Sardar Azmoun

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Sardar Azmoun
Ros-Ufa (4).jpg
Azmoun with Rostov in 2015
Personal information
Date of birth (1995-01-01) 1 January 1995 (age 21)
Place of birth Gonbad-e Kavus, Iran[1]
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Rostov
Number 20
Youth career
2004–2008 Oghab Gonbad
2008–2009 Shamoushak Gorgan
2009–2010 Etka Gorgan
2010–2013 Sepahan
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2013–2016 Rubin Kazan 27 (5)
2015–2016 Rostov (loan) 35 (13)
2016– Rostov 14 (2)
National team
2009–2011 Iran U17 6 (7)
2011–2014 Iran U20 19 (19)
2015– Iran U23 4 (4)
2014– Iran 22 (16)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 December 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:47, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Sardar Azmoun (Persian: سردار آزمون‎‎; born 1 January 1995) is an Iranian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Russian side FC Rostov and the Iran national team.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Azmoun started to play club football when he was 9.[3] He began his career at Oghab Gonbad of Gonbad-e Kavus.[4] He also played volleyball and was invited to Iran's national under-15 volleyball team.[3] After some years, he joined Shamoushak Gorgan, before joining Etka Gorgan, who were playing in Division 1 in Iran at the time.[5]

Sepahan[edit]

At age 15, Azmoun joined Sepahan's youth ranks.[4] While he appeared for the club during their preseason friendlies abroad in Turkey, he did not make a professional appearance for the club as Sepahan won the 2011–12 Iran Pro League and lifted the trophy.[3]

During the 2012–13 season, thanks to Azmoun's great display in Iran's youth team, Sardar became sought after by a couple of European clubs, namely Rubin Kazan.[6] Azmoun became Iran's youngest Legionnaire when later that year he transferred to Rubin Kazan at the age of 17.[4]

Rubin Kazan[edit]

2012–13 season[edit]

In January 2013, he Azmoun an offer from Russian team Rubin Kazan to join them; meanwhile he had interest from two Iranian teams, Persepolis and Esteghlal, as well as an offer for first team contract in Sepahan, he chose to work with Turkmen speaking Kurban Berdyev and became Iran's first football player in the Russian Premier League.[4][7] In his first season at the club, he made 8 appearances for his club's reserve team, scoring two goals and receiving one yellow card. He was also picked for the 18-man match day squad on a number of occasions, but failed to make his senior debut.

2013–14 season[edit]

Azmoun in training with Rubin Kazan

On 25 July 2013, Azmoun made his debut for the senior team in a UEFA Europa League match against Jagodina, coming on as a 73rd-minute substitute as Rubin won 1–0.[8] On 29 August, he scored his first goal in just his second senior appearance for Rubin in a 3–0 Europa League win against Molde, coming on as a substitute in the 64th minute.[9] He made his league debut with a goal and an assist on 6 October 2013, coming on as a substitute in the 72nd minute in a 5–1 win over Anzhi Makhachkala.

On 27 March 2014, English Premier League side Arsenal reportedly made a £2 million offer to Kazan for the transfer of 19-year-old Azmoun, sparking interest from A.C. Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Barcelona as well.[10][11][12]

Three days later, he scored his second league goal for Rubin Kazan in a 2–1 defeat to Rostov.[13] On 6 April, he scored a goal in Rubin Kazan's defeat to Zenit St. Petersburg.[14] In a match against Kyrlia Sovetov on 10 May, Azmoun came on as a substitute in the 55th minute, scoring a goal and providing an assist in a 4–0 win.[15][16]

2014–15 season[edit]

On 4 July 2014, Rubin Kazan announced through their official website that Azmoun would remain at the club despite transfer offers from Arsenal, Liverpool and Zenit St. Petersburg. He scored Rubin Kazan's goal in a 1–1 draw against Hellas Verona in a pre-season friendly match on 27 July 2014. He scored his first goal of the season in a 1–1 draw against Terek Grozny in the 87th minute. On 30 October, he scored a goal in their victory over Spartak Moscow in the 2014–15 Russian Cup.[17]

Rostov[edit]

Azmoun playing for Rostov against Kuban Krasnodar on 16 March 2015

On 26 February 2015, Azmoun signed a three-and-a-half-month loan deal with relegation-battling Russian Premier League club FC Rostov until the end of the season.[18][19] On 16 March, Azmoun came on as a substitute in the 73rd minute and scored the match winner in the 88th minute against Kuban Krasnodar.[20] Azmoun again found the back of the net on 26 April 2015 in Rostov's 2–2 draw against Dynamo Moscow. His good performance earned him a place on the Russian Premier League Team of the Week.[21] He scored Rostov's winning goal in the relegation play-offs on 7 June.

2015–16 season[edit]

At the end of the 2014–15 season, Azmoun extended his loan deal with Rostov until the end of the 2015–16 season.[22][23] He scored his first goal of the season on 22 August 2015 in a 2–1 loss to CSKA Moscow. After his good performances in the first half of the season, he was linked with English Premier League club Stoke City.[24] Later in March 2016 he was also linked with a move to English side Everton.[25][26][27]

After a long goalless drought, Azmoun scored in Rostov's 3–0 win against Zenit Saint Petersburg on 24 April 2016. he scored a brace in a 3–1 victory over Dynamo Moscow on 12 May 2016, which kept Rostov in second place and in contention for the Russian Premier League championship. On 16 May 2016 with his goal, Rostov defeated Ural 1–0 and clinched at least an UEFA Champions League play–off spot for the 2016–17 season. His goal against Ural was his fifth consecutive game with a goal which included 6 goals in 5 games.

On the last day of the Russian Premier League on 21 May 2016 needing a win and CSKA Moscow to drop points to become champions, Azmoun assisted Rostov's first goal in their 2–0 win against Terek Grozny. However, CSKA won their match and Rostov finished as runners up, thus securing a UEFA Champions League playoff spot.

Azmoun finished seventh in league scoring with nine goals, despite getting half as much playing time as some other top scorers.[28] He was also voted as the fifth most valuable player of the league, narrowly behind players such as Fyodor Smolov, Moussa Doumbia, and Brazilian superstar Hulk.[29]

2016–17 season[edit]

Initially it was announced that Azmoun would return to Rubin Kazan, however Rostov triggered the buy out clause in Azmoun's contract. Rubin denied this clause and claimed Azmoun was their player. Rubin lodged a complaint with FIFA. FC Rostov filed a counter-complaint with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and on 22 July 2016 CAS temporarily ruled in favour of Azmoun and he was included in Rostov's UEFA Champions League squad.[30] According to Rostov's lawyer Yuri Zaytsev, the final CAS decision on his status might not be reached until late 2016 or even the summer of 2017.[31]

Azmoun made his UEFA Champion's League debut on 26 July 2016 in the first leg of a third-round qualifying round match against Anderlecht at Olimp – 2, coming on for Aleksandr Bukharov at the 56th minute.[32] He started in the return leg on 3 August 2016 and scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in the 47th minute, helping FC Rostov advance 4–2 on aggregate.[33] He scored his second Champions League goal on 24 August 2016 in the return leg of the playoff round match against AFC Ajax, scoring the opening goal in a 4–0 victory which resulted in FC Rostov advancing to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time.[34] Azmoun scored on 1 November 2016 in a Rostov's 2–1 Champions League group stage loss against Atlético Madrid. In the process, he became the first Iranian to score in the Champions League group stage since Ali Karimi in 2005. On November 23 2016, Azmoun scored his second Champions League goal in the group stage against Bayern Munich at home, leading FC Rostov to a 3-2 victory and their first ever official Champions League group stage win.

After his good performances and goals in the UEFA Champions League, Azmoun drew interest from European giants such as Olympique Marseille, Liverpool, Arsenal F.C., Borussia Dortmund and Bayer 04 Leverkusen.[35][36][37]

On 6 November 2016 Azmoun scored his first Russian Premier League goal of the 2016–17 season in a 4–1 victory. He scored his second goal of the season on 28 November against Anzi Makhachkala.

International career[edit]

Youth[edit]

Azmoun broke out while representing the Iran U-20 side, becoming top scorer of the 2012 Commonwealth of Independent States Cup, scoring seven goals in six games. On 8 October 2013, he played for the U-20 team during the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship qualification in Kerman. In a match against Lebanon, he captained the team by scoring two goals, assisting one and drawing a penalty.[38]

Azmoun was called into the U-23's team for Olympic qualifiers in March 2015.[39] He was the tournament's leading goalscorer going into the final matchday with 4 goals in 3 matches. As the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship was not held during the FIFA International Match Calendar, he was not released by Rostov.[40]

Senior[edit]

On 5 October 2013, Azmoun was called up to the Iranian national football team against Thailand by Carlos Queiroz.[41][42] He was selected in Iran's 28-man provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup by Queiroz but was one of five players being dropped from the final squad.[43]

Azmoun made his senior debut on 26 May 2014 in a friendly match against Montenegro, coming on as a substitute in the 60th minute for Reza Ghoochannejhad.[44] However, he was not included in Iran's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, announced on 1 June 2014.[45] He scored his first goal on 18 November 2014 in a 1–0 friendly win over South Korea.[46]

Azmoun was called into Iran's 2015 AFC Asian Cup squad on 30 December 2014 by Carlos Queiroz.[47] He scored a goal in the next match, a 1–0 friendly win over rivals Iraq. He then scored the winner in the second game of the Asian Cup with a great piece of individual skill against Qatar.[48] He also opened the scoring against Iraq in the quarter-finals with a header.

On 16 June 2015, Azmoun scored a goal against Turkmenistan in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier. On 3 September 2015, he scored his first senior brace in a 6–0 defeat of Guam in the World Cup qualifiers.[49] He scored his first hat-trick for Iranian national team in 3–0 win over Macedonia at Philip II Arena on 2 June 2016.

Style of play[edit]

Azmoun has been praised for his aerial ability, creativity, and bursts of acceleration.[50] He has been referred to as a young Zlatan Ibrahimović.[51] and has also been called the Iranian Messi by mainly British media.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Azmoun is of Iranian Turkmen origin.[52][53] He speaks Turkmen and Persian fluently, and is fond of riding on horseback. He communicates with Kurban Berdyev, his Turkmenistani coach at FC Rubin Kazan and FC Rostov, in Turkmen.[54] He decided to wear number 69 at Kazan as a tribute to his hometown's vehicle registration plate.[3] Azmoun has stated he is a supporter of Spanish club Real Madrid.[55] in the future he has expressed interest in playing for Tractor Sazi in the Persian Gulf Pro League.[56]

He is the son of Khalil Azmoun, a former Iranian national volleyball team player who has coached several volleyball teams, such as Golgohar Sirjan and Javaheri Gonbad VC.[57]

Career statistics[edit]

Azmoun playing for Iran in a 2014 friendly match against Montenegro

Club[edit]

As of 27 November 2016[58]
Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Rubin Kazan 2013–14 14 4 1 0 2 1 17 5
2014–15 13 1 2 1 0 0 15 2
Total 27 5 3 1 2 1 32 7
Rostov 2014–15 121 41 0 0 0 0 12 4
2015–16 23 9 2 1 0 0 25 10
2016–17 13 2 0 0 9 4 22 6
Total 48 15 2 1 9 4 59 20
Career total 75 20 5 2 11 5 91 27

1 includes 1 match and 1 goal in Relegation play-offs.

International[edit]

International statistics
Team Year Apps Goals
Iran 2014 3 1
2015 11 7
2016 8 8
Total 22 16

International goals[edit]

As of match played 11 October 2016. Iran score listed first, score column indicates score after each Azmoun goal.[58]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 18 November 2014 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 3  South Korea 1–0 1–0 Friendly
2 4 January 2015 WIN Stadium, Wollongong, Australia 4  Iraq 1–0 1–0 Friendly
3 15 January 2015 Stadium Australia, Sydney Olympic Park, Australia 6  Qatar 1–0 1–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup
4 23 January 2015 Canberra Stadium, Bruce, Australia 8  Iraq 1–0 3–3 (6–7 p) 2015 AFC Asian Cup
5 16 June 2015 Sport Toplumy Stadium, Daşoguz, Turkmenistan 10  Turkmenistan 1–0 1–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 3 September 2015 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 11  Guam 3–0 6–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
7 4–0
8 8 September 2015 Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore, India 12  India 1–0 3–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
9 24 March 2016 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 15  India 2–0 4–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
10 29 March 2016 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 16  Oman 1–0 2–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
11 2–0
12 2 June 2016 Philip II Arena, Skopje, Macedonia 17  Macedonia 1–0 3–1 Friendly
13 2–1
14 3–1
15 7 June 2016 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 18  Kyrgyzstan 5–0 6–0 Friendly
16 11 October 2016 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 22  South Korea 1–0 1–0 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Sepahan
Rostov

International[edit]

Iran U-17

Individual[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ http://www.fc-rostov.ru/command/players/277
  3. ^ a b c d تبیان, موسسه فرهنگی و اطلاع رسانی. "گفتگویی جالب با". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
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  13. ^ Akerman, Nick. "Azmoun Claims Offers from Gunners, AC Milan". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "Zenit Petersburg-Rubin Kazan Live". WhoScored. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
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  31. ^ Футболист Азмун может быть заявлен за "Ростов" и сыграть в ЛЧ с "Андерлехтом" - юрист (in Russian). R-Sport. 22 July 2016. 
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  34. ^ "UEFA Champions League 2017 - Rostov-Ajax". UEFA. 24 August 2016. 
  35. ^ http://www.express.de/sport/fussball/wechsel-geruechte-klopp-und-bvb-streiten-sich-um-dieses-stuermer-juwel-23997364
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  39. ^ "Azmoun and Jahanbakhsh Invited to Olympic Football Team". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  40. ^ "Blow for Iran as Nourollahi ruled out of AFC U23 Championship - AFC". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  41. ^ "اسامی بازیکنان تیم ملی فوتبال اعلام شد". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
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  49. ^ "WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - AFC 3/9/2015 9:30*". ESPN FC. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  50. ^ "Sardar Azmoun - Meet the young Iranian star with Bergkamp style touch". 19 January 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  51. ^ http://jahanmagazine.com/sardar-azmoun-got-the-potential-to-become-a-great-player/
  52. ^ "Официальный сайт футбольного клуба "Рубин" Казань". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  53. ^ Айрат Нигматуллин; Джаудат Абдуллин; Рашид Галямов. (2012-12-17). "Курбан Бердыев: "Вы задаете вопросов больше, чем следователь вчера…" Часть 2-я". БИЗНЕС Online. Archived from the original on 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
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  55. ^ "Iran's Sardar Azmoun has the potential to become better than Ali Daei". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  56. ^ 'سردار تراکتورسازی تیم محبوب سردار آزمون در ایران (Videofilm by Khandevaneh)
  57. ^ 'سردار آزمون'، بازیکن تیم ملی فوتبال جوانان ایران در پایان تورنمنت جام دوستی روسیه با هفت گل زده عنوان برترین گلزن این مسابقات را از آن خود کرد (Persian)
  58. ^ a b Sardar Azmoun profile at Soccerway
  59. ^ "اتحاد غرب آسيا لكرة القدم". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  60. ^ "Commonwealth of Independent States Cup 2012". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 

External links[edit]