Ashkan Dejagah

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Ashkan Dejagah
Iran training before 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Qatar, Sanat Naft Training Complex 06.jpg
Dejagah in Iran training in August 2016
Personal information
Full name Seyed Ashkan Dejagah[1]
Date of birth (1986-07-05) 5 July 1986 (age 30)
Place of birth Tehran, Iran
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Attacking midfielder, Winger
Youth career
Reinickendorfer Füchse
1999–2000 Tennis Borussia Berlin
2000–2004 Hertha BSC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 Hertha BSC II 56 (21)
2004–2007 Hertha BSC 26 (1)
2007–2012 VfL Wolfsburg 131 (18)
2012–2014 Fulham 44 (6)
2014–2016 Al Arabi 45 (9)
National team
2002–2003 Germany U17 10 (4)
2003–2004 Germany U18 4 (2)
2004 Germany U19 11 (3)
2004–2005 Germany U20 5 (2)
2005–2009 Germany U21 20 (4)
2012– Iran 38 (7)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 May 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:58, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Seyed Ashkan Dejagah (Persian: اشكان دژآگه‎‎, born 5 July 1986), known as Ashkan Dejagah, is an Iranian professional footballer[2][3] who plays usually as an attacking midfielder or a right winger.

He represented Germany at youth levels between 2001 and 2009, going on to win the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. He has played for the Iranian national team since 2011, helping them qualify for the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Asian Cup. In 2015, Dejagah was voted by fans on Navad as Iran's best ever Left midfielder.[4]

Dejagah made his professional debut for Hertha BSC in the 2004–05 Bundesliga season. In 2007, he joined VfL Wolfsburg, winning the Bundesliga in the 2008–09 season. In 2012, he joined Premier League side Fulham in London, England on a €2.5 million three-year deal.

Early life[edit]

Dejagah was born in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Berlin, Germany, at the age of one.[2] He became a German citizen at the age of 16.[2] He played for German national youth teams from 2001 until 2009, winning the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.[5]

Club career[edit]


Dejagah made his professional debut for Hertha BSC against VfL Bochum in the opening match of the 2004–05 Bundesliga 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.[6]


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.[7] 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.[8] After Dejagah 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 Dejagah to stay at Wolfsburg; however, he later sided with the player's wishes to play at Fulham.[9] Dejagah ended his career in the Bundesliga with 19 goals and 25 assists.[10]


Dejagah playing for Fulham

2012–13 season[edit]

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.[11] He became only the third Iranian, after Andranik Teymourian and Karim Bagheri, to play in the Premier League.[2] 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.[12] He made his first start at Arsenal on 10 November, less than a month after his debut, in a 3–3 draw, while his first assist came on New Year's Day to Dimitar Berbatov in a 2–1 win at West Bromwich Albion.[13]

2013–14 season[edit]

Dejagah 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 Tottenham Hotspur in René Meulensteen's first game as manager.[14] On 14 January, Dejagah scored a goal and provided an assist to Darren Bent in an FA Cup match against Norwich.[15] On 22 February, Dejagah scored at West Bromwich Albion in his manager's first game again, this time being Felix Magath, his former coach at Wolfsburg.[16] On 15 March, Dejagah scored the winner against Newcastle United, eight minutes after coming on as a substitute, for his fourth Fulham goal.[17] On 30 March, he scored a similar goal against Everton, cutting into his right foot and shooting from outside the 18-yard box.[18][19] He was named the man of the match after scoring a goal against Hull City on 26 April.[20] Dejagah was voted by fans as Fulham's player of the year at the end of the season.[21]


On 29 July 2014, Dejagah joined Qatari club Al-Arabi.[22] In his first season with Al-Arabi, Dejagah scored 5 goals in 24 appearances and helped Al-Arabi to an eight place finish. Dejagah scored his first goal of the 2015–16 season on 9 December 2015 in Al-Arabi's 4–1 victory against Al-Mesaimeer.[23] Dejagah was named as Al-Arabi's player of the season for 2015–16. Despite this, the new board members of the club sought to remove him from the squad. In July 2016 Dejagah was linked with loan moves to German club Hertha BSC and English club Watford.

After two years with Al Arabi, Dejagah was released from the club on 16 September 2016.[24]

International career[edit]


In 2004, upon being called up to the German U-19 team, Dejagah scored 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.[25]

In October 2007, Dejagah refused to play an under-21 international match for Germany against Israel, in Tel Aviv. He cited "very personal reasons", and said, variously: "There are political reasons. Everyone knows I'm a German-Iranian", "I have more Iranian than German blood in my veins. Besides, I'm doing this out of respect. After all, my parents are Iranian"; and "I have nothing against Israel. But I'm worried about having problems later when travelling to Iran".[3] Bild (Germany's top-selling newspaper), Ronald Pofalla and Friedbert Pflüger (the General Secretary and a leading member of the Christian Democratic Union), and Charlotte Knobloch (President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany) demanded that Dejagah be excluded from Germany's national team.[26][27]

Dejagah said in a Stern interview that he chose not to play in Israel because, since the Iranian Revolution, Iranians travelling to Israel are subjected by the Iranian government to harsh punishments and several years in prison, and he had concern for his parents who travel to Iran and his other relatives who live in Iran. He also said he did not make his choice because of personal political, antisemitic, or racist reasons.[3][28] Since the revolution, the Iranian government has warned Iranian athletes not to travel to Israel or compete against Israeli athletes.[3][29]

Dejagah in a friendly match against Montenegro prior to the 2014 World Cup.

After a meeting with Theo Zwanziger, the president of the German Football Association, and national technical director Matthias Sammer, Dejagah stated that his reason was that he was concerned because of his Iranian origins about the welfare of his family and relatives if he were to play in Israel; therefore, he was not excluded from Germany's national team.[29][30] Zwanziger said, "He clearly stated that his request not to be nominated for the game in Israel had no racist or anti-Semitic background. He credibly assured us that, because of his Iranian origins, he had only been concerned with the well-being of his family and relatives."[29] Zwanziger added that Dejagah was now prepared to play in the home tie against Israel if selected.[31]

Seven years later, in April 2014, Dejagah spoke on the matter, saying, "This was a long time ago; it is in the past. Yes, it helped me grow up but now I only look to the future."[32]

In 2009, Dejagah won the 2009 UEFA Euro U-21s with Germany and scored a goal in the group stages against Finland.[5]


It had been suggested that Dejagah might play for Iran at the international level rather than Germany, but he said he never really considered it an option.[33] Having played for Germany at the age of 21, he was originally no longer eligible to play for Iran,[34] however, FIFA rule changes in July 2009 meant that he could then play for Iran.[35] 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.[36]

On 21 September 2011, he was invited to the Iranian national team by Carlos Queiroz.[37] He scored twice on his debut for Iran against Qatar on 29 February 2012 in a World Cup qualifier.[38] Upon qualification to the 2014 World Cup, 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 as well.[39] Dejagah was named in Iran's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad by Carlos Queiroz.[40] He started for Iran in their opening match against Nigeria, but was substituted in the 73rd minute by Alireza Jahanbakhsh. He also played 85 and 68 minutes in the next matches against Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina, respectively. He was called into Iran's 2015 AFC Asian Cup squad on 30 December 2014 by Carlos Queiroz.[41]

On 12 November 2015 after captain Andranik Teymourian was suspended, Dejagah captained the national team for the first time in his career and also scored in a 3–1 victory against Turkmenistan.

Personal life[edit]

During his time with Fulham , Dejagah resided in London, England, with his German-Iranian wife and daughter.[32] He wears the Nike Mercurial boot line and has their names embedded onto the external sides of his boots. He has tattoos with Berlin on one arm and Tehran on the other, and the phrase, "Never forget where you're from" on his neck.[2][32]

He comes off as a humble and quiet person, having been pictured continuing his friendship with his former German youth international teammate, Jérôme Boateng, and Wolfsburg teammates Edin Džeko and Sascha Riether.[42][43] He frequently attends charity events, notably for the Shooting Star Children's Hospice.[44]

In May 2014, Dejagah donated his DNA profile for scientific research on sports-related injuries and training.[45]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 13 December 2014[46]
Club performance League Cup Other Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany League DFB-Pokal Europe Total
2004–05 Hertha BSC Bundesliga 1 0 0 0 1 0
2005–06 3 0 0 0 3 0 6 0
2006–07 22 1 2 0 1 0 25 1
2007–08 VfL Wolfsburg 31 8 5 1 36 9
2008–09 27 3 4 1 7 0 38 4
2009–10 24 1 1 0 8 0 33 1
2010–11 23 3 0 0 23 3
2011–12 26 3 1 0 27 3
2012–13 1 0 0 0 1 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Total
2012–13 Fulham Premier League 21 0 3 0 0 0 24 0
2013–14 22 5 2 1 1 0 25 6
Qatar League Emir Cup Crown Prince Cup Total
2014–15 Al-Arabi Qatar Stars League 23 5 0 0 0 0 23 5
2016–17 Al-Arabi Qatar Stars League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Germany 158 19 13 2 19 0 190[47] 21
Total England 43 5 5 1 1 0 49 6
Total Qatar 23 5 0 0 0 0 23 5

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Iran's goal tally first.[46]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 29 February 2012 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Qatar 1–0 2–2 2014 WCQ
2. 2–1
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
5. 3 September 2015 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Guam 1–0 6–0 2018 WCQ and 2019 ACQ
6. 12 November 2015 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Turkmenistan 3–1 3–1 2018 WCQ and 2019 ACQ
7. 10 November 2016 Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam, Malaysia  Papua New Guinea 1–0 8–1 Friendly


Dejagah celebrating with Mahir Sağlık and Zvjezdan Misimović after scoring a goal in the match against VfL Bochum, 24 August 2008


VfL Wolfsburg


Germany under-21

See also[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 01/09/2012 and 30/09/2012" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ashkan Dejagah – Player Profile". Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "German Jews Offended: Iranian-Born German Soccer Player Refuses to Play Israel". 9 October 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "دژاگه بهترین هافبک چپ ایران شد". (in Persian). 30 November 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "2009: Germany take title at last". 1 July 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  6. ^ ""Wolves" Get Ashkan Dejagah Hertha BSC Berlin". Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Wolfsburg Bundesliga Champions After Win Over Werder Bremen". Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Dejagah, Ashkan" (in German). Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Dejagah, Seyyed Ashkan" (in German). WazAz. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Iran's Dejagah leaves Wolfsburg to join Fulham". Yahoo. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Fulham Sign Dejagah". Fulham F.C. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  12. ^ "Fulham 1-0 Aston Villa". 20 October 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Stanton, John (10 November 2012). "BBC Sport - Arsenal 3-3 Fulham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  14. ^ McIntyre, David (4 December 2013). "Latest: Fulham 1 Tottenham 0 – Dejagah strikes for Meulensteen's men". Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Johnston, Neil (14 January 2014). "BBC Sport - Fulham 3-0 Norwich City". Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Read, Graham (23 February 2014). "Maarten Stekelenburg howler costs Felix Magath debut victory". Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  17. ^ Mendola, Nicholas (15 March 2014). "Fulham 1-0 Newcastle United: Dejagah strike and late non-call give Cottagers three huge points". Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "BBC Sport - Fulham 1-3 Everton". BBC Sport. 30 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Ashkan Dejagah's screamer is cancelled out as Everton fight back". 30 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Premier League: Hull City come from behind to deny Fulham in 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage". Sky Sports. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Pinard, Brad (20 May 2014). "Fulham winger edges player of the year award". Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Ashkan Dejagah: Iran winger leaves Fulham for Al-Arabi". BBC Sport. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  23. ^ "Al Arabi vs. Al Mesaimeer 4 - 1". Soccerway. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  24. ^ "دژاگه رسماً از العربی جدا شد". (in Persian). 15 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  25. ^ "Dejagah galvanises Germany - Under-19 - News". 15 July 2004. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "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. 
  27. ^ "Iranian-born German soccer star boycotts Israel game". 9 October 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  28. ^ "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. 
  29. ^ a b c "SOCCER: Ashkan Dejagah who refused to travel to Israel will continue Germany career". Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  30. ^ "Ashkan Dejagah weiterhin U 21-Nationalspieler" (in German). German Football Association. 16 October 2007. Retrieved 29 October 2007. 
  31. ^ "Rock and a hard place". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  32. ^ a b c "Ashkan Dejagah says Felix Magath is the right man to keep Fulham up". The Guardian. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  33. ^ "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. 
  34. ^ "FIFA statutes" (PDF). FIFA. 2006. Retrieved 24 October 2007. 
  35. ^ "FIFA removes age limit on players switching nations". Reuters. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2009. 
  36. ^ "FIFA approves Dejagah switch from Germany to Iran". 16 December 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  37. ^ 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. 
  38. ^ "Iran vs. Qatar Official Match Report". FIFA. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  39. ^ "Afc asian cup australia 2015". 19 November 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  40. ^ "Queiroz trims Iran squad to 24". 1 June 2014. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  41. ^ Church, Michael (31 December 2014). "Queiroz Names Team Melli Squad". Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  42. ^ "Former vfl wolfsburg teammates reunion. A pleasure @ed_dzeko and #ashkandejagah". Instagram. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  43. ^ "Iran – Bosnia-Herzegovina game between mates". PFDC. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  44. ^ "Winter Warmer". 11 January 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  45. ^ "Dikgacoi Makes History With DNA Tests". 29 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  46. ^ a b "A. Dejagah". Soccerway. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  47. ^ "Ashkan Dejagah". Retrieved 25 April 2011. 

External links[edit]