Tractor Sazi Tabriz F.C.

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Tractor FC
Tractor Sazi F.C. Logo.svg
Full name Tractor Sazi Tabriz Football Club
Nickname(s) Qırmızı Qurdlar (The Red Wolves)
Founded 1970; 45 years ago
Ground Sahand Stadium, Tabriz
Ground Capacity 80,451
Owner Tractor Manufacturing Company
Chairman Saeed Abbasi
Manager António José Conceição Oliveira
League Iran Pro League
2014–15 Iran Pro League, 2nd
Website Club home page
Current season

Tractor Sazi Tabriz Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال تراکتورسازی تبریز‎) (Azerbaijani: Tiraxtur futbol klübü) commonly known as Tractor is a professional football club based in Tabriz, Iran and owned by Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company. They play in Iran's Persian Gulf Pro League.

The club was founded in 1970 and was promoted to the first division five years later. The club is one of the most famous and most popular clubs in Iran and Asia. It has many fans In Iran's neighboring Turkic countries including Turkey and Republic of Azerbaijan. In 2010–11 Iran Pro League average attendance for home games in Sahand Stadium was more than 60,000.

In 2008–09 season, Tractor was returned to the first division of the Iranian football after eight years with promoting from Azadegan League to the Iran Pro League.[1] After that, Tractor Sazi began its growing trend with ending the following season after their promotion in the 7th place. They finished next season in the 5th place before finishing 2011–12 and 2012–13 season as the runner up for two times in a row. They also qualified to the AFC Champions League in the 2013 edition for the first time in their history.[2] The club also won 2013–14 Hazfi Cup recently.

According to the latest ranking of the world's top club teams in 2013 by the "Soccer Database" took place, Tractor is the 3rd in Iran, 19th in Asia and 305th in the world.[3] Tractor Sazi Club also has teams in futsal, basketball, volleyball, taekwondo and baseball in addition to football club.

History[edit]

Tractor Sazi's squad in 1974 before a Takht Jamshid Cup match

Pre Revolution[edit]

Tractor Sazi was formed in 1970 in support of Tractor Manufacturing Company in Tabriz. They played in the Pasargad League for five years until 1975. They finished 1974–75 as the winner of the Pasargard League and promoted to the Takht Jamshid Cup (now Iran Pro League). In their first season in the Takht Jamshid Cup, they were in poor form, as result Tractor Sazi relegated to the Pasargard League after just one year in the first division. They were also lost the Hazfi Cup final to the Malavan in the cup's inaugural edition. After their relegation, Hossein Fekri remained as the club's manager and led them to a return to the first division for the 1977–78 season, which they finished it in the 5th place. In 1978–79 season which never finished due to Iranian Revolution, they were in the 8th place with twelve matches. Their rival at these times was Machine Sazi, which is also based in Tabriz.

Post Revolution[edit]

In the 1980s the national league was suspended due to the Iran-Iraq War, therefore Tractor was forced to compete in the Tabriz Local Leagues for many years. In the 1986-87 Qods League the East Azerbaijan Provincial team, with a mix of players from Tractor Sazi and rivals Machine Sazi, made it to the final, but were defeated in the final by the Isfahan Provincial team.

1990s[edit]

Romanian coach Vasile Godja was in charge of Tractor Sazi's youth teams from 1986. He was also a worker of the Tractor Company and discovered various talents as the B team's coach. He also discovered and trained various talented players like Karim Bargheri, Sirous Dinmohammadi, Alireza Nikmer and Hossein Khatibi, which in time became players of Iran’s national team. In 1990, he was promoted as the first team coach which he led the club in the 1992–93 season finishing third place in national competition followed by Persepolis and Pas Tehran. Esmail Halali was their star in this period. Under his leadership in 1994, Tractor Sazi made the finals of the Hazfi Cup again this time losing to Bahman in the final, and won in 1995 the MILLS International cup in India.

After Godja left the team in 1997 after eight years in the charge of the club, Mohammad Hossein Ziaei became the player-coach of Tractor Sazi. At this time, notable players of the team started their migration to the other clubs. They finished 1998 until 2001's leagues in the middle of the table.

Fans at a home game in 2001

Iran Pro League[edit]

In 2001, IRIFF formed Iran Pro League as the professional league. 2001–02 season and under Reza Vatankhah and Mahmoud Yavari's management, Tractor Sazi was relegated to the Azadegan League after the club finished bottom of the league.

Relegation to Azadegan League[edit]

Tractor Sazi spent seven seasons in the Azadegan League, second division, and was unable to climb to the Iran Pro League. Tractor qualified to the promotion play-off in the 2006–07 season but lost to the Shirin Faraz 4–2. After the appointment of Faraz Kamalvand as the manager before the 2008-09 season, Tractor Sazi was promoted to the Iran Pro League for the first time in 8 years.

Return to Pro League[edit]

In the 2011–12 season and under Amir Ghalenoei's management, Tractor Sazi finished 2nd, their best result in the history, therefore securing a spot for the 2013 AFC Champions League. This was the first time Tractor Sazi had qualified for the competition, they qualified for the 2014 and 2015 edition as well. In July 2012, former S.L. Benfica and Sevilla FC coach, Toni Oliveira was named as the club's manager. He led the club as the runner up of Iran Pro League.

Champions League[edit]

After a fall out between Oliveira and the club chairman, Oliveira was sacked and Majid Jalali was brought in for the 2013–14. After a poor run of results Jalali was fired and Toni Oliveira returned, and almost immediately leading Tractor to a Hazfi Cup Championship, and a place in the 2015 AFC Champions League. They also finished the season in the 6th place, after defeated Esteghlal 3–1 on the last match at Azadi Stadium. Tractor was also unable to qualify for the knock-out stage of AFC Champions League for the second consecutive year, after ended 4th in its group in both 2013 and 2014 editions. In 2015, Tractor again was eliminated in the group stage of the AFC Champions League for the third straight time.

On 15 May 2015, the most controversial Iran Pro League match was played between Tractor Sazi and Naft Tehran. The match took place at Sahand Stadium in Tabriz. After the communication black out at stadium there were spread of news from some officials about the result of parallel game between Sepahan and Saipa. Tractor Sazi side pulled back the game for remaining 10 minutes time and had thought a 3–3 draw with Naft was enough to win the title. While they were celebrating with their fans on the field, found out that the actual result of the parallel game was 2–0 for Sepahan and they have been the victims of dirty tricks. Tractor Sazi only secured the second place for the third time. [4][5]

Fans[edit]

Tractor Sazi's fans in match.

Tractor Sazi had the most fans attendance in home games in the Iran Pro League in 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 seasons. As of 2013, the club have more than 482,000 registered official fans. Navad, the main sports program in Iran also named Tractor's fans as the best fans in Iran.

Tractor Sazi football team have played an important role in the articulating demands of its fans for the institution and TV broadcasting in their native language, Azeri Turkish, at almost every game. Many thousands of ethnic Azeris of Iran accompany the Tractor football team to its matches, occasionally some of them carrying pan-Turkic symbols[6] and usually shout slogans emphasizing their distinctiveness from the Persians and explicitly support Iranian Turks (including Azeris) identity and language[7][8] or slogans against teams of Tehran which have sometimes led to clashes with Iranian security forces.[9] On February 26,2013 an Asian Champions League match took place between the soccer teams of Tractor (Iran) and Aljazeera (United Arab Emirates). Yaşasın Azerbaycan! or Long Live Azerbaijan! was the cry from the impressive crowed of 85.000 FC Tractor fans. Some of the Azeri fans managed to sneak in a huge 50 feet long banner writing in English for the first time "South Azerbaijan is not Iran" resembling the Catalan slogan "Catalonia is not Spain". It caught the eyes of millions of viewers around the nation and beyond. "Tiraxtur" (Tractor) is one of the most favorite Azeri football clubs which turned into a symbol of ethnic pride of Azeris in Iranian Azerbaijan.[10] For the last dramatic game of the 2014-15 IPL between Tractor and Nafta (3-3) there were 81.756 spectators.

→Tractor Sazi is known as "Tiraxtur" between its fans. The club's title is also Red Wolves. After scoring a goal, The club fans also celebrate it in Bundesliga style. They repeat the scorer's surname after the stadium's spokesperson calling his first name three times. Even though officials tried to ban this, fans succeeded. Also they are famous for supporting their team no matter what happens on the scoreboard. When the team concedes a goal, fans began chants "Eybi Yox!" (no problem).[11]

Official anthem[edit]

There are a lot of popular marches for Tractor F.C. but 'Tiraxtur iftixarımız' (Tractor is our proud) that create and implement in 2012 was chosen as official anthem by the club in the club's celebration. The table below shows the Tractor fans anthem that is sung at Tractor matches.

Crest[edit]

From its foundation, the team used red crest. On the exterior circle the name of the club and the date of its foundation were written. The second crest was white until 2013, when the club change their second crest to black.

Kit[edit]

Tractor Sazi is currently sponsored by the Hamrah-e Aval (Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran) and also Javanane Khayer Foundation. They were previously sponsored by the Bank Sepah. On 1 December 2012, the club signed a contract with Merooj in a four deal, starting from 2013–14 season.

Media[edit]

The official matches of the club in Iran Pro League, Hazfi Cup and AFC Champions League are broadcast from Sahand TV, the club's city owned TV station. Online viewing is also available in the official site of the club and Sahand TV. Important matches are also broadcast on the Varzesh and Shoma channels. The matches with Persepolis, Esteghlal and Sepahan are also broadcast from IRIB TV3, Jame Jam and SAHAR TV.

Ownership[edit]

The club is owned by Tractor Manufacturing Company since its establishment in 1970. From 2011, it has been owned by Kowsar Foundation (51%) ,[12] also 30% of the club is belongs to East-Azerbaijan State.[13] In addition, the Iranian Mehr institute affiliate Kowsar and other stakeholders and custodians of the club. Kowsar Foundation is part of Sepah Pasdaran and the club is able to get the soldier players to complete their military service.

Rivalries[edit]

Tractor Sazi's matches with Persepolis and Esteghlal are notably important to its supporters, since their return to the first division in 2009. Tractor Sazi have won two, drawn three and lost one match against Esteghlal. Their two victories came in the Azadi Stadium. Tractor Sazi also won five consecutive matches against Persepolis, the biggest margin of victory coming in a 4-1 drubbing over their rivals. They defeated Persepolis in 2010 with a goal from Karrar Jassim after 17 years.

Tractor Sazi & Esteghlal results
Tractor Sazi wins 7
Esteghlal wins 15
Draw 11
Tractor Sazi goals 34
Esteghlal goals 54
Total matches 33
Tractor Sazi & Persepolis results
Tractor Sazi wins 9
Persepolis wins 15
Draw 12
Tractor Sazi goals 39
Persepolis goals 51
Total matches 36

For years, Tractor Sazi's rival was Machine Sazi, which is also based in Tabriz. However, Machine Sazi is currently at the Second Division, so no official matches are held between clubs now.

Tractor Sazi & Machine Sazi results
Tractor Sazi wins 12
Machine Sazi wins 22
Draw 19
Tractor Sazi goals 30
Machine Sazi goals 48
Total matches 53

Since 2013, and after promotion of Gostaresh Foulad, Tabriz derby is held between two sides.

Tractor Sazi & Gostaresh results
Tractor Sazi wins 2
Gostaresh wins 1
Draw 1
Tractor Sazi goals 8
Gostaresh goals 6
Total matches 4

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 2 July 2015

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

No. Position Player
2 Iran DF Mohammad Iranpourian
3 Iran DF Shoja' Khalilzadeh (on loan from Sepahan)
4 Iran DF Khaled Shafiei
6 Iran MF Sina Ashouri (on loan from Zob Ahan)
7 Iran MF Saman Nariman Jahan
8 Iran FW Shahin Saghebi (on loan from Malavan)
9 Iran FW Farid Karimi
12 Iran MF Mohammad Pour Rahmatollah U21 (on loan from Malavan)
14 Iran MF Andranik Teymourian
15 Iran DF Mehdi Ghoreishi
No. Position Player
18 Iran MF Ahmad Amir Kamdar
19 Iran FW Mehrdad Bayrami
22 Iran GK Mohammad Ali Ramezanian U23
23 Iran DF Mirhani Hashemi
29 Iran FW Peyman Keshavarz U21
40 Iran DF Ali Hamoudi (on loan from Sepahan)
77 Iran FW Saeid Aghaei U21 (on loan from Gostaresh Foulad)
88 Iran DF Fardin Abedini
Iran GK Mohammadreza Akhbari U23 (on loan from Saipa)
Iran MF Soroush Rafiei (on loan from Foolad)

For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers summer 2015.

Notable players[edit]

Stadium[edit]

Sahand Stadium is the home ground of the club

Tractor Sazi played their home matches from 1979 until 1996 in the 20,000 capacity Bagh Shomal Stadium (Takhti Stadium), 1976 AFC Asian Cup stadium. Sahand Stadium (Yadegar-e Emam Stadium) was replaced with Bagh-e Shomal Stadium after it was completed in January 1996. The stadium is the second biggest stadium in Iran with 66,833 seats. The stadium is also part of Tabriz Olympic Complex.

During Sahand Stadium's renovation in 2005 until 2006 years, Bakeri Stadium was the club's home ground in the Azadegan League matches. The stadium has 10,000 capacity.

Seasons[edit]

The table below chronicles the achievements of Tractor Sazi in various competitions.

Season League Position Hazfi Cup ACL Notes
1971–72 Local League 4th
Not held
Not held
Region C
1972–73 2nd Division 4th Group B
1973-74 2nd Division 2nd
1974-75 2nd Division 1st Promoted
1975–76 Takht Jamshid Cup 16th Final Relegated
1976-77 2nd Division 2nd 1/8 Final Promoted
1977–78 Takht Jamshid Cup 5th
Not held
1978–79 Takht Jamshid Cup Did not finish
1980–81 Tabriz Football League 10th
Did not qualify
Relegated
1981–82 Tabriz Football League's 2nd Div. 1st Promoted
1982–83 Tabriz Football League 6th
1983–84 Tabriz Football League 5th
1984–85 Tabriz Football League 1st
1985–86 Tabriz Football League 2nd
1986–87 Tabriz Football League 3rd
1987–88 Tabriz Football League 2nd
1988–89 Tabriz Football League 2nd
1989–90 Qods League 4th Quarter Finals
1990–91 2nd Division 3rd 1/8 Final Promoted
1991–92 Azadegan League 10th Not held
1992–93 Azadegan League 3rd Not held
1993–94 Azadegan League 8th Final
1994–95 Azadegan League 9th First Round Relegated
1995–96 2nd Division 2nd Second Round Promoted
1996–97 Azadegan League 11th Second Round
1997–98 Azadegan League 9th Not held
1998–99 Azadegan League 11th Second Round
1999–00 Azadegan League 6th 1/16 Final
2000–01 Azadegan League 12th Second Round
2001–02 Iran Pro League 14th Third Round Relegated
2002–03 Azadegan League 3rd Second Round
2003–04 Azadegan League 8th Third Round
2004–05 Azadegan League 7th Third Round
2005–06 Azadegan League 3rd Second Round
2006–07 Azadegan League 1st Second Round Promoted to Play Off
2007–08 Azadegan League 4th 1/16 Final
2008–09 Azadegan League 1st Quarter Finals Promoted
2009–10 Iran Pro League 7th Second Round
2010–11 Iran Pro League 5th 1/8 Final
2011–12 Iran Pro League 2nd 1/16 Final
2012–13 Iran Pro League 2nd 1/8 Final Group Stage
2013–14 Iran Pro League 6th Champion Group Stage
2014–15 Iran Pro League 2nd 1/16 Final Group Stage

Honours[edit]

Official titles[edit]

Runners-up (3): 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15
Winner (1): 2013–14
Runners-up (2): 1975–76, 1994–95
Winner (1): 2008–09
Winner (1): 1974–75
Runners-up (2): 1976–77, 1995–96
Winner : 1992

Unofficial titles[edit]

  • India MILLS International Cup
Winner: 1995
  • Iran Sardaran Shahid International Cup
Winner: 1995, 1996
  • Iran Shohada Cup
Winner: 2014

Personal[edit]

Current coaching staff[edit]

Toni Oliveira, the current Tractor Sazi manager
Position Staff
Head coach Portugal Toni Oliveira
First team coach Iran Younes Bahonar
Assistant coach Iran Amir Masoud Eghbali
Assistant coach Portugal Luiz Migonez
Fitness coach Iran Saeid Nikokheslat
Goalkeeper coach Portugal George Tabárez
Analyzer Portugal António Oliveira
Doctor & Physiotherapist Iran Ramzan Norouzzadeh
Psychologist Iran Akbar Sobhi
B team manager Iran Farhad Pourgholami
Technical manager Iran Ahad Sheykhlari

Management[edit]

Position Staff
President Saeed Abbasi
Vice President Khosro Abdollahzadeh
Board chairman Ali Akbar Pourjamshidian
Board members Sadegh Najafi-Khazarlou
Alireza Navin
Mohammad Javad Dolfkar
Muhammad Ismail Saidi
Ghafour Kargari
Dara Ghaznavi
Mohammad Ali Mojtahedi
Fans club president Rahman Yavaran
Academy manager Sadegh Pourhossein

Sports statistics[edit]

  • Updated to May 2014.

General information[edit]

Details
Concept Times
Seasons in Iran Pro League 21
Seasons in Azadegan League 12
Promotions to Iran Pro League 4
Participations in the Hazfi Cup 27
Participations in Asian competitions 3
All-time best position in Iran Pro League 2nd

Individual records[edit]

Lists of the players with the most caps and top goalscorers for the club, as of 2 December 2014 (players in bold signifies current Tractor Sazi player). Mohammad Ebrahimi is the club's all-time most capped player and top scorer with 25 goals in 128 games. This list includes goals from all competitive matches.

Mohammad Ebrahimi is all time goalscorer for the club.
Top Ten Highest Goalscorers
Player Period Appearances Goals
1 Iran Mohammad Ebrahimi 2009–15 151 26
2 Brazil Edinho 2014–present 30 20
3 Portugal Flávio Paixão 2011–13 67 21
4 Iran Mehdi Seyed-Salehi 2012–13 38 19
5 Iran Karim Ansarifard 2013–14 35 14
6 Iraq Karrar Jassim 2009–11 48 13
7 Iran Mohammad Nosrati 2009–10; 2010–11; 2012–14 132 11
8 Iran Saman Nariman Jahan 2014-present 46 10
9 Iran Ali Alizadeh 2010–12 40 10
10 Iran Farhad Kheirkhah 2009–10 31 10
Tractor Sazi in 2013–14 season.

Top Goalscorers in AFC Champions League[edit]

Rank Player Goals Seasons
1 Brazil Geílson Soares 3 1
2 Iran Mehdi Seyed-Salehi 2 1
Brazil Edinho 2 1
Iran Farshad Ahmadzadeh 2 2
3 Iran Karim Ansarifard 1 1
Iran Saeed Daghighi 1 1
Portugal Flávio Paixão 1 1
Iran Shahin Saghebi 1 1
Iran Masoud Ebrahimzadeh 1 2
Iran Javad Kazemian 1 2
Iran Milad Fakhreddini 1 2

Asian record[edit]

Asian Club Championship / AFC Champions League[edit]

Asian Club Championship / AFC Champions League
Season Round Rival Home Away Agg.
2013 Group Stage
(Group A)
United Arab Emirates Al-Jazira 3–1 2–0
Qatar El Jaish 2–4 3–3
Saudi Arabia Al-Shabab 0–1 1–0
2014 Group Stage
(Group C)
Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad 1–0 2–0
Qatar Lekhwiya 0–1 0–0
United Arab Emirates AL-Ain 2–2 3–1
2015 Group Stage
(Group D)
Uzbekistan Nasaf Qarshi 1–2 1–2
United Arab Emirates Al-Ahli 1–0 2–3
Saudi Arabia Al-Ahli 2–2 0–2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tractor promoted to the Iran Pro League
  2. ^ Tractor Sazi qualified to the AFC Champions League
  3. ^ World Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking
  4. ^ Ethnic Tensions Spill Onto Iranian Soccer Pitches http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-dorsey/ethnic-tensions-spill-ont_b_7296806.html
  5. ^ http://gulfnews.com/sport/football/more-football/iran-s-league-season-ends-in-farce-1.1511761
  6. ^ Souleimanov, Emil (2011). "The Evolution of Azerbaijani Identity and the Prospects of Secessionism in Iranian Azerbaijan". PfP Consortium Quarterly Journal (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany: Partnership for Peace Consortium (PfPC) of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes) 11 (1): 77–84. Archived from the original on 21 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Souleimanov, Emil (2010). "Iranian Azerbaijan: The Brewing Hotspot of Future Separatism?". Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst (Washington and Stockholm: Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center) 12 (20): 9–11. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Segall, Michael (2013). "Iran Fears Growing Israel-Azerbaijan Cooperation". Jerusalem Issue Briefs (Jerusalem, Israel: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) 13 (12): 1. Archived from the original on 21 July 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Souleimanov, Emil; Pikal, Kamil; Kraus, Josef (2013). "The Rise of Nationalism Among Iranian Azerbaijanis: A Step Toward Iran's Disintergration?". Middle East Review of International Affairs (Herzliya, Israel: The Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center) 17 (1): 71–91. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Umud Duzgun; South Azerbaijan is not Iran http://yurd.net/pageE.php?id_contents=0000002084
  11. ^ http://www.tractor-club.com/view.aspx?cid=3&tar=about
  12. ^ "فرمانده سپاه عاشورا اعضای هیئت مدیره باشگاه تراکتورسازی تبریز را اعلام کرد کادر فنی فعلی تراکتورسازی، حفظ می شود". tabriz.isna.ir. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "تیم تراکتورسازی و جوانان خیر". tractor-club.com. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 

External links[edit]