Karim Ansarifard

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Karim Ansarifard
Iran vs. Montenegro 2014-05-26 (059).jpg
Ansarifard at Stadion Hartberg during a match between Iran and Montenegro
Personal information
Full name Karim Ansarifard
Date of birth (1990-04-03) 3 April 1990 (age 26)[1]
Place of birth Ardabil, Iran[1]
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Olympiacos
Number 17
Youth career
2000–2005 Inter Campus
2005–2006 Zob Ahan Ardabil
2006–2007 Saipa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2012 Saipa 124 (68)
2012–2013 Persepolis 31 (12)
2013–2014 Tractor Sazi 28 (14)
2014–2015 Osasuna 16 (0)
2015–2017 Panionios 44 (14)
2017– Olympiacos 5 (1)
National team
2005–2006 Iran U17 3 (0)
2007–2008 Iran U20 7 (5)
2009–2011 Iran U23 13 (5)
2009– Iran 56 (14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 March 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 March 2017

Karim Ansarifard (Persian: کریم انصاری‌فرد‎‎; born 3 April 1990, Ardabil) is an Iranian footballer who plays as a striker for Greek club Olympiacos and the Iranian national team. His playing style and ability have drawn comparisons to Ali Daei (the coach who scouted him) and he has been named Daei's "successor".[1]

World Soccer selected Ansarifard as one of the best young talents in the world alongside Javier Hernández and Jack Wilshere.[2] On 13 January 2012, FIFA.com selected him as one of the players to watch in 2012.[3] Goal.com also chose him as one of the hottest 100 young football players in the world.[4] Also in 2012, FIFA ranked him as the 48th best goalscorer in the world and second best in Asia.

Club career[edit]

Saipa[edit]

During one of Saipa's training camps in Ardabil, Karim's home city, he was taken on a training trial by then-coach Ali Daei and was accepted into the club's youth academy and reserves.[1] In the 2007 season Saipa the Iranian reigning champions encountered problems in scoring after the departure of Mohsen Khalili and retirement of then-coach Ali Daei. After 12 weeks Ali Daei moved Ansarifard to the first team from the reserves and the young starlet answered the coach's faith with good games including the only goal against a strong Sepahan team.[5] Ansarifard scored 13 goals during the 2009/2010 season. After strong performances, Karim became fast one of the best players of Saipa and targeted by European clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and Celtic F.C.[6] later, FC Steaua București made a €200,000 bid for a half season loan.[7] In May 2011, it was suggested that Everton are interested in signing Ansarifard.[8] Despite major interest from European clubs, conscription problems made the prospect of Ansarifard moving to a foreign club unlikely. Ansarifard renewed his contract with Saipa for another two years on 14 July 2011. In the 2011–2012 Iranian Pro League season, Ansarifard scored 21 goals and made 5 assists for Saipa, becoming the league's top scorer.

Persepolis[edit]

There was much speculation during the 2011–12 Iranian Pro League season that Ansarifard would be leaving Saipa. On 17 June 2012 he signed a three-years contract with Persepolis.[9] He was given the number 9 shirt. He scored his first goal in a pre-season match against Aluminium. He made his debut for Persepolis in an official match against Sanat Naft and scored his first goal for Persepolis against Gahar Zagros. He scored his first Hat-trick as a Persepolis player (and second in his career) against Paykan. He scored another hat-trick in the Round of 32 of Hazfi Cup at Malavan. He also scored the Persepolis' first goal in the Hazfi Cup final. His team would go on to lose on penalties. At the start of the season, Ansarifard initially decided to stay at Persepolis despite bids from Sepahan, Tractor Sazi and two UAE Pro League sides.[10] However he fell out with club head coach Ali Daei during pre-season. He was out listed and was eventually transferred to Tractor Sazi on 14 July 2013.[11][12]

Tractor Sazi[edit]

After Persepolis listed him in the out of the squad, he decided to play another season in Iran and joined Tractor Sazi. He signed a one-year contract with the option of a transfer to the European leagues in the case of bids.[13] He made his debut on 1 August 2013 in a 1–1 draw in Tabriz derby over Gostaresh Foolad. He won Hazfi Cup title with Tractor Sazi and was named as the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Ansarifard scored seventeen goals for Tabriz's reds during his spell at the team, fourteen goals was in the league, making him the season's top scorer for the second time in his professional career. In July 2014 Ansarifard was released by Tractor Sazi and was allowed to sign with a European club.

Osasuna[edit]

On 29 August 2014, Ansarifard signed a two-year deal with Segunda División's CA Osasuna.[14] He made his league debut on 4 October 2014, coming on as a substitute for Roberto Torres in the 61st minute against Racing de Santander.[15][16][17] He made his first start on 18 October in a 3–2 win against CD Tenerife.[18]

Panionios[edit]

In the summer of 2015, Ansarifard signed with Panionios F.C. in the Superleague Greece.[19] He scored his first goal for the club in a 5–1 win over Panetolikos F.C. on 3 October 2015.[20] Ansarifard scored the winning goal on 7 November 2015 in a match against Platanias. On 28 November 2015, Karim Ansarifard scored a brace and helped Panionios win against PAS Giannina 2–0.[21] His solo goal in April 2016 during matchday 28 in a victory against PAOK earned him goal of the week honours.

On May 2016, Iranian striker of Panionios, whose contract expires at the end of next season, was offered to PAOK Thessaloniki but the 26-year old international is not on top of Eagles' shortlist right now. He started the 2016-17 season as the undisputable leader of club's offence. On 10 September 2016, he scored his first goal for the season in a triumphant 3-0 home win against rivals Asteras Tripoli.

Olympiacos[edit]

On 13 January 2017, Ansarifard signed a 3,5-year contract with Greek giants Olympiacos for a transfer fee of €400,000, while Panionios kept a 10% percentage of the player's next sale.[22] He was assigned the number 17. On 24 January 2017, he made his first appearance for the club in a Greek Cup 1–1 away draw against Aris Thessaloniki, scoring his first goal to equalise the game.[23]

Ansarifard made his league debut on 11 February 2017 in a 2–0 win against Larissa, coming on as a late second half substitute. On 23 February 2017, Karim scored a brace in his second Europa League game against Osmanlispor. With Karim's goals Olympiacos advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time since 2012.[24] Karim won the UEFA Europa League Player of the week due to his performance against Osmanlispor.[25]

Ansarifard scored his first league goal for Olympiacos on 12 March 2017 in a 2–0 victory against Atromitos.[26]

International career[edit]

He was Invited to Iran national under-17 football team in 2005.[27] In 2006 AFC U-17 Championship, he worn number 14 and was a benchwarmer. Ansarifard played as a substitute in two matches against Tajikistan[28] and Yemen.[29]

Karim Ansarifard made his debut against Iceland in November 2009 under Afshin Ghotbi and scored his first international goal and the only goal of the game. He was given the legendary number 10 previously worn by Ali Daei and scored on 15 January 2011 his 3rd international goal against North Korea, so Ansarifard became Iran's youngest ever goalscorer in the AFC Asian Cup. In 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, Ansarifard scored a double against Maldives at Azadi Stadium.[30] He came on as a late substitute against Uzbekistan in the World Cup Qualifiers and assisted with a beautiful pass for Mohammad Reza Khalatbari as a 94th-minute winner. On 1 June 2014, he was called into Iran's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad by Carlos Queiroz.[31] He played his first World Cup match against Bosnia and Herzegovina, coming on as a substitute for Ashkan Dejagah in the 68th minute. He was called into Iran's 2015 AFC Asian Cup squad on 30 December 2014 by Carlos Queiroz.[32] He provided an assist to Sardar Azmoun in their Asian Cup preparation match against Iraq.

Style of play[edit]

Karim Ansarifard with Carlos Queiroz and Ashkan Dejagah before match of Oman in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

He has been compared to Iranian legend Ali Daei and young German forward Thomas Muller by his fans. His favorite player is Fernando Torres.[33] He is a center forward with great energy and impressive in both air and ground. He played as a right winger in first season for Saipa but in next seasons returned to his main position.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He is the last child of the family and he has three brothers and three sisters. He studied Physical Education at Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch.[1]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 20 March 2017[34]
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Saipa 2007–08 18 1 0 0 5 1 23 2
2008–09 14 1 1 0 15 1
2009–10 31 13 1 0 32 13
2010–11 29 19 1 0 30 19
2011–12 31 21 0 0 31 21
Totals 123 55 3 0 5 1 131 56
Persepolis 2012–13 31 8 5 4 36 12
Totals 31 8 5 4 0 0 36 12
Tractor Sazi 2013–14 28 14 4 2 3 1 35 17
Totals 28 14 4 2 3 1 35 17
Osasuna 2014–15 16 0 1 0 17 0
Totals 16 0 1 0 0 0 17 0
Panionios 2015–16 30 9 6 1 36 10
2016–17 14 5 1 0 15 5
Totals 44 14 7 1 0 0 51 15
Olympiacos 2016–17 5 1 4 1 4 2 12 4
Totals 5 1 4 1 4 2 13 4
Career Totals 247 92 24 8 12 4 283 104

International goals[edit]

As of match played 7 June 2016. Iran score listed first, score column indicates score after each Ansarifard goal.[34]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 10 November 2009 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 2  Iceland 1–0 1–0 Friendly
2. 30 December 2009 Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar 6  Mali 1–0 1–2 Friendly
3. 15 January 2011 Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar 17  North Korea 1–0 1–0 2011 AFC Asian Cup
4. 23 July 2011 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 20  Maldives 1–0 4–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 5 October 2011 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 23  Palestine 2–0 7–0 Friendly
6. 11 October 2011 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 24  Bahrain 5–0 6–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
7. 18 April 2012 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 27  Mauritania 2–0 2–0 Friendly
8. 3 March 2014 Enghelab Stadium, Karaj, Iran 38  Kuwait 3–2 3–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
9. 30 May 2014 Stadion Hartberg, Hartberg, Austria 41  Angola 1–1 1–1 Friendly
10. 17 November 2015 Guam National Football Stadium, Tamuning, Guam 47  Guam 5–0 6–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
11. 7 June 2016 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 52  Kyrgyzstan 4–0 6–0 Friendly
12. 6–0
13. 10 November 2016 Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam, Malaysia 53  Papua New Guinea 4–1 8–1 Friendly
14. 8–1

Honours[edit]

Ansarifard with Persepolis
Persepolis
Tractor Sazi

Individual[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "With Karim Ansarifard, The Young Striker of Saipa: I'll Proof that I'm not a Spark." (in Persian). Jaam-e Jam Newspaper. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  2. ^ saipaonline.com
  3. ^ Players to watch in 2012. FIFA.com (13 January 2012). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  4. ^ goal.com
  5. ^ Team Melli. Team Melli. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  6. ^ Dortmund keen on signing Iran's Ansarifard. Persianfootball.com (5 January 2011). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  7. ^ Steaua Bucharest eyes Iranian Karim Ansarifard. Tehrantimes.com. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  8. ^ The Search for a new No.9. Everton.vitalfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  9. ^ Ansarifard joins Persepolis
  10. ^ "انصاری‌فرد و غریبی با پرسپولیس به توافق رسیدند". Khabaronline. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Persepolis will be loaned Ansarifard
  12. ^ Rouyanian accepts the loan transfer of Ansarifard
  13. ^ Ansarifard joins Tractor Sazi
  14. ^ "Osasuna ficha a Karim Ansarifard" [Osasuna signs Karim Ansarifard] (in Spanish). Osasuna's official website. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  15. ^ http://www.goal.com/en/match/osasuna-vs-racing-santander/1826399
  16. ^ http://www.resultados-futbol.com/partido/Osasuna/Racing
  17. ^ http://www.vavel.com/es/futbol/racing-de-santander/399346-osasuna-racing-de-santander-en-directo-online.html
  18. ^ Nekounam scores, Jahanbakhsh assists
  19. ^ http://www.noticiasdenavarra.com/2015/08/06/osasuna/petar-vasiljevic-ansarifard-se-va-al-panionios-griego
  20. ^ http://int.soccerway.com/matches/2015/10/03/greece/super-league/panaitolikos-agrinio/panionios-nfc/2088707/
  21. ^ http://www.sdna.gr/news-english/article/140666/ansarifard-leads-panionios-another-victory
  22. ^ iefimerida.gr (2017-01-12). "Οριστικό: Στον Ολυμπιακό ο Ανσαριφάρντ". iefimerida.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  23. ^ "Το σημάδι του Καρίμ!" (in Greek). Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  24. ^ http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2017/matches/round=2000793/match=2019666/index.html
  25. ^ http://mvp.uefa.com/en/uefaeuropaleague/results
  26. ^ http://superleaguegreece.net/en/game/olympiacos-atromitos-ath-1617189
  27. ^ Aftab. Aftabir.com (6 September 2005). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  28. ^ Match Summary. (PDF) . Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  29. ^ Match Summary. (PDF) . Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  30. ^ PressTV – Iran beats Maldives 4–0 in WC qualifiers. Presstv.ir (23 July 2011). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  31. ^ "Queiroz trims Iran squad to 24". FIFA.com. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  32. ^ "Queiroz Names Team Melli Squad". afcasiancup.com. 30 December 2014. 
  33. ^ footballiran.ir
  34. ^ a b Karim Ansarifard at Soccerway

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Iran Reza Norouzi
Iran Pro League top scorer
2011–12
Succeeded by
Iran Jalal Rafkhaei
Preceded by
Iran Jalal Rafkhaei
Iran Pro League top scorer
2013–14
Succeeded by
Brazil Éder Luciano