Saipa F.C.

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Saipa
سايپا
Saipa FC logo.png
Full name Saipa Football Club
Nickname(s) خودروسازان (car makers)
نارنجی ها (oranges)
Founded 1 February 1989; 27 year ago
Ground Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium
Ground Capacity 8,250
Owner SAIPA
Chairman Reza Darvish
Manager Hossein Faraki
League Persian Gulf Pro League
2015–16 Persian Gulf Pro League, 8th
Website Club home page
For the automobile company, see SAIPA.

Saipa Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال سايپا‎‎) is a football club from Karaj, Alborz Province, Iran which plays in Tehran, Iran. The team is owned by SAIPA, an Iranian automobile manufacturer. The team has never had a large fanbase, despite some success. It is known to have one of the best youth academies in Iranian football and regularly promote academy players to the first team.

In the 2006–07 under the guidance of Ali Daei won their only Iran Pro League title. Saipa has also won the Azadegan League twice and the Hazfi Cup one time.

Saipa is the football club of the multisport Saipa Cultural and Athletic Corporation.

History[edit]

Early days[edit]

In 1989, SAIPA Company decided to start its own football team. They purchased a team playing in the 4th division of Tehran's city league, and renamed it Saipa F.C. After back to back promotions starting in the first year, the Karaj based club was playing in the 2nd division by 1991. That same year they purchased the Shipping Department team's shares, and participated in the 1st division of Tehran's local league. In that year they won the Tehran city championship as well as the Tehran Super Cup, thus attaining the right to play in Iran's top league at the time, the Azadegan League.

Azadegan League[edit]

In their first year in the Azadegan League they won the championship, as well as the Hazfi Cup. They also won the league championship again in 1994 marking an incredible first five years for the club in Iranian football. Things turned to the worse though, as the team was shockingly relegated into the 2nd division in 1995, only to bounce back the next year. Since their second promotion to the top tier, the club has been a constant mid table outfit, and has often starred some of the country's most well known players.

Persian Gulf Pro League[edit]

Ali Daei era[edit]

Following the turn of the century, the club's on field performance remained stable, occupying mid table position most years. Shortly following Iranian Goalkeeping legend Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh's retirement, he was linked with the head coaching job at Saipa. It never materialized, but the club signed another Iranian legend Ali Daei in a blockbuster move from Saba Battery. The club had finished third the previous season and now, with Daei on the field and Werner Lorant as a coach, the team turned into a serious title contender. Shortly after the season began though, Littbarski was sacked and Ali Daei took on the role of player/ coach. Captaining and coaching the team to the title marked the end of a remarkable career. Daei also scored the winner in the title winning game. Daei extended his contract, this time as a full-time Coach. He was appointed head coach of the national team but kept his role at Saipa until the end of the season.

Return to Mid-Table and Relocation to Tehran[edit]

Following the title winning year which saw the team play in the AFC Champions League, Saipa has turned back into the mid table places of the league again. Before the start of the 2015–16 Persian Gulf Pro League season Saipa announced they had moved their home city from Karaj to nearby Tehran. Saipa also made some big transfers to attempt to return to the top of the league, namely Gholamreza Rezaei, Reza Norouzi and former CA Osasuna captain Javad Nekounam.

Season-by-season[edit]

The table below chronicles the achievements of Saipa in various competitions since 1993.

Season Pos. Hazfi Cup ACL
1993–94 Azadegan League 1st Cup Did not qualify
1994–95 Azadegan League 1st Second round
1995–96 Azadegan League 16th Semifinal
1996–97 Iran Second Division 2nd Did not qualify
1997–98 Azadegan League 7th Not held
1998–99 Azadegan League 4th
1999–2000 Azadegan League 3rd Semifinal
2000–01 Azadegan League 7th Semifinal
2001–02 IPL 11th
2002–03 IPL 6th
2003–04 IPL 13th Semifinal
2004–05 IPL 13th Quarterfinal
2005–06 IPL 3rd 1/16 Final
2006–07 PGC 1st 1/8 Final
2007–08 PGC 11th 1/16 Final Quarterfinal
2008–09 PGC 10th 1/16 Final Did not qualify
2009–10 PGC 8th Third Round
2010–11 PGC 11th Fourth Round
2011–12 PGC 8th 1/16 Final
2012–13 PGC 9th 1/16 Final
2013–14 PGC 8th 1/16 Final
2014–15 PGPL 7th 1/16 Final
2015–16 PGPL 8th 1/4 Final

Honours[edit]

First-team squad[edit]

As of July 1, 2016[1]
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Iran GK Hamed Fallahzadeh
3 Brazil DF Júnior Lopes
4 Iran MF Roozbeh Shahalidoost
5 Iran DF Siamak Kouroshi
6 Iran MF Mehdi Badrlou
7 Iran FW Ali Zeynali
8 Iran MF Ebrahim Sadeghi (Captain)
9 Iran MF Mehdi Torabi U23
10 Iran FW Gholamreza Rezaei
11 Iran FW Ali Gholizadeh U21
13 Iran DF Ebrahim Shakouri
14 Iran DF Saeid Lotfi
No. Position Player
18 Iran MF Hamed Shiri
19 Iran DF Sajjad Moshkelpour
20 Iran DF Alireza Alizadeh
21 Iran DF Omid Khaledi
23 Iran MF Amin Javadi Moghadam U21
27 Iran FW Hossein Kamyab U21
28 Iran FW Mohammad Soltani Mehr U21
30 Iran MF Mojtaba Ramezani
33 Iran GK Mohammad Hossein Akbar Monadi U21
37 Iran MF Ayoub Kalantari
88 Iran GK Hamed Lak
90 Iran FW Mohammad Reza Khalatbari

Loan list[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Iran GK Mohammadreza Akhbari (at Tractor Sazi until end of 2016–17 season)

For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers summer 2016.

Manager[edit]

Coaching Staff[edit]

Staff [2] Name
Head coach Iran Hossein Faraki
Assistant coach Iran Saeid Rajabi
Assistant coach Iran Ahmad Sajjadi
Assistant coach Iran Farshad Falahatzadeh
Fitness coach Iran Ali Salehnia
Doctor Iran Vajiollah Cheshmesari
Analyzer Iran Mohammad Palizvan
Technical Manager Iran Asghar Hajiloo
B team Manager Iran Kianoush Rahmati

The following managers had managed Saipa since 1993:

Name Period Trophies
Iran Bijan Zolfagharnasab 1993–97 2 Iran Pro League, Hazfi Cup
Iran Nasrollah Abdollahi 1997–00
Iran Behtash Fariba 2000–01
Iran Hamid Alidoosti 2001–02
Italy Giovanni Mei 2002–03
Iran Mohammad Mayeli Kohan 2003–04
Iran Bijan Zolfagharnasab 2004–06
Germany Werner Lorant 2006
Iran Ali Daei 2006–08 1 Iran Pro League
Germany Pierre Littbarski 2008
Iran Mohammad Mayeli Kohan 2008–11
Iran Majid Saleh 2011–12
Iran Mojtaba Taghavi 2012–13
Germany Turkey Engin Firat 2013–14
Iran Majid Jalali 2014–16
Iran Hossein Faraki 2016–present

References[edit]

  1. ^ سایپای کرج [Saipa Karaj] (in Persian). Ffiri.ir. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  2. ^ http://iranleague.ir/League/ClubProfile/64

External links[edit]