Shojaei training with Iran in 2016
|Full name||Masoud Soleimani Shojaei|
|Date of birth||9 June 1984|
|Place of birth||Shiraz, Iran|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 May 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 June 2017
Masoud Soleimani Shojaei (Persian: مسعود سلیمانی شجاعی; born 9 June 1984) is an Iranian professional footballer who plays for Greek club Panionios FC. Mainly an attacking midfielder, he can also play as a winger or forward.
Shojaei was born in Shiraz, and lived most of his life in Abadan and Tehran. He started his career with Sanat Naft F.C. before moving to Saipa F.C. of Karaj in the Iran Pro League; having signed at the age of 19, he went on to play three seasons with the latter.
On 23 June 2008, after previous attempts from VfL Wolfsburg in Germany and Italy's S.S.C. Napoli, Shojaei signed with Spanish side CA Osasuna for three years, teaming up with compatriot Javad Nekounam. The deal included a €6 million buyout clause for the first 18 months of his contract, being reduced to €3.5 million for the remainder of his stay.
Shojaei made his La Liga debut on 31 August 2008, playing 32 minutes in a 1–1 home draw against Villarreal CF. During his first two seasons he appeared almost always as a substitute, as the Navarrese managed to maintain its division status; the player remained a regular even after the coaching change at the club, as José Ángel Ziganda was replaced by José Antonio Camacho.
Shojaei – who was addressed by his first name during his spell in Spain – appeared regularly again for Osasuna in the 2010–11 campaign, but also spent one month at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup with his national team. In late May he renewed his contract with the club for another two seasons, also having the option of an annual renewal of his link.
Shojaei spent the entire 2011–12 on the sidelines, due to injury. On 25 February 2013, in only his fourth appearance since returning, he scored a stunning goal to help Osasuna win it 2–0 at Levante UD.
On 3 September 2013, Shojaei moved clubs but stayed in Spain, joining Segunda División side UD Las Palmas on a one-year contract. He found the net in his debut, in a 3–1 away success over CE Sabadell FC for the campaign's Copa del Rey.
After the 2014 World Cup, Shojaei turned down an offer from Real Zaragoza and moved to Al-Shahania Sports Club in the Qatar Stars League. On 22 July 2016, he joined Superleague Greece side Panionios F.C. on a one-year contract.
Whilst at Saipa, Shojaei earned a place in Iranian national under-23 team, catching the eye of full side coach Branko Ivanković. He was first called up to play for the latter in November 2004, for a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Laos – it was the only cap he would win until the training camp prior to the finals in Germany, held in Switzerland; he was included in the final squad but only appeared once in the tournament, replacing injured Mohammad Nosrati in the early minutes of the 1–1 draw against Angola.
Shojaei began appearing more regularly in the 2010 World Cup qualification stages, scoring in a 1–1 draw against South Korea in the final game. However, Team Melli did not qualify for the tournament in South Africa. Iran did manage to reach the 2014 World Cup, with Shojaei as a regular starter in the qualifiers.
On 1 June 2014, Shojaei was included in Carlos Queiroz's list for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He appeared as a substitute in the team's opening draw with Nigeria, and was selected in the starting line-up for the following group matches against Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
- As of 7 June 2016 (Iran score listed first, score column indicates score after each Shojaei goal)
|1||28 March 2009||Azadi, Tehran, Iran||18||Saudi Arabia||1–0||1–2||2010 World Cup qualification|
|2||17 June 2009||World Cup Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||22||South Korea||1–0||1–1||2010 World Cup qualification|
|3||12 August 2009||Asim Ferhatović Hase, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina||23||Bosnia and Herzegovina||1–2||3–2||Friendly|
|4||7 September 2010||World Cup Stadium, Seoul, South Korea||29||South Korea||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|5||26 March 2013||Al-Sadaqua Walsalam, Kuwait City, Kuwait||41||Kuwait||1–0||1–1||2015 Asian Cup qualification|
|6||11 January 2015||Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia||56||Bahrain||2–0||2–0||2015 AFC Asian Cup|
|7||17 November 2015||National Football Stadium, Tamuning, Guam||64||Guam||4–0||6–0||2018 World Cup qualification / 2019 Asian Cup qualification|
|8||7 June 2016||Azadi, Tehran, Iran||65||Kyrgyzstan||1–0||6–0||Friendly|
- As of 19 March 2017
|2002–03||Sanat Naft||Iran Pro League||12||1||0||0||-||-||12||1|
|United Arab Emirates||League||President's Cup||Asia||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|2013–14||Las Palmas||Segunda División||29||5||2||1||-||-||31||6|
|2014–15||Al-Shahania||Qatar Stars League||24||5||0||0||-||-||24||5|
|2015–16||Al-Gharafa||Qatar Stars League||25||4||0||0||-||-||25||4|
|United Arab Emirates||40||12||0||0||0||0||40||12|
- Interview with Khanevadeye Sabz magazine (in Persian)
- Masoud Shojaei, internacional iraní, ficha por Osasuna para tres temporadas (Masoud Shojaei, Iranian internacional, signs with Osasuna for three seasons); CA Osasuna, 23 June 2008 (in Spanish)
- Empate de justicia en Pamplona (Fair draw in Pamplona); Marca, 31 August 2008 (in Spanish)
- Los suplentes de Osasuna vencen por 2–1 al Izarra de Tercera División (Osasuna bench players defeat Izarra from Tercera División 2–1); Diario de Navarra, 23 September 2010 (in Spanish)
- Camacho descarta a Nekounam y a Masoud pese a tener el alta médica (Camacho ousts Nekounam and Masoud in spite of being fully fit); Diario de Navarra, 4 February 2011 (in Spanish)
- Iranian duo to stay at Osasuna Archived 17 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.; Persian Football, 31 May 2011
- Osasuna's Masoud Shojaei undergoes operation in Germany in an attempt to return from injury; Goal.com, 7 December 2011
- Levante 0–2 Osasuna; ESPN FC, 25 February 2013
- Masoud aparece justo a tiempo (Masoud just in time); Marca, 25 February 2013 (in Spanish)
- Osasuna announce Masoud departure; Inside Spanish Football, 15 June 2013
- El Valladolid contacta con Masoud Shojaei (Valladolid contacts Masoud Shojaei); Resultados de Fútbol, 18 June 2013 (in Spanish)
- El internacional iraní Masoud jugará en la UD hasta final de temporada (Iranian international Masoud will play for UD until end of season); UD Las Palmas, 3 September 2013 (in Spanish)
- Las Palmas no perdona ante el Sabadell (Las Palmas shows no mercy against Sabadell); Marca, 11 September 2013 (in Spanish)
- Shojaei brace and assist in Las Palmas win [VIDEO]; Persian Football, 16 March 2014
- Officiellt: Shojaei nästa iranier till arabiska ligor (Shojaei next Iranian in Arab leagues); Svenska Fans, 11 September 2014 (in Swedish)
- Panionios finalize Masoud Shojaei's capture; SDNA, 22 July 2016
- Iran 1–1 Angola; BBC Sport, 21 June 2006
- South Korea 1–1 Iran; ESPN Soccernet, 17 June 2009
- World Cup qualifying 2014: Charting Iran's journey to Brazil; Bleacher Report, 24 October 2013
- "Queiroz trims Iran squad to 24". FIFA.com. 1 June 2014. Archived from the original on 1 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- "Goals dry up as Iran, Nigeria draw". FIFA.com. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- "Messi magic takes Argentina through". FIFA.com. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- "Bosnians bid farewell by eliminating Iran". FIFA.com. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- "Queiroz names Team Melli squad". AFC Asian Cup. 30 December 2014. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "Asian Cup: Iran beats Bahrain 2–0 in Melbourne thanks to brilliant strike from Ehsan Rajsafi". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 January 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "M. Shojaei – Matches". Soccerway. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- "M. Shojaei". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
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