Saeid Ezatolahi

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Saeid Ezatolahi
Saeid Ezatolahi at Iran training 2018.jpg
Ezatolahi in Iran training in 2018
Personal information
Full name Saeid Ezatolahi Afagh
Date of birth (1996-10-01) 1 October 1996 (age 22)
Place of birth Bandar-e Anzali, Iran
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 66
Youth career
2008–2010 Shahrdari Bandar Anzali
2010–2014 Malavan
2014–2015 Atlético Madrid
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2014 Malavan 19 (0)
2014–2015 Atlético Madrid C 5 (0)
2015– Rostov 11 (1)
2017Anzhi Makhachkala (loan) 10 (0)
2017–2018Amkar Perm (loan) 15 (1)
2018–2019Reading (loan) 4 (0)
National team
2011–2013 Iran U17 33 (10)
2014 Iran U20 4 (1)
2015– Iran 30 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 June 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Saeid Ezatolahi Afagh (Persian: سعید عزت‌اللهی آفاق‎, born 1 October 1996) is an Iranian footballer who plays for Rostov and the Iran national football team. He primarily plays as a defensive midfielder.

Ezatolahi came up through Malavan's youth academy and impressed from an early age, making his first team debut in 2012 and being the Iran Pro League's youngest ever player at the age of 16. Ezatolahi has earned a number of accolades, including the Iranian federation's young player of the year award. In 2014, he was named as one of the most talented football players according to Wonderkids.[2]

Ezatolahi became the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Iran national football team at the age of 19 years and 42 days after scoring in a 3–1 victory against Turkmenistan on 12 November 2015.[3] This record was broke by 17-years Allahyar Sayyadmanesh on 6 June 2019.[4]

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Ezatolahi's father Nader and uncle Ghader both played for Malavan in the Takht Jamshid Cup. Saeid started his career with Shahrdari Bandar Anzali in 2008 as a youth player.[5]


He moved to the Malavan youth academy in the summer of 2010 and was promoted to the first team in July 2012.


Ezatolahi made his debut against Rah Ahan on 26 October 2012 as a substitute just 25 days after his 16th birthday, making him the youngest ever player in the history of the Iran Pro League.[6][7] At the end of the season, Tehran giants Esteghlal reportedly made an offer for him.[8] He was also awarded the prize for young player of the year.[9]


He made his season debut as a regular starter against Saba Qom.[10] After giving an impressive performance at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in October 2013, European clubs like Besiktas, Lugano and Lausanne Sport were reported to follow the youngster closely. In December 2013, Ezatolahi seemed to be on his way to Brazilian Serie A club Atlético Paranaense, this however was rapidly denied by his management. In the first week of December 2013, Rubin Kazan showed concrete interest in Ezatolahi by sending an invitation letter.[11]


Ezatolahi was enrolled for Malavan's 2014–15 squad, but he did not play any matches due to finalizing his contract with Atlético.[12]

Atlético Madrid[edit]


On 27 August 2014, Ezatolahi signed a one-year contract with Spanish side Atlético Madrid, with an option to extend for four-years following the end of the 2014–15 season.[13][14] He competed in the 2014–15 División de Honor Juvenil de Fútbol for Atlético Madrid.[15] He started in a 4–2 league debut win over Alcorcón on 29 November 2014.[16] He was also added to Atlético's 2014–15 UEFA Youth League squad.[17] He scored his first goal in a 3–1 victory against UDC Sur.[18] On 14 February 2015, he scored in a 4–1 win over CF Rayo Majadahonda.[19][20][21] Ezatolahi made his UEFA Youth League debut on 10 March 2015 in the quarter-finals, playing the full 90 minutes against Chelsea.[22][23]

In April 2015, Ezatolahi practiced with the senior Atlético Madrid team with manager Diego Simeone.[24][25] On 12 April 2015, Ezatolahi made his debut for Atlético Madrid C in the Tercera Division, playing 30 minutes in a 1–0 loss to Parla.[26] On 3 May 2015, Ezatolahi assisted a goal in Atlético Madrid C's 1–1 draw against Alcorcón B.[27] Ezatolahi's good performances with Atlético Madrid C drew interest from La Liga club Getafe CF.[24][28]



Ezatolahi before a Rostov match.

At the end of the 2014–15 season, Ezatolahi chose not to sign with Atlético Madrid B and on 21 July 2015, Ezatolahi joined international teammate Sardar Azmoun at Russian Premier League club Rostov with a four-year contract.[29][30] Due to Visa issues, he could not play for Rostov until 2016 and in January 2016 Ezatolahi's Visa issues were resolved.[31] He made his debut for the club on 2 February 2016 playing in a 3–0 friendly win against Chinese side Jiangsu Sainty.[32] Ezatolahi scored his first goal for Rostov on 27 February 2016 in a 2–0 friendly win against Norwegian side Stabæk.[33]

Ezatolahi made his first team debut for Rostov on 12 May 2016 in a 3–1 victory against FC Dynamo Moscow.


On 26 July 2016, Ezatolahi made his first start for Rostov in an official game in the first leg of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round against R.S.C. Anderlecht and scored a goal in the 16th minute, equalizing the score to 1–1. In the second half of the game, another shot by him from outside of the box was denied by the crossbar, as the game ended with the score of 2–2.[34] He is the first scorer of the club in a European match (not counting the UEFA Intertoto Cup) and also the youngest ever Iranian player to score at the Champions League.[35] He scored his first Russian Premier League goal for Rostov on 20 August 2016 in a 3–0 victory over FC Tom Tomsk.[36]

His contract with FC Rostov expired at the end of 2016. His agent Mehdi Hagitali said his new team will be a team where he would consistently play.[37] FC Rostov removed him from their Russian Premier League roster on 31 December 2016.[38]

Anzhi Makhachkala (loan)[edit]

In February 2017, Ezatolahi was loaned to Russian Premier League side Anzhi Makhachkala for a period of six months. Ezatolahi made his first appearance for the club on 8 February 2017, coming on as a second-half substitute in a friendly against Dukla Prague. On 24 February 2017, he officially signed a new contract with FC Rostov and finalized the loan deal to Anzhi.[39] In his first league game for Anzhi against FC Rubin Kazan on 6 March 2017, he was sent-off in the 77th minute after receiving two yellow cards, with his team conceding a goal in an 0–1 loss shortly after.[40] During his loan, he started in only 3 league games out of 13 that Anzhi played in that span, making additional 7 appearances as a substitute, with Anzhi achieving its objective of avoiding relegation from the Russian Premier League.

Amkar Perm (loan)[edit]

Upon returning from the Anzhi loan he didn't make any appearances for FC Rostov in the first 8 games of the season, and on 31 August 2017, he joined FC Amkar Perm on loan until the end of the 2017–18 season.[41] He made his first appearance for Amkar on 21 September 2017 in a Russian Cup match.

Reading (loan)[edit]

On 31 August 2018, Reading announced the signing of Ezatolahi on a season-long loan deal from Rostov.[42] He had a couple of man of the match performances in his first few games before an unfortunate season-ending injury.

International career[edit]

Ezatolahi playing for Iran against Spain in 2018 FIFA World Cup.


Saeid Ezatolahi participated with the Iran national under-17 football team in all group matches as well as the round of 16 in the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.[43]

He was invited to the Iran national under-20 football team by Ali Doustimehr and scored his first goal against the United Arab Emirates.[44] Ezatolahi played 2 matches for Iran during the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship.

As the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship was not held during the FIFA International Match Calendar, Ezatolahi was not released by Rostov.[45]


He was invited to the Iran national football team camp by Carlos Queiroz on 16 May 2015.[46] Ezatolahi was included in the final list for the friendly match against Uzbekistan and the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Turkmenistan. He made his debut as a starter against Uzbekistan on 11 June 2015 in a 1–0 win.[47] He scored his first senior national team goal during his fourth cap on 12 November 2015 in a 3–1 World Cup qualifying win over Turkmenistan.[48] He became the youngest goal scorer for the Iranian national team at the age of 19 years and 42 days.[3] In May 2018 he was named in Iran's preliminary squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[49][50] He missed Iran's first group match against Morocco because of a red card in qualification but played other two matches against Spain and Portugal. He was ruled out of Iran's squad for 2019 AFC Asian Cup because of injury.

Career statistics[edit]


As of 1 June 2019[51]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Malavan 2012–13 Persian Gulf Pro League 100 1 0 11 0
2013–14 9 0 1 0 10 0
2014–15 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 19 0 2 0 21 0
Atlético Madrid C 2014–15 Tercera División 5 0 0 0 1 0 6 0
Rostov 2015–16 Russian Premier League 1 0 0 0 1 0
2016–17 10 1 1 0 6 1 17 2
2017–18 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018–19 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 11 1 1 0 6 1 18 2
Anzhi (loan) 2016–17 Russian Premier League 10 0 1 0 11 0
Amkar Perm (loan) 2017–18 15 1 1 0 16 1
Reading (loan) 2018–19 EFL Championship 4 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Career total 64 2 5 0 0 0 7 1 76 3


Statistics accurate as of match played 11 September 2018.[52]
Year Apps Goals
2015 4 1
2016 10 0
2017 9 0
2018 5 0
Total 28 1

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Iran's goal tally first.[53]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 12 November 2015 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Turkmenistan 2–1 3–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

Personal life[edit]

Ezatollahi at Ferari film press conference during 2017 Fajr Film Festival

Ezatollahi is son of Nader Ezatolahi, an Iranian football coach in Malavan Academy who is also his agent. Ezatollahi dated Iranian actress Tarlan Parvaneh in 2017 for around a year.[54]

In 2019, Ezatollah published a rap song in support of Iranian team at 2019 AFC Asian Cup since he got injured playing for Reading before the cup and couldn't be with the team.






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  35. ^ عزت اللهی تاریخ ساز روستوف شد
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  52. ^ Saeid Ezatolahi at
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  54. ^ توضیح سعید عزت اللهی از رابطه اش با ترلان پروانه

External links[edit]