Ferydoon Zandi in Saipa training
|Full name||Ferydoon Zandi|
|Date of birth||26 April 1979|
|Place of birth||Emden, West Germany|
|Height||1.84 m (6 ft 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder|
|FC St. Pauli II (manager)|
|1992–1993||SV Werder Bremen|
|2016–||FC St. Pauli II|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 October 2012.
Zandi was born in the city of Emden, in northern Germany, to an Iranian father and a German mother. He speaks German and Persian. Ferydoon started playing football at an early age when his talent shone through his playing for a number of youth clubs in and near his hometown.
Zandi was called up for the German under-17 national football team and played for the SV Meppen before being signed by SC Freiburg. There, he failed to establish himself as a starter and was traded to the second-division club VfB Lübeck. After struggling again initially, Zandi spectacularly broke through and established himself as one of the most dangerous and versatile attackers of the Second Bundesliga. He regularly was one of the top scorers and assist givers.
After enjoying two successful seasons in Lübeck, he was signed by 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 2004 and given the number 10 to underline his importance. However, Zandi struggled with his form, arguably not helped by the fact that 1. FCK was then a club in flux, with a high turnover of players after heavy financial problems. He still managed to become a starter and score important goals, but the overall impression was that Zandi failed to live up to the expectations from his strong Lübeck stint.
In season 2005/06, Zandi's position further worsened. In a chaotic season in which 1. FCK spectacularly crashed to the end of the table, he lost his position as a starting playmaker, was benched for a longer period of time, and even had periods when he even failed to be nominated as a bench player at all. Trainer Wolfgang Wolf refused to play him in the second half of the season, and after the relegation of FCK, Zandi is confirmed to be cut from the squad. Also, Amir Ghalenoei, the new manager of Iran national football team, did not invite Ferydoon to the Iranian squad for the Asian Cup qualification games.
On 18 January 2008, he joined Olympiakos Nicosia.
He joined the Iranian side Steel Azin in 2009 and stayed there for two seasons. After the relegation of Steel Azin he left the club and on August 2011 he joined to Esteghlal but he started season with an injury. On 22 October 2011, he made his debut for Esteghlal and made an assist against Zobhan. He won the Hazfi Cup in his first season. He was released by the club on 29 September 2012 and joined the Qatari side Al Ahli. On 5 November 2015, he announced his retirement.
Club career statistics
Last update: 26 August 2013
|2006–07||Apollon Limassol||Cypriot First Division||10||2||-||-|
|2009–10||Steel Azin||Persian Gulf Cup||17||1||1||0||-||-||18||1|
|2012–13||Al Ahli||Second Division||3||1||0||0||-||-||3||1|
- Assist Goals
Raised in Germany, Zandi did not initially have the permission to play for his ancestral Iran as he did not have Iranian citizenship. However, the Iranian Football Federation obtained permission for him to play for them, and Zandi began to compete on the Iranian national side in the second round of 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification against Bahrain. After the qualifications he did not compete again on the team until being invited again for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup.
On 15 July 2007 he scored from a free kick for Iran in their 2–2 draw versus China in the 2007 Asian Cup. He also played for Iran in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification where after the departure of Ali Daei he was not invited for around a year and was invited again by Afshin Ghotbi for a couple of performances but was dropped again. He was invited again after around 18 months by Carlos Queiroz for a friendly in May 2012 against Albania where before the match On 28 May 2012, Zandi announced his retirement from International football.
- Scores and results list Iran's goal tally first.
|1||28 May 2005||Azadi Stadium, Tehran||Azerbaijan||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
|2||15 July 2007||Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur||China PR||1–2||2–2||2007 AFC Asian Cup|
|3||7 June 2008||Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain||United Arab Emirates||1–0||1–0||2010 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|4||31 August 2009||Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa||Bahrain||1–2||2–4||Friendly|
|5||31 August 2009||Bahrain National Stadium, Riffa||Bahrain||2–3||2–4||Friendly|
Skill and potential
Zandi's strong points are his agility, creativity and ball passing and crossing skills. After the signing of Branko Ivanković as head coach of Iran, he was asked to choose Iran over Germany. In the Iranian team, Zandi, being a left-footed skillful attacking player, was just what Ivankovic needed in his squad. After much doubt and rumours he eventually made the decision to play for Iran.
On 8 June 2005, Zandi was one of the starting players of Iran's World Cup qualifying game and 1–0 win against Bahrain, to book their place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which was ironically for Zandi held in none other than Germany.
Zandi has also shown potential when taking free kicks. In Iran's 2–1 victory against Azerbaijan, Ferydoon Zandi shot a beautiful freekick that curved around the defensive wall and into the net, from a couple of meters outside the box. He also scored a crucial goal in the AFC Asian Cup 2007 by scoring a free kick just before halftime to keep Iran's hopes up against China.
However, Zandi's performances in the Iranian team was overshadowed by lackluster appearances in the Bundesliga, where he had failed to live up to his promise. It was hinted that the chaotic environment of perennial relegation candidate 1. FCK was numbing him, but Zandi was regarded as an unremarkable player on a failing squad. His second season half with 1. FCK was dismal, as he even failed to get nominated to a bench spot.
Whilst at Apollon, Zandi scored against Aris a fantastic corner-goal in their 2–1 win. He is a versatile player since he can play as an attacking midfielder and left midfielder as well as at left back.
In 2005, Zandi was victim of a heavy traffic accident on a highway. When another car swerved to the left directly in front of him, Zandi had to evade and crashed into a lorry of the US Army. The lorry took heavy damage, and Zandi's car was utterly wrecked. Miraculously, Zandi made it out with minor injuries only.
- Ferydoon Zandi national-football-teams.com
- "Ferydoon Zandi, aproape de un transfer în Giuleşti". rapidfans.ro. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
-  Archived 5 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
-  Archived 25 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Full-strength Iran for Qatar friendly". PersianLeague.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
- Ahmadov, Ahmad (28 May 2012). "Ferydoon Zandi bids farewell to Iran football team". Iran: Tehran Times. Retrieved 2012-05-28.
- Reference (in German) Archived 29 August 2005 at the Wayback Machine.