Saipa F.C.

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Saipa
Saipa Logo.svg
Full name Saipa Football Club
Founded 1 February 1989
Ground Enghelab Stadium
Karaj, Iran
Ground Capacity 15,000
Chairman Parviz Heidari
Manager Majid Jalali
League Iran Pro League
2013–14 Iran Pro League, 8th
For the automobile company, see SAIPA.

Saipa Alborz Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال سايپا البرز‎) is a football team based in Karaj, Alborz Province, Iran. The team is owned by SAIPA, an Iranian automobile manufacturer. The team has never had a large fanbase, despite some success. It is known to have one of the best youth training programs in Iranian football.

Saipa F.C. is the football club of the multisport Saipa Cultural and Athletic Corporation.

History[edit]

Early days[edit]

In 1989, SAIPA Company decided to start its own football team. They purchased a team playing in the 4th division of Tehran's city league, and renamed it Saipa F.C. After back to back promotions starting in the first year, the Karaj based club was playing in the 2nd division by 1991. That same year they purchased the Shipping Department team's shares, and participated in the 1st division of Tehran's local league. In that year they won the Tehran city championship as well as the Tehran Super Cup, thus attaining the right to play in Iran's top league at the time, the Azadegan League.

Azadegan League[edit]

In their first year in the Azadegan League they won the championship, as well as the Hazfi Cup. They also won the league championship again in 1994 marking an incredible first five years for the club in Iranian football. Things turned to the worse though, as the team was shockingly relegated into the 2nd division in 1995, only to bounce back the next year. Since their second promotion to the top tier, the club has been a constant mid table outfit, and has often starred some of the country's most well known players.

Ali Daei Era[edit]

Enghelab Stadium, home of Saipa F.C.

Following the turn of the century, the club's on field performance remained stable, occupying mid table position most years. Shortly following Iranian Goalkeeping legend Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh's retirement, he was linked with the head coaching job at Saipa. It never materialized, but the club signed another Iranian legend Ali Daei in a blockbuster move from Saba Battery. The club had finished third the previous season and now, with Daei on the field and Werner Lorant as a coach, the team turned into a serious title contender. Shortly after the season began though, Littbarski was sacked and Ali Daei took on the role of player/ coach. Captaining and coaching the team to the title marked the end of a remarkable career. Daei also scored the winner in the title winning game. Daei extended his contract, this time as a full time Coach. He was appointed head coach of the national team but kept his role at Saipa until the end of the season. Following the title winning year which saw the team play in the AFC Champions League, Saipa has turned back into the mid table places of the league again.

Season-by-season[edit]

The table below chronicles the achievements of Saipa in various competitions since 1993.

Season Pos. Hazfi Cup ACL
1993–94 1D* 1st Cup Did not qualify
1994–95 1D* 1st Second round
1995–96 1D* 16th Semifinal
1996–97 2D 2nd Did not qualify
1997–98 1D* 7th Not held
1998–99 1D* 4th
1999–2000 1D* 3rd Semifinal
2000–01 1D* 7th Semifinal
2001–02 1D** 11th
2002–03 1D** 6th
2003–04 1D** 13th Semifinal
2004–05 1D** 13th Quarterfinal
2005–06 1D** 3rd 1/16 Final
2006–07 1D** 1st 1/8 Final
2007–08 1D** 11th 1/16 Final Quarterfinal
2008–09 1D** 10th 1/16 Final Did not qualify
2009–10 1D** 8th Third Round
2010–11 1D** 11th Fourth Round
2011–12 1D** 8th 1/16 Final
2012–13 1D** 9th 1/16 Final


* Azadegan League.
** Iran Pro League.

Honours[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

As of August 27, 2014[1]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Iran GK Hamed Fallahzadeh
3 Iran DF Vahid Mohammadzadeh
4 Iran MF Roozbeh Shahalidoost
5 Iran DF Majid Ayoubi
7 Iran FW Ali Zeynali
8 Iran MF Ebrahim Sadeghi (Captain)
9 Iran FW Kaveh Rezaei U23
10 Iran FW Milad Meydavoodi
11 Iran FW Milad Kermani U23
13 Iran DF Ebrahim Shakouri
14 Iran FW Mohammad Nozhati
15 Iran MF Mojtaba Ramezani
16 Iran MF Mehdi Torabi U21
17 Iran FW Hakim Nassari
18 Iran DF Hamed Shiri
No. Position Player
19 Iran DF Sajjad Moshkelpour
20 Iran MF Alireza Alizadeh U23
21 Iran DF Mohsen Arzani
22 Iran GK Mohammadreza Akhbari U23
23 Iran FW Mehdi Seyed-Salehi
24 Iran MF Mahan Rahmani U21
26 Iran DF Masih Zahedi U23
27 Iran MF Bahman Salari U23
28 Iran DF Ali Nademi U23
32 Iran FW Ali Gholizadeh U21
36 Iran FW Reza Jafari U21
40 Iran DF Babak Hatami
61 Iran MF Masoud Ebrahimzadeh
Iran FW Mobin Mir Doroughi

For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers summer 2014.

Famous players[edit]

Manager[edit]

The following managers had managed Saipa since 1993:

Name Period Trophies
Iran Bijan Zolfagharnasab 1993–97 2 Iran Pro League, Hazfi Cup
Iran Nasrollah Abdollahi 1997–00
Iran Behtash Fariba 2000–01
Iran Hamid Alidoosti 2001–02
Italy Giovanni Mei 2002–03
Iran Mohammad Mayeli Kohan 2003–04
Iran Bijan Zolfagharnasab 2004–06
Germany Werner Lorant 2006
Iran Ali Daei 2006–08 1 Iran Pro League
Germany Pierre Littbarski 2008
Iran Mohammad Mayeli Kohan 2008–11
Iran Majid Saleh 2011–12
Iran Mojtaba Taghavi 2012–13
Germany Turkey Engin Firat 2013–14
Iran Majid Jalali 2014–present

References[edit]

  1. ^ "سایپای کرج" [Saipa Karaj] (in Persian). Ffiri.ir. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 

External links[edit]

Official[edit]