Esteghlal F.C.

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Full name Esteghlal Football Club
Nickname(s) Taj
Ābi-hāie Pāitakht (The Blues of the Capital)
Iranian Giants (in AFC Champions League)[citation needed]
Founded September 26, 1945; 72 years ago (1945-09-26)
Ground Azadi Stadium
Ground Capacity 78,116[1]
Chairman Reza Eftekhari
Manager Winfried Schäfer
League Persian Gulf Pro League
2016–17 Persian Gulf Pro League, 2nd
Website Club website
Current season

Esteghlal Football Club (Persian:باشگاه فوتبال استقلال , meaning independence) until 1979 known as Taj Football Club (Persian: تاج, meaning Crown) is an Iranian professional football club based in Tehran that plays in the Persian Gulf Pro League. Esteghlal F.C. is the football club of the multisport Esteghlal Athletic and Cultural Club (Persian: باشگاه فرهنگی ورزشی استقلال تهران).

Founded by General Khosravani, in 1945, the name of the club was first changed to Taj (Persian: تاج) which means "Crown" in Persian. The name of the club was finally modified into Esteghlal (Persian: استقلال) which is the current name of the club, meaning "Independence", subsequent to the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

In 1970, under the management of Zdravko Rajkov, Esteghlal Tehran became the first Iranian football club to win the Asian Club Championship.

They have won several official titles on the national and international stage since 1970, including eight Iranian League (1st tier) titles[2] and a record 6 Hazfi Cups.[3][4] There are two golden stars above the team's official badge to represent winning two first titles in the Asian Club Championship 1970 and 1990. Esteghlal also has two second titles in 1991, 1998 and two third titles in 1971, 2001. With seven appearances in the semi finals, Esteghlal is third successful club in AFC Champions League after Pohang Steelers and Al-Hilal FC.


Early years (1945–1949)[edit]

Docharkheh Savaran (Esteghlal) first squad in 1947 From right to left: Danaeifard, Babajaan, Samadiaan, Haraajchi, Mohandes Jaavdani, Vaali, Sharghi, Aashout, Tafreshi, Nouri, Karlów

On 20 September 1945, some young athletes and students including a 23 year old military officer Parviz Khosravaani (first manager of the club), Asghar Navaab (Bicycle Mechanic), Enayat Jananpour (National Sports Organisation staff member), Mirzaee (carpenter) and Khashaaei (bank guard) established a sports club on Ferdowsi Street, Tehran. Since the founders of the club were mostly interested in cycling, the club's original name was Docharkhe Savaran (Persian: دوچرخه سواران‎), meaning 'The Cyclists' in Persian. Ali Danaeifard coach and player of tour joined to them and became the first coach and Captain of Esteghlal. Esteghlal football club played its first official match in 1946.

In the first year, the 1946 season, they stood in second place of Tehran Football League and Tehran Hazfi Cup. They played against strong teams like Daraei, Sarbaaz and Shahin.

The 1947 season ended with the first ever Esteghlal's cup, after victories against Daraei, Shahin and Oghaab to reach the Tehran Hazfi Cup.

Docharkhe Savaran founders and players consisted of Ali Danaeifard, Parviz Khosravani, Amou Oghli, Graeeli and Seyyed Ali Agha agreed with the rename of the club to TAJ in 1949.

The crown of Tehran (1950–1969)[edit]

Ali Danaeifard, club player and manager from 1946 until 1969

From the beginning Taj or Docharkeh Savaran competed in the Tehran Local League, which at the time was the highest ranked league in Iran. On March 6, 1950, Taj played its first official game in front of over 20,000 spectators in Amjadieh Stadium against Shahin; Taj managed a close 1–0 win.

Taj won seven first titles in 50's and 60's; 1949-1950, 1951-1952, 1957-1958 and the three consecutive championships in 1959-1960, 1960-1961 and 1961-1962 (in this following years Taj add two first title of Tehran Provincial League and Tehran Hazfi Cup both!) and again in 1963-1964 season (Persepolis established in this year at Tehran's 3rd Division).

Taj also won four Tehran Hazfi Cup in 1947, 1951, 1958 and 1959. The most successful club in Iran between that years, so far than other great teams like Daraei with three first titles and Shahin with two first titles and four second place.[5] The first national cup was obtained in 1957 National Football League after victory against Tabriz team by three goals.Taj represented tehrans's football in those games which played in Bagh-e-Homayun ground.

Ali Danaeifard managed Esteghlal for about twenty years, first as midfielder and coach and later in 1950 until 1967 as Coach of Taj. His son Iraj Danaeifard became the star of Taj and National team in the 70s and his daughter is a football coach. Fans call him Father of Esteghlal.

Some of the best players of those years as follows: Boyuk Jeddikar, Aref Gholizadeh, Parviz Koozehkanani, Mahmoud Bayati, Mohammad Ranjbar, Mohammad Amir Khatami, Nader Afshar Alavinejad, George Markarian, Kambozia Jamali, Karam Nayyerloo, Hassan Habibi, Heshmat Mohajerani, Fariborz Esmaeili, Parviz Aboutaleb, Mohammad Reza Adelkhani and Ali Jabbari.

Büyük Jeddikar known for being the first footballer in Iranian football history to be transferred from an Iranian club TAJ (Esteghlal) to a foreign club in 1957.

Tehran old derby was a sensitive match which played between TAJ and Shahin in mid century,until 1967. After desolation of Shahin. Other teams Added Shahin's players to their teams including Newborn team Persepolis. Shahin returned at 1974 as Shahbaz and in 80's as Shahin and was not related to Persepolis. Boyuk Jeddikar is best scorer of that rival matches for Taj.

The first Asian & Iranian championships (1970–1972)[edit]

The 1970 Asian Club Championship was the 3rd edition of the annual Asian club football competition hosted by Asian Football Confederation. Seven clubs from seven countries competed in the tournament. The tournament was held in Tehran, Iran in April. The clubs were split in two groups and the group winners and runners-up advanced to semifinals. Taj defeated Hapoel Tel Aviv of Israel 2–1 in the final to win its first ever Asian Club Championship and started new era in Iranian football with announced of professionalization of football in Iran.

This year had another Honor for TAJ, The first Iranian national league title: 1970–71 Local League under management of legendary Rajkov. TAJ defeated PAS 2-1 in final match. Captain Ali Jabbari introduced as best player of the league. TAJ have reached to third place of 1971 Asian Club Championship, a year after the first Asian Cup of club. They were defeated ROK Army of Korea 3-2 in Third place match.

TAJ squad in 1970 as national and continental champions

Takhte Jamshid era (1973–1978)[edit]

Esteghlal stood at second place in the 1973-74 league, with only two points less than Persepolis. Gholam Hossein Mazloumi was the top scorer of the league, with 15 goals. TAJ reached the 1974-75 Takht Jamshid Cup the next year, the second official Iranian Football League for Club. Mazloumi was still the best scorer. After the championship, Taj stars who had some problems with the manager left the club and went to Shahbaz FC (new name of Shahin FC); Mazloumi, Mohammad Reza Adelkhani and Naser Hejazi. Some old players like Captain Ali Jabbari, Mansour Pourheidari, Akbar Kargarjam, Abbas Mojdehi, Ezzat Jaanmaleki (Barbed Wire), Karo Haghverdian preferred to leave football. Social tensions came to the club, a rebellion against the system which named revolution in next years.

1979 Revolution[edit]

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, the club was taken over by the newly established Islamic government and put under the control of the Physical Education Organization of the Islamic republic of Iran (Persian: سازمان تربیت بدنی جمهوری اسلامی ايران‎), a governmental organization, and changed its name to Esteghlal (Persian: استقلال‎), 'Independence' in Persian; Taj (Persian: تاج‎) means 'Crown' in Persian. After the revolution, any sign of the previous monarchist regime was not tolerated.


During the 1980s, Esteghlal won the Tehran Football League twice. The 1989–90 season was a memorable one for Esteghlal. The club finished 1st in Group B of the Qods League and advanced to the semi-finals. Esteghlal defeated Malavan 4–0 on aggregate to advance to the final against the hated rival: Persepolis. Esteghlal defeated Persepolis 2–1 with a 74th-minute goal by Samad Marfavi to win the Qods League; this proved to be one of the most memorable derbies for Esteghlal. In the following season, Esteghlal made it to the final of the Hazfi Cup only to lose to Malavan on penalties.

1990-91 proved to be one of Esteghlal's most memorable years as they won the Asian Club Championship for the 2nd time defeating Chinese club Liaoning 2–1. Mansour Pourheidari added another Asian Cup for Esteghlal as head coach, he played as defender in 1970 championships. In next year Esteghlal reached to 1991 Asian Club Championship final match again and they're lose the match in penalties to Al-Hilal FC. Esteghlal once again reached the final of the Asian Club Championship in 1999, this time losing to Japanese club Júbilo Iwata 1–2 in Tehran. It was an emotional match under coaching of Naser Hejazi.

Iran Pro League[edit]

2001 marked the first year of the newly founded Iran Pro League. Going into the final day, Esteghlal was on top of the league's table; however, with an Esteghlal loss and a Persepolis win, Persepolis was crowned as the league's inaugural champion. However, the 2001–02 Hazfi Cup provided some consolation for Esteghlal as they beat Fajr Sepasi 4–3 on aggregate to win the cup. The 2002–03 season was one of the worst years in club history, as they finished 9th under the management of Roland Koch and were eliminated in the group stage of the AFC Champions League.

Ghalenoi era[edit]

In July 2003, Amir Ghalenoi was appointed manager of Esteghlal. In his first year, Esteghlal finished runner-up in the league, finishing two points behind the champion Pas Tehran. Ghalenoi also made it to the final of the Hazfi Cup losing 2–5 on aggregate to Sepahan. His second season proved to be less successful as Esteghlal finished 3rd and failed to qualify to the AFC Champions League. However, the 2005–06 season was a completely different year; Esteghlal were crowned champions of the Iran Pro League for the first time in the Pro League era. At the end of the season, Ghalenoi left Esteghlal for the national team job.

League troubles[edit]

In 2006 after the departure of Amir Ghalenoi, his assistant and youth team coach Samad Marfavi took over the head-coaching job. Esteghlal had a disappointing season, finishing fourth, thus failing to secure a spot in the AFC Champions League, as well as only reaching the Round of 16 in the Hazfi Cup with a shock defeat by Fajr Sepasi. After Marfavi's departure in August 2007, another Esteghlali great, former goalkeeper Nasser Hejazi took over; but after only 14 games and 4 defeats, Hejazi was fired as manager in November 2007. Firouz Karimi was hired as the temporary head coach for the remainder of the season; he did not fare much better than Hejazi and the team finished 13th in the league, its lowest finish ever. Firouz Karimi was fired in May 2008 and Amir Ghalenoi was hired again in July 2008. He quickly regrouped the team and the Hazfi Cup proved to be a valuable consolation, as Esteghlal became champions after defeating Pegah Gilan 3–1 on aggregate, thus securing a Champions League spot after a two-year absence. During Ghalenoi's first full and only season in his second stint with Esteghlal, he led the team to an Iran Pro League championship, finishing ahead of Zob Ahan on goal difference. However, after a group stage exit in the AFC Champions League, Ghalenoi resigned.

Samad Marfavi took the reins of Esteghlal for a second time; Marfavi led the team to a 3rd place league finish in the 2009–10 season and also led the team to the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League, losing to Al Shabab of Saudi Arabia 2–3 on aggregate. In the spring of 2010, Marfavi extended his contract for another year, but strangely a few days later he resigned. This time Esteghlal turned to Parviz Mazloumi, a former Esteghlal player in the 1980s. During his 2-year tenure with Esteghlal, he led the team to 2nd and 3rd place league finishes, as well as a Hazfi Cup trophy in 2012. After a 0–2 loss to fellow countrymen Sepahan in the Round 16 of the AFC Champions League, Mazloumi was sacked by the club and Amir Ghalenoi took the reins of Esteghlal for a third time.

Return of Ghalenoi[edit]

The new era started with an exciting year for Esteghlal as both former Aston Villa man Jlloyd Samuel and Iran national football team captain Javad Nekounam joined the team. With these players, Ghalenoi had no trouble leading Esteghlal to a comfortable league victory in his first season back. The team also made it to the semi-finals of the Hazfi Cup which they eventually lost to Sepahan. The year was also marked by advancing to the AFC Champions League semi-finals where they met Korean side FC Seoul. After a 0–2 away loss in the first leg, Esteghlal faced an uphill task; they returned to Azadi Stadium with much belief but eventually lost to FC Seoul 2–4 on aggregate.

The next season however was a disappointing one for Ghalenoi and his team. With a chance to win the league on the final match day, Esteghlal lost 1–3 to Tractor Sazi and dropped to 5th place, and out of a champions league slot. Esteghlal also faced a shock defeat at the hands of Mes Kerman in the Hazfi Cup semi-finals. To top off Esteghlal's horrendous year, the team failed to reach the AFC Champions League knock-out stage, finishing 3rd in its group. Amir Ghalenoi earned the title of "General" from the club's fans for his performance.

Mansourian era[edit]

After Esteghlal's defeat to Zob Ahan in the Hazfi Cup final on May 29, 2016, Parviz Mazloomi was fired and replaced by former player and Naft Tehran's head coach Alireza Mansourian on June 1, 2016. Esteghlal started the season poorly and were knocked out of the Hazfi Cup in the Quarter-finals by Naft Tehran. The club was also issued a transfer ban for the 2017 winter period for outstanding debts to Adil Chihi. On 7 February 2017, Esteghlal defeated Qatari club Al Sadd on penalties to advance to the 2017 AFC Champions League group stage. Esteghlal was defeated by Al Ain 6-1 on quarter final of 2017 AFC Champions League and was eliminated. Mansourian was the head coach of Esteghlal until 7th week of 2017-2018 season of Persian Gulf Pro League. Mansourian resigned after accumulating only 5 points in 7 matches and standing on 16th position.

Winfried Schäfer era[edit]

German national, Winfried Schäfer was appointed as new manager of Esteghlal Tehran on Oct 1st, 2017.

Crest and colours[edit]

Docharkhe Savaran (Cyclists) club found in 1945 after end of Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran; this dark years brought football for Iran with foreign soldiers. Cycling in those days, was a sign of modernity in country and some of founders are champions in that. The club was active in Cycling, Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Weightlifting، Wrestling, Swimming and ping pong. After early success in football; the club was inevitably renamed. TAJ was new name, means crown, the crown traditionally represents power, legitimacy, victory, triumph, honor, and glory, as well as immortality, righteousness, and resurrection. In Persian literature Taj is more than a sign of monarchy and usually refers to highest point or best thing; for example Taj Mahal. Fans calls Esteghlal: Taj-e Asia (Crown of Asia). After Iranian Revolution in 1979 all things those have relation with monarchy was not tolerated and after three years club opened with new name Esteghlal, means Independence in Persian. The first part of The motto of Iranian Revolution. The colour of Blue and shape of Circles are main elements which saved in new simplified badge.

The Color of Blue[edit]

Esteghlal wearing blue shirt from the beginning with white or blue short and socks.The second colour of club is White, colour of Team Melli.

Historical Kits[edit]

The First
50's–60's Champions

Tehran derby[edit]

The club's biggest rival and its opponent in the Tehran derby is Persepolis. The first derby match between the clubs took place on April 5, 1968 at Amjadieh Stadium. Today, all derbies and home matches are played at Azadi Stadium which is usually sold out for the derby. Esteghlal has the most wins in the Tehran derby with 25 victories. Esteghlal has eleven wins against Persepolis with 3 goals and 4 consecutive victories between 2010–2011 years.

In 1995, IRIFF began to invite foreign referees to officiate the derby to ease fans' and players' suspicions of referee bias. This occurred after the events of the 38th derby (January 20, 1995) in which Persepolis was leading by a score of 2–0 until the 79th minute when Esteghlal scored two goals within 8 minutes to erase the deficit; the 1st goal was scored from the penalty spot which angered the Persepolis fans and players who felt the referee was biased towards Esteghlal. Persepolis fans stormed the field in the 88th minute and fights broke out on the pitch between fans and players. Following the match, it was decided that Iranian referees would no longer be used for the derby. After 14 years of foreign referees, the second leg of the 2008–09 season saw an Iranian once again refereeing the derby. The game ended in a draw with goals coming from Mojtaba Jabari and Maziar Zare.

Supporters and fans[edit]

Esteghlal fans at Tehran derby

Esteghlal is one of the most supported teams in Iranian and Asian football. The club is based in Tehran and is popular in all parts of the country. Esteghlal also has a fan base in the United States, Europe and Persian Gulf countries.

Famous fans[edit]


Esteghlal fans waiting for Esteghlal vs Bargh match to start, 21st April 2006, Azadi stadium, Tehran.

Azadi Stadium is Iran's national stadium and the largest in the country. Azadi Stadium officially had a capacity of 100,000 people at the beginning[57][58] and was built to host the 1974 Asian Games. The stadium is part of the much larger Azadi Sports Complex and is surrounded by a rowing river, football training pitches, a weightlifting complex, swimming facilities and indoor volleyball and futsal courts, among many other amenities. Today, Azadi Stadium has a capacity of 78,116 after renovations in 2016.[59]

Esteghlal's home stadium is Azadi (Persian: ورزشگاه آزادی‎), a football stadium in Tehran, Iran. The stadium's former name was Aryamehr Stadium which was changed after the Iranian Revolution. The stadium has been filled over capacity on numerous occasions; for example, when it has faced rivals Persepolis in the Tehran derby or in several AFC Champions League matches. Prior to the construction of Azadi, Esteghlal used to play their games at Amjadieh Stadium.

Imam Reza Stadium[edit]

Esteghlal became the owner of Imam Reza Stadium in the winter of 2016. The stadium with a capacity of 10,000 is to be used for training sessions and friendly matches.


Current squad[edit]

As of 31 July 2017.[60]

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 Mehdi Rahmati (Captain)
2 Iran DF Khosro Heydari (Vice-captain)
4 Iran MF Roozbeh Cheshmi
5 Iran DF Majid Hosseini
6 Iran MF Omid Ebrahimi
9 Iran FW Ali Ghorbani
11 Iran FW Jaber Ansari
14 Iran MF Farshid Bagheri
16 Iran MF Mehdi Ghaedi
18 Iran DF Milad Zakipour
No. Position Player
20 Uzbekistan MF Server Djeparov
21 Iran DF Vouria Ghafouri
22 Iran GK Hossein Hosseini
23 Iran MF Dariush Shojaeian
24 Iran MF Omid Noorafkan
28 Iran MF Mohsen Karimi
33 Iran DF Pejman Montazeri
77 Iran FW Behnam Barzay
88 Iran MF Farshid Esmaeili
90 Brazil DF Leandro Padovani

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Position Player
12 Iran DF Mohammad Reza Hashemi (at Shamoushak Noshahr F.C. until 30 June 2018)
13 Iran MF Miad Yazdani (at Sepidrood until 30 June 2018)[61]
No. Position Player
77 Iran FW Sajjad Aghaei (at Aluminium Arak until 30 June 2018)
14 Iran MF Sina Khadempour (at Naft Talaieh until 30 June 2018)

Other players under contract[edit]

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

No. Position Player
7 Iran FW Hassan Beyt Saeed
8 Iran MF Mojtaba Jabbari
10 Iran FW Sajjad Shahbazzadeh
No. Position Player
15 Armenia DF Hrayr Mkoyan
17 Iran MF Yaghoub Karimi

Reserves(Esteghlal B)[edit]

Note:These players are on the Independence Team list. They also participate in team training and are under the Contracts of Independence Club. Mostly they are not on the list of 18 players.

As of 31 July 2017

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

No. Position Player
13 Iran DF Armin Sohrabian
30 Iran DF Azim Gök
70 Iran FW Mohammad Javad Mohammadi
19 Iran GK Arshia Babazadeh
26 Iran FW Fardin Najafi
27 Iran MF Hossein Heydari
29 Iran DF Amir Hossein Kargar
No. Position Player
25 Iran DF Ali Shafiei
Iran MF Amir Hossein Sheikholeslami
Iran FW Aliakbar Najafi
Iran FW Hossein Tavakkoli
Iran MF Majid Tajik
Iran GK Mohammad Fayhezi

Notable players[edit]

Club captains[edit]

Mehdi is Esteghlal's current captain.

Esteghlal captains since 1990.

# Name Captaincy
Iran Shahin Bayani 1990–1992
Iran Amir Ghalenoei 1992–1997
Iran Javad Zarincheh 1997–2000
Iran Mehdi Pashazadeh 2000–2003
Iran Mahmoud Fekri 2003–2007
Iran Ali Reza Mansourian 2007–2008
Iran Farhad Majidi 2008–2013
Iran Mehdi Rahmati 2013–2014
Iran Amir Hossein Sadeghi 2014–2015
Iran Reza Enayati 2015

World Cup players[edit]

Olympic players[edit]


Coaching staff[edit]

Winfried Schaefer is the current manager of the club.
Position[62] Name
Head coach Germany Winfried Schäfer
Assistant coach Jamaica Miguel Coley
Assistant coach Czech Republic Jiri Sanak
Assistant coach Iran Bijan Taheri
Goalkeeper coach Iran Ashkan Namdari
Fitness coach Jamaica Miguel Coley
Analyst Germany Sascha Oliver Schäfer
Analyst Iran Hasan Khanban
Physiotherapist Iran Amin Noroozi
Doctor Iran Kaveh Sotoudeh
Massager Iran Mehrshad Rahbari
Team manager Iran Nasrollah Abdollahi
Academy director Iran Sadegh Varmazyar
U23 manager Iran Mohammad Navazi
U19 manager Iran Mohammad Fadayi
U16 manager Iran Hossein Kazemi
U14 manager Iran Meghdad Kodabande
Procurement Iran Madad Jabari
Procurement Iran Hossein Amanati
Media director Iran Mohammad Hossein Zarandi


Reza Eftekhari is the current president of the club.
Chairman Iran Reza Eftekhari
Deputy chairman Iran Pendar Toufighi
Secretary of the board Iran Pendar Toufighi
Other board members Iran Javad Ghorab
Iran Hassan Zamani
Iran Akbar Abbasi
Iran Hossein Gharib
Technical committee members Iran Javad Ghorab
Iran Akbar Kargarjam
Iran Ali Jabbari
Iran Sohrab Bakhtiarizadeh
Iran Sirous Dinmohammadi
Iran Mohammad Nouri

Club managers[edit]

Notable managers[edit]

Only managers who have won at least one trophy are listed.

Name Period Trophies
Domestic International
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Zdravko Rajkov 1969–76 0 0 2 1
Germany Vladimir Gekić 1977–79 0 1 0 0
Iran Mansour Pourheidari 1983–86
0 2 2 1
Iran Nasser Hejazi 1996–99 0 0 1 0
Iran Amir Ghalenoie 2003–06
3 2 0 0
Iran Parviz Mazloumi 2010–12
0 1 0 0

IPL managers[edit]

Zdravko Rajkov was Esteghlal's first international coach.

Last updated: December 6, 2017

Name Nat From To Record
P W D L Win %
Mansour Pourheidari Iran February 2000 July 2002 26 13 9 4 50%
Roland Koch[63] Germany July 2002 June 2003 26 8 8 10 31%
Amir Ghalenoei[64][65][66] Iran July 2003 July 2006 86 46 30 10 53%
Samad Marfavi[67] Iran July 2006 August 2007 30 14 10 6 47%
Nasser Hejazi Iran August 2007 November 2007 14 5 5 4 36%
Firooz Karimi Iran November 2007 May 2008 20 6 5 9 30%
Amir Ghalenoei[68] Iran July 2008 June 2009 34 19 9 6 56%
Samad Marfavi[69] Iran July 2009 June 2010 34 16 11 7 47%
Parviz Mazloumi Iran June 2010 May 2012 68 37 20 11 54%
Amir Ghalenoei Iran June 2012 June 2015 92 47 26 19 51%
Parviz Mazloumi Iran June 2015 June 2016 30 13 13 4 43%
Alireza Mansourian[70] Iran June 2016 September 2017 37 17 11 9 45%
Mick McDermott (caretaker) Northern Ireland September 2017 October 2017 1 1 0 0 100%
Winfried Schäfer Germany October 2017 Present 7 3 3 1 43%


Chairman Tenure
Iran Parviz Khosravani September 1945 – June 1960
Iran Parviz Sheikhan June 1960 – February 1979
Iran Ali Abdullahi Nourozi May 1979 – May 1983
Iran Kazem Oliaei January 1988 – May 1996
Iran Ali Fathollahzadeh May 1996 – May 2003
Iran Hossein Gharib June 2003 – July 2005
Iran Kazem Oliaei July 2005 – December 2005
Iran Hossein Gharib December 2005 – September 2006
Iran Meghdad Najafnejad September 2006 – May 2007
Iran Ali Fathollahzadeh May 2007 – September 2008
Iran Amir Reza Vaezi Ashtiani September 2008 – May 2010
Iran Ali Fathollahzadeh June 2010 – May 2014
Iran Bahram Afsharzadeh May 2014 – August 2016
Iran Reza Eftekhari August 2016 – present




Taj SC Museum 1970s
1st, gold medalist(s) Winners (8): 1970–71, 1974–75, 1989–90, 1997–98, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2012–13
2nd, silver medalist(s) Runners-up (9): 1973–74, 1991–92, 1994–95, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2010–11, 2016–17


1st, gold medalist(s) Winners (6):, 1976–77, 1995–96, 1999–00, 2001–02, 2007–08, 2011–12
2nd, silver medalist(s) Runners-up (4): 1989–90, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2015–16


  • Tehran Football League (record):
    • Winners (14): 1948–1949, 1951–1952, 1955–1956, 1956–57, 1958–1959, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1969–1970, 1970–1971, 1972–73, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1991–92, 1995–96
    • Runners-up (7): 1945–46, 1950–51, 1957–58, 1968–69, 1982–83, 1989–90, 1990–91
  • Tehran Hazfi Cup:
    • Winners (4): 1946–1947, 1950–1951, 1957–1958, 1958–1959
    • Runners-up (2): 1945-46, 1969–70
  • Tehran Super Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1995-96,


1st, gold medalist(s) Winners (2):, 1970 - 1990-91
2nd, silver medalist(s) Runners-up (2):, 1991- 1998-99
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Third place (2):, 1971 - 2001–02

Unofficial titles[edit]

  • Caspian Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1996
  • Kish Quartet Competition Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1996
  • Ettehad Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1973
  • Turkmenistan President's Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1998
  • Bordoloi Trophy:
    • Winners (1): 1989
  • Milz Cup:
    • Winners (4): 1969, 1970, 1971, 1989
    • Runners-up (1): 1972
  • Qatar Independence Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1991
  • Emirates Quartet Competition Cup:
    • Runners-up (1): 1996
  • Shohada Cup:
    • Runners-up (1): 2014
  • Iran Velayat International Cup
    • Third place (1): 2011
    • Fourth place (1): 2010

Statistics and records[edit]

Statistics in IPL[edit]

  • Seasons in IPL: 17 (all)
  • Best position in IPL: First (2005–06, 2008–2009, 2012–13)
  • Worst position in IPL: 13 (2007–08)
  • Most goals scored in a season: 70 (2008–09)
  • Most goals scored in a match: 6 – 0 (1 time)
  • Most goals conceded in a match: 4 – 1(4 times)
  • Player with a most goal in a single match: Reza Enayati with 5 goals

Statistics in ACL[edit]

  • Most goals scored in a match: 8 – 0 (1 time)
  • Most goals conceded in a match: 6 – 1 (1 time)
  • Player with the most goals in a single match: Ali Jabari with 3 goals

Statistics in Hazfi Cup[edit]

  • Most goals scored in a match: 13 – 0 (1 time)
  • Most goals conceded in a match: 0 – 3 (1 time)
  • Player with the most goals in a single match: Arash Borhani with 5 goals


For details on seasons, see List of Esteghlal F.C. seasons.

Season Div. Pos. Hazfi Cup Asia
2001–02 IPL 2nd Champion CL 3rd
2002–03 IPL 9th Quarter-final CL Group stage
2003–04 IPL 2nd Final
2004–05 IPL 3rd Quarter-final
2005–06 IPL 1st Quarter-final
2006–07 IPL 4th Round of 16 CL Disqualified
2007–08 IPL 13th Champion
2008–09 IPL 1st Round of 16 CL Group stage
2009–10 IPL 3rd Quarter-final CL Round of 16
2010–11 IPL 2nd Semi-final CL Group stage
2011–12 IPL 3rd Champion CL Round of 16
2012–13 IPL 1st Semi-final CL Semi-final
2013–14 IPL 5th Semi-final CL Group stage
2014–15 IPL 6th Quarter-final
2015–16 IPL 3rd Final
2016–17 IPL 2nd Quarter-final CL Round of 16

Esteghlal Ladies[edit]

TAJ Women's Football Club. Ali Danaeifard (coach) and members, 1970

Esteghlal (former name:Taj) was the first club in Iran that established a team for women's football. To reach this goal the club has made some champs for training players.[71][72] The women's team which competed in the Kowsar Women Football League was dissolved in 2016 due to financial issues.

Club ranking[edit]

Asian club ranking[edit]

As of October 22, 2017[73]
Current rank Country Team
20 China Shanghai SIPG
21 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos
22 Iran Esteghlal
23 Iran Tractor Sazi F.C.
24 Japan Kashiwa Reysol

World club ranking[edit]

As of July 23, 2017[74]
Current Rank Country Team
206 Argentina Colón Santa Fe
207 Scotland Aberdeen
208 Iran Esteghlal
209 Italy Carpi
210 Brazil Chapecoense AF

Kits & Sponsorship[edit]

Period Kit manufacturer Sponsor
2008–09 Uhlsport Iran Mobile Market
2010–11 City Bank
2012–13 Refah Bank
2013–14 Merooj Iran Mobile Market
2015–16 361 Degrees Hamrah Aval
2016–17 Li-Ning
2017-18 MTN Irancell


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External links[edit]

Preceded by
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Preceded by
Liaoning FC
Champions of Asia
Succeeded by
Saudi Arabia