Ehsan Hajsafi

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Ehsan Haji Safi
Iran vs. Angola 2014-05-30 (150).jpg
Haji Safi in 2014
Personal information
Full name Ehsan Haji Safi
Date of birth (1990-02-25) February 25, 1990 (age 27)
Place of birth Kashan, Iran
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Left midfielder / Left-back
Club information
Current team
Panionios
Number 28
Youth career
2000–2006 Zob Ahan
2006 Sepahan
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2015 Sepahan 260 (32)
2011–2012 Tractor Sazi (loan) 46 (9)
2015–2016 FSV Frankfurt 27 (2)
2016–2017 Sepahan 29 (6)
2017– Panionios 6 (1)
National team
2005–2006 Iran U17 6 (2)
2007–2008 Iran U20 8 (2)
2007–2011 Iran U23 12 (1)
2008– Iran 88 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:59, 14 October 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 October 2017

Ehsan Haji Safi (Persian: احسان حاجی صفی‎‎, born February 25, 1990) is an Iranian footballer who plays for Panionios in the Greek Super League. He is a member of the Iranian national team. He is widely known as Ehsan Hajsafi in his home country but his correct surname is Haji Safi.

Haji Safi is regarded as a utility player, being able to play as left midfielder, left-back, defensive midfielder, and winger.[1][2]

In 2009, Haji Safi was selected by Goal.com as the most promising player in Asian football.[3] Haji Safi has represented Iran at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, in addition to Sepahan at the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup.

Club career[edit]

Sepahan[edit]

Ehsan Haji Safi with Sepahan

Haji Safi started his career in Zob Ahan in 2000 and left the club in 2006, joining Sepahan. He was extracted from Sepahan youth academy by Luka Bonačić.[4] Haji Safi played two matches from the start in the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup and has been a regular for Sepahan during recent seasons. Sepahan came second in the 2007 AFC Champions League.

Ehsan takes set pieces for Sepahan and plays both in central and left midfield, having scored six league goals for Sepahan in the 2007–08 season. In the last game of the league match against Persepolis, Haji Safi scored a goal for Sepahan that could have granted Sepahan the title, but Persepolis scored the vital winning goal in stoppage time to win the title. He continued to perform well and scored wonderful goals for Sepahan in the 2008–09 season. He was tested as the left back in the 2009–10 season when Sepahan won the league, and extended his contract with Sepahan for two another years.[5]

Tractor Sazi (loan)[edit]

In June 2011, Haji Safi signed a one and a half year loan conscription contract with Tractor Sazi, reuniting him with former coach Amir Ghalenoei.[6] Tractor finished second in the league, their best results in club history. His contract with Tractor ended in January 2012, and he returned to Sepahan.

Return to Sepahan[edit]

Haji Safi returned to Sepahan in January 2012, beginning this time with coach Zlatko Kranjčar. He won the Hazfi Cup with the team and extended his contract with Sepahan for another two seasons at the end of the season. In August 2014 after the end of his contract Haji Safi was close to signing with Championship side Fulham, but the deal fell through due to work permit issues.[7] Hajsafi returned to Iran and extended his contract for another two seasons with Sepahan.

FSV Frankfurt[edit]

2015–16[edit]

On 30 August 2015, Haji Safi joined FSV Frankfurt in the German 2. Bundesliga with a two-year contract.[8] He made his league debut on 13 September 2015 as a second-half substitute against Eintracht Braunschweig.[9] He made his first start a week later as a left-back on 20 September in a 1–0 league win over MSV Duisburg.[10] Haji Safi quickly established himself as the set-piece taker. Haji Safi scored his first goal for FSV Frankfurt on 2 March 2016 in a 3–3 draw against MSV Duisburg.[11] On 13 March 2016 Haji Safi scored from 50 yards against Freiburg.[12]

After FSV was relegated to the 3. Liga, the club announced that they had annulled the contract of Haji Safi and he was a free agent and could sign with any club.

Panionios[edit]

On 24 June 2017, Hajsafi signed a two year contract with Greek Super League side Panionios. He is set to team up with fellow countryman Masoud Shojaei at Panionios.[13] Hajsafi became the third Iranian in recent years to play for the club.

Hajsafi made his first appearance for the club on 13 July 2017 in a second round Europa League qualifying match against Slovenian club Gorica. On 20 August 2017, on his league debut with Panionios, Hajsafi recorded an assist from a corner kick.

International career[edit]

Haji Safi playing for Iran against Argentinian star Lionel Messi, 2014 FIFA World Cup

Haji Safi competed for the Iran national under-17 football team at the 2006 AFC Youth Championship. He later went on to appear for the U-20 and U-23 teams.

On 25 May 2008, Haji Safi played his first A national team match for Iran in a friendly game against Zambia. He shone in his debut with two brilliant assists in Iran's 3–2 win at Azadi Stadium. On 2 June, he then played in Iran's 2010 FIFA World Cup World Cup qualification against United Arab Emirates at home. In the return game, Haji Safi came on as a substitute to help Iran win the crucial away game.

His first international goal was against Qatar in the 2008 West Asian Football Federation Championship, when Iran went on to win 6–1. He played in 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification, which was considered the best left side of the competition. He also played for the team in the tournament, in which Iran was eliminated in the Round 16 by South Korea. In March 2014, he was assigned as captain for the first time in his 57th national cap against Kuwait.

On 1 June 2014, he was called into Iran's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad by Carlos Queiroz.[14] He played the full 90 minutes in Iran's first match against Nigeria which ended 0–0. He then started in a match against Argentina and was one of the key players in the match. He substituted in the 88th minute and then Argentina scored their lone goal by Lionel Messi. He also played 63 minutes in Iran's final match against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Iran were eliminated in the group stages. He was called into Iran's 2015 AFC Asian Cup squad on 30 December 2014 by Carlos Queiroz.[15] On 11 January 2015, in Iran's opening match of the tournament, Haji Safi scored the first goal and was named man of the match in a 2–0 win against Bahrain.

On 10 August 2017, Hajsafi was banned from the national team, along with team-mate Masoud Shojaei, for playing with their club Panionios against Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv.[16]

Career statistics[edit]

Club career statistics[edit]

As of 14 October 2017
Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Iran League Hazfi Cup Asia Total
2006–07 Sepahan PGPL 8 0 1 0 7 0 16 0
2007–08 32 6 3 1 5 0 421 7
2008–09 29 6 1 2 4 0 34 8
2009–10 32 5 1 0 6 0 39 5
2010–11 28 2 3 0 7 0 38 3
2011–12 Tractor Sazi (loan) 32 5 1 0 33 5
2012–13 13 4 0 0 0 0 13 4
Sepahan 16 2 3 0 5 0 24 2
2013–14 29 2 1 0 6 0 36 2
2014–15 25 2 1 0 0 0 26 2
2015–16 5 3 0 0 0 0 5 3
Germany League DFB Pokal Europe Total
2015–16 FSV Frankfurt 2. Bundesliga 26 2 1 0 27 2
Iran League Hazfi Cup Asia Total
2016–17 Sepahan PGPL 25 5 4 1 0 0 29 6
Greece League Greek Cup Europe Total
2017–18 Panionios Superleague Greece 6 1 1 0 3 0 10 1
Career total 308 46 21 5 43 0 372 51

1 includes 2 matches in FIFA Club World Cup 2007.

  • Assists
Season Team Assists
07–08 Sepahan 6
08–09 4
09–10 13
10–11 3
11–12 Tractor Sazi 11
12–13 3
Sepahan 1
13–14 6
14–15 2
15–16 2
FSV Frankfurt 1
16–17 Sepahan 8
17–18 Panionios 1

Statistics:[17]

International caps[edit]

Year Apps Goals
Iran
2008 9 1
2009 10 1
2010 10 0
2011 11 0
2012 11 0
2013 5 0
2014 10 1
2015 10 1
2016 6 2
2017 6 0
Total 88 6

International goals[edit]

Hajsafi captaining Iran, against Angola, 26 May 2014
Scores and results list Iran's goal tally first.[18]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 11 August 2008 Takhti Stadium, Tehran  Qatar 4–1 6–1 2008 WAFF
2. 28 December 2009 Suhaim bin Hamad, Doha  Qatar 2–2 2–3 Qatar Friendship Cup
3. 8 June 2014 CT Joaquim Grava, São Paulo  Trinidad and Tobago 1–0 2–0 Friendly
4. 11 January 2015 Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne  Bahrain 1–0 2–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup
5. 24 March 2016 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  India 1–0 4–0 2018 WCQ and 2019 ACQ
6. 24 March 2016 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  India 3–0 4–0 2018 WCQ and 2019 ACQ

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Sepahan
Tractor Sazi

International[edit]

Individual[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ParsFootball - پارس فوتبال - خبرگزاری فوتبال ایران - حاجی صفی آچار فرانسه کرانچار". www.parsfootball.com. 
  2. ^ Football.ir. "Football.ir - حاجی صفی: به جای شریفی، یک بازیکن سن بالا پدیده لیگ شد". 
  3. ^ "Feature: Ten Asian Players To Watch In 2009 - Goal.com". 1 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "jamejamonline". 
  5. ^ "fooladsepahansport.com". Archived from the original on 2011-10-06. 
  6. ^ http://navad.net/NewsContent.aspx?NewsID=23502
  7. ^ "PressTV". www.presstv.com. Archived from the original on 2014-09-04. 
  8. ^ "Hajsafi joins FSV Frankfurt". www.persianfootball.com. 
  9. ^ "FSV Frankfurt vs. Eintracht Braunschweig - 13 september 2015 - Soccerway". nl.soccerway.com. 
  10. ^ "MSV Duisburg vs. FSV Frankfurt - 20 september 2015 - Soccerway". nl.soccerway.com. 
  11. ^ http://www.eurosport.co.uk/football/2-bundesliga/2015–2016/fsv-frankfurt--msv-duisburg_mtc788780/live.shtml
  12. ^ "Streamable - free video publishing". 
  13. ^ "Haji Safi reaches agreement with Panionios". www.tehrantimes.com. 24 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "Queiroz trims Iran squad to 24". FIFA.com. 1 June 2014. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Queiroz Names Team Melli Squad". afcasiancup.com. 30 December 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-01-01. 
  16. ^ Erdbrink, Thomas (10 August 2017). "Iran Bans Two Soccer Stars for Playing Against Israelis". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ "PersianLeague.com". 
  18. ^ "Iran - E. Hajsafi - Profile with news, career statistics and history - Soccerway". www.soccerway.com. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Ehsan Hajsafi at Wikimedia Commons