Karim Ansarifard

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Karim Ansarifard
Karim Ansarifard, IRNPOR match 2018 FIFA World Cup 15 (cropped).jpg
Ansarifard playing for Iran at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Karim Ansarifard
Date of birth (1990-04-03) 3 April 1990 (age 28)[1]
Place of birth Ardabil, Iran[1]
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Nottingham Forest
Number 37
Youth career
2000–2005 Inter Campus
2005–2006 Zob Ahan Ardabil
2006–2007 Saipa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2012 Saipa 123 (55)
2012–2013 Persepolis 31 (8)
2013–2014 Tractor Sazi 28 (14)
2014–2015 Osasuna 16 (0)
2015–2017 Panionios 41 (13)
2017–2018 Olympiacos 34 (18)
2018– Nottingham Forest 6 (0)
National team
2005–2006 Iran U17 3 (0)
2007–2008 Iran U20 7 (5)
2009–2011 Iran U23 13 (5)
2009– Iran 73 (19)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:18, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:25, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

Karim Ansarifard (Persian: کریم انصاری‌فرد‎; born 3 April 1990) is an Iranian footballer who plays as a forward for Nottingham Forest 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.[3] In January 2012, FIFA.com selected him as one of the players to watch in 2012.[4] Goal.com also chose him as one of the hottest 100 young football players in the world.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] later, FC Steaua București made a €200,000 bid for a half season loan.[8] In May 2011, it was suggested that Everton are interested in signing Ansarifard.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12][13]

Ansarifard playing for Persepolis against Malavan in 2013

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.[14] 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.[15] 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.[16][17][18] He made his first start on 18 October in a 3–2 win against CD Tenerife.[19]

Panionios[edit]

In the summer of 2015, Ansarifard signed with Panionios in the Superleague Greece.[20] He scored his first goal for the club in a 5–1 win over Panetolikos on 3 October 2015.[21] 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.[22] His solo goal in April 2016 during matchday 28 in a victory against PAOK earned him goal of the week honours.

In May 2016, Ansarifard, 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 indisputable 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 10% of the player's next sale.[23] 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.[24]

Ansarifard made his league debut on 11 February 2017 in a 2–0 win against AEL, 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.[25] Karim won the UEFA Europa League Player of the week due to his performance against Osmanlispor.[26]

Ansarifard scored his first league goal for Olympiacos on 12 March 2017 in a 2–0 victory against Atromitos.[27] On 19 August 2017, on the first match day of the Greece Super League Ansarifard scored and assisted a goal in his team's 4–1 victory. After helping the Greek giants to a league title, he was unexpectedly left off the UEFA Champions League squad by new manager Besnik Hasi, who put the forward up for sale. On 14 October 2017, he scored a brace against his old club, in an Olympiakos 4–3 away win.[28] On 2 December 2017, he scored a brace sealing a 3-1 home win against Apollon Smyrni.[29] On 9 December 2017, he bagged a goal and giving an assist to Kostas Fortounis for his second goal in the game, in a glorious 4–1 away Superleague win against Panetolikos.[30] On 24 December 2017, Ansarifard's exceptional performance with Olympiacos sparked what has arguably become the best year of his career. The Albanian manager was fired in late September for poor results and Ansarifard has been able to work himself back into the starting lineup, becoming the league's top scorer thus far with seven goals from 11 matches, being the 6th best Asian player in Europe for the season according to Football Tribe Asia.[31][32] On 7 January 2018, he scored in a 3–0 away win game against AEL, helping his club to achieve the 7th successive win in his rally to gain the 8th consecutive title.[33] On 15 January 2018, he scored after an assist from Guillaume Gillet sealing a 2-0 home win game against Lamia.[34] On 21 January 2018, Ansarifard was on target in the 26th and 57th minutes for Oscar Garcia’s Superleague leaders, chalked up their ninth win in a row with a straightforward 3-0 home victory over 10-man Xanthi at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium. It was named MVP of the game.[35] On 28 January 2018, equalised a 1-1 away game against Asteras Tripoli with a penalty kick, when Asteras’ former Panathinaikos defender Kostas Triantafyllopoulos brought him down in the box. [36] On 4 February 2018, he opened the score in a frustrating 2-1 home loss against rivals AEK Athens stayed behind in the rally for the 2017-18 title.[37] On 31 March 2018, he scored with a cool finish from an exquisite Leonardo Koutris pass in a 1-1 away draw against Levadiakos.[38] On 16 April 2018, opened the score in an emphatic 5-1 home win against Kerkyra.[39] On 29 April he scored a brace in a 4-0 home win game against Panetolikos F.C., struggling with PAOK's forward Aleksandar Prijović for the title of top scorer.[40] Ansarifard's contract was cancelled by Olympiakos after their 2017–18 season.[41]

Nottingham Forest[edit]

On 3 November 2018, it was announced that Ansarifard had signed for Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship after delays obtaining a work permit. The Iranian international penned a one-and-a-half-year contract at the City Ground.[42] He made his debut for the club coming on as a substitute in a 1–0 win over Sheffield United on 3 November.[43]

International career[edit]

Ansarifard playing for Iran in 2018

He was Invited to Iran national under-17 football team in 2005.[44] In 2006 AFC U-17 Championship, he worn number 14 and was a benchwarmer. Ansarifard played as a substitute in two matches against Tajikistan[45] and Yemen.[46]

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.[47] 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.[48] 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.[49] He provided an assist to Sardar Azmoun in their Asian Cup preparation match against Iraq. In May 2018 he was named in Iran's preliminary squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.[50] He scored a penalty against Portugal with a 1-1 as the result.[51]

Style of play[edit]

He has been compared to Iranian legend Ali Daei and German forward Thomas Muller by his fans. His favourite player is Fernando Torres.[52] He is a centre 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]

Ansarifard is the last child of an Iranian Azerbaijani family[53][54] and 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 2 January 2019[55][56]
Club Season League Cup Continental Other Total
Apps Goals 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
Total 123 55 3 0 5 1 0 0 131 56
Persepolis 2012–13 31 8 5 4 36 12
Tractor Sazi 2013–14 28 14 4 2 4 1 36 17
Osasuna 2014–15 16 0 1 0 17 0
Panionios 2015–16 27 8 6 1 3 1 36 10
2016–17 14 5 1 0 15 5
Total 41 13 7 1 0 0 3 1 51 15
Olympiacos 2016–17 9 1 6 1 4 2 19 4
2017–18 25 17 2 1 0 0 27 18
2018–19 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0
Total 34 18 8 2 6 2 0 0 48 22
Nottingham Forest F.C. 2018–19 5 0 0 0 5 0
Career total 278 108 28 9 15 4 3 1 324 122

International[edit]

Statistics accurate as of match played 28 January 2019.[57]
Iran
Year Apps Goals
2009 6 2
2010 8 0
2011 10 4
2012 8 0
2013 3 0
2014 6 2
2015 4 1
2016 7 4
2017 4 2
2018 13 3
2019 4 1
Total 73 19

International goals[edit]

As of match played 24 January 2019. Iran score listed first, score column indicates score after each Ansarifard goal.[55]
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
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. 3 March 2014 Enghelab Stadium, Karaj, Iran 38  Kuwait 3–2 3–2 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
8. 30 May 2014 Stadion Hartberg, Hartberg, Austria 41  Angola 1–1 1–1 Friendly
9. 17 November 2015 Guam National Football Stadium, Tamuning, Guam 47  Guam 5–0 6–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
10. 7 June 2016 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 52  Kyrgyzstan 4–0 6–0 Friendly
11. 6–0
12. 10 November 2016 Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam, Malaysia 53  Papua New Guinea 4–1 8–1
13. 8–1
14. 5 October 2017 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 58  Togo 1–0 2–0
15. 2–0
16. 8 June 2018 Spartak Training Ground, Moscow, Russia 60  Lithuania 1–0 1–0
17. 25 June 2018 Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia 64  Portugal 1–1 1–1 2018 FIFA World Cup
18. 15 November 2018 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 67  Trinidad and Tobago 1–0 1–0 Friendly
19. 24 January 2019 Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 72  China PR 3–0 3–0 2019 AFC Asian Cup

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Tractor Sazi
Olympiacos

Individual[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "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. ^ "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – List of Players" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. ^ "saipaonline.com".
  4. ^ Players to watch in 2012. FIFA.com (13 January 2012). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Goal.com Hot 100 - The Young Stars To Look Out For In 2011 - Goal.com". www.goal.com.
  6. ^ Team Melli. Team Melli. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  7. ^ Dortmund keen on signing Iran's Ansarifard. Persianfootball.com (5 January 2011). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  8. ^ Steaua Bucharest eyes Iranian Karim Ansarifard. Tehrantimes.com. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  9. ^ The Search for a new No.9. Everton.vitalfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  10. ^ Ansarifard joins Persepolis Archived 5 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "انصاری‌فرد و غریبی با پرسپولیس به توافق رسیدند". Khabaronline. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  12. ^ Persepolis will be loaned Ansarifard
  13. ^ Rouyanian accepts the loan transfer of Ansarifard
  14. ^ "Football News, Live Scores, Results & Transfers - Goal.com".
  15. ^ "Osasuna ficha a Karim Ansarifard" [Osasuna signs Karim Ansarifard] (in Spanish). Osasuna's official website. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Osasuna v Racing Santander Live Commentary & Result, 04/10/2014, Segunda División - Goal.com". www.goal.com.
  17. ^ "Partido Osasuna - Racing - Segunda División 2015". www.resultados-futbol.com.
  18. ^ Blanco, Adrián González (4 October 2014). "Resultado Osasuna - Racing de Santander de la Liga Adelante (0-2)".
  19. ^ "Nekounam scores, Jahanbakhsh assists". www.persianfootball.com.
  20. ^ http://www.noticiasdenavarra.com/2015/08/06/osasuna/petar-vasiljevic-ansarifard-se-va-al-panionios-griego
  21. ^ "Panaitolikos vs. Panionios - 3 October 2015 - Soccerway". int.soccerway.com.
  22. ^ "Ansarifard leads Panionios to another victory".
  23. ^ iefimerida.gr (12 January 2017). "Οριστικό: Στον Ολυμπιακό ο Ανσαριφάρντ". iefimerida.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Το σημάδι του Καρίμ!" (in Greek). Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  25. ^ UEFA.com. "UEFA Europa League - Osmanlıspor-Olympiacos". UEFA.com.
  26. ^ http://mvp.uefa.com/en/uefaeuropaleague/results
  27. ^ Dev, OTO. "Super League Greece".
  28. ^ "Θρίλερ με "ερυθρόλευκο" happy end! (vid)".
  29. ^ http://www.sport24.gr/football/ellada/SuperLeague/o-ansarifarnt-lutrwse-ton-olympiako-3-1-ton-apollwna.4966658.html
  30. ^ "Στην κορυφή με Καρίμ, Φορτούνη και σερί! (vid)".
  31. ^ Ανεβάζει τις μετοχές του ο Ανσαριφάρντ
  32. ^ "Στους κορυφαίους Ασιάτες ποδοσφαιριστές ο Ανσαριφάρντ".
  33. ^ "Επτά στα επτά ο Ολυμπιακός, πέρασε με 3-0 απ'τη Λάρισα" (in Greek). www.sport24.gr. 7 January 2018.
  34. ^ "Ολυμπιακός - Λαμία 2-0" (in Greek). www.sport24.gr. 15 January 2018.
  35. ^ "Με πρωταγωνιστή Ανσαριφάρντ ο Ολυμπιακός, 3-0 την Ξάνθη" (in Greek). www.sport24.gr. 21 January 2018.
  36. ^ "Τέλος στο σερί του Ολυμπιακού, 1-1 με τον Αστέρα στην Τρίπολη" (in Greek). www.sport24.gr. 28 January 2018.
  37. ^ "Ολυμπιακός - ΑΕΚ LIVE" (in Greek). www.sport24.gr. 4 February 2018.
  38. ^ "Λεβαδειακός-Ολυμπιακός 1-1: Άξιος της μοίρας του" (in Greek). www.protothema.gr. 31 March 2018.
  39. ^ "Ολυμπιακός - Κέρκυρα 5-1: Πεντάρα με την… αύρα του Μαρτίνς" (in Greek). www.onsports.gr. 16 April 2018.
  40. ^ "Ολυμπιακός - Παναιτωλικός 4-0" (in Greek). www.gazzetta.gr. 29 April 2018.
  41. ^ http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2018/09/06/do-report-nottingham-forest-hit-a-snag-in-karim-ansarifard-move/
  42. ^ "Karim Ansarifard: Nottingham Forest sign Iran international". BBC Sport. 3 November 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  43. ^ "Iran's Karim Ansarifard Joins Nottingham Forest". TheNewsTribe. 3 November 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  44. ^ Aftab. Aftabir.com (6 September 2005). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  45. ^ Match Summary. (PDF) . Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  46. ^ Match Summary Archived 14 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF) . Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  47. ^ PressTV – Iran beats Maldives 4–0 in WC qualifiers. Presstv.ir (23 July 2011). Retrieved 4 May 2012.
  48. ^ "Queiroz trims Iran squad to 24". FIFA.com. 1 June 2014. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  49. ^ "Queiroz Names Team Melli Squad". afcasiancup.com. 30 December 2014. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015.
  50. ^ "World Cup 2018: Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz names final squad". BBC Sport. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  51. ^ "Late penalty holds Portugal to runner-up spot in Group B". Marca (in Spanish). Unidad Editorial Información Deportiva, S.L.U. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  52. ^ "footballiran.ir".
  53. ^ "What Iran's World Cup Team Says About Oil Production". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  54. ^ "Автор гола сборной Ирана в ворота Португалии: Я азербайджанец, и горжусь этим". Azerifootball.com. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  55. ^ a b Karim Ansarifard at Soccerway
  56. ^ "Karim Ansarifard". superleaguegreece.net. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  57. ^ Karim Ansarifard at National-Football-Teams.com

External links[edit]