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Updated:Monday 13th October 2014

Sepahan Definition

Old name for the city of Isfahan. Sepahan is the plural form of Sepah meaning army in Persian. The word Sepah is also used in:- Sepah Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran)- Sepah Javidan (The Immortals of the Achaemenid Empire)- Sepahbod (General of ancient Persian army)- Sepahan FC a football club in Isfahan. (Wikipedia) - Sepahan F.C.   (Redirected from Sepahan) Sepahan F.C. باشگاه فوتبال فولاد مبارکه ی سپاهان اصفهان Full name Nickname(s) Founded Ground Ground Capacity Owner President Manager League 2013–14 Website
Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan
Yellows Asia''s Yellow Storm Champions
October 1953; 61 years ago (1953-10)
Fooladshahr Stadium, Isfahan
Mobarakeh Steel Company
Mehrzad Khalilian
Hossein Faraki
Iran Pro League
Iran Pro League, 4th
Club home page
Home colours Away colours Third colours
Current season

Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال فولاد مبارکه ی سپاهان اصفهان‎) commonly known as Sepahan is an Iranian football club based in Isfahan, Iran. They compete in Iran''s top-level league known as Persian Gulf Pro League and hold most of the records in the IPL under their belt. In 2002–03 season, they became the first non-Tehran based team to win the Iranian League title. Sepahan is the current champion of IPL in 2011–12 season, reaching the record of four championships in the eleven-year IPL history. They are also the first and the only Iranian football club who won three consecutive titles in Iranian Football League history.

Sepahan have been the most successful football club in Iran since the establishment of Iran Pro League in 2001, with four IPL championships and four Hazfi Cup titles. They are also the first Iranian club who reached the AFC Champions League final in 2007 and qualified to play in the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup at the same year.

Sepahan Football Club is usually known for its successful and consistent management in Iranian football system. By winning multiple tiles since 2003, they have succeeded to end the complete dominance of two famous clubs, Persepolis and Esteghlal, in Iranian football system. The Club is the football division of Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan Sport Club and is owned by Mobarakeh Steel Co..

  • 1 Club history
    • 1.1 Pre Revolution
    • 1.2 Post Revolution
    • 1.3 Success years
      • 1.3.1 Kranjčar Era
  • 2 Reserve team
  • 3 Rivalries
    • 3.1 Isfahan Derby
    • 3.2 Other rivalries
  • 4 Stadium
  • 5 Season-by-season
  • 6 Club honours
  • 7 Players
    • 7.1 First-team squad
      • 7.1.1 Reserves and Academy
      • 7.1.2 Out on loan
    • 7.2 Past Notable players
    • 7.3 Former players
  • 8 Managerial staff
    • 8.1 Current managerial staff
    • 8.2 Head coaches
  • 9 Club officials
  • 10 Sponsorship
  • 11 List of Sepahan records
    • 11.1 FIFA Club World Cup participation
    • 11.2 Top scorers in Iran Pro League
    • 11.3 Top scorers by season
    • 11.4 Players on international cups
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links
    • 13.1 Fan club site

Club history Pre RevolutionShahin Isfahan Club

In 1953, with the help of Mahmoud Hariri, the Shahin Isfahan club was created. This club was one of teams attached to the more popular and successful Shahin F.C. of Tehran. In 1967 due to the problems that arose in the Shahin F.C. organization in Tehran, the Isfahan branch was forced to cease operations. The club changed its name to Sepahan. The club participated in Takht Jamshid Cup league since 1974 to 1978.

Post Revolution

After the Revolution, they played in the local Isfahan leagues for many years until 1993. That year the club was purchased by the Siman (cement) factory of Isfahan. It participated in the Azadegan League until the year 2000, when Foolad Mobarekeh (Steel Mill of Mobarekeh Isfahan) bought the team from the Siman factory. The team now plays under the name of Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan, and enjoys very good support by the club board, and has been able to attain a respectable fan base in its hometown.

Success years

The club was able to demonstrate its worth when it captured the league title in the 2002–03 season of the IPL, and qualified for the AFC Champions League tournament with Farhad Kazemi. It also won the Hazfi Cup in 2004 and was able to qualify for another season of the ACL competition, though the club did not have much success in the continental tournaments of ACL 2004 and 2005.

Sepahan in match against Homa during 1975-76 season

With Luka Bonačić, Sepahan was able to once again win the Hazfi Cup on 22 September 2006. With this win, they gained Iran''s final and second spot in the AFC Champions League 2007. They were impressive in continental stage as they finished top of their group and defeated Kawasaki Frontale of Japan and Al Wahda of the UAE to reach the final of the newly established continental tournament for the first time. Although they lost the final to Urawa Red Diamonds on aggregate, by reaching the final, Sepahan became the first Iranian club to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup.

In the opening match of the FIFA Club World Cup 2007, Sepahan defeated Waitakere United of New Zealand to reach the quarter-final where they met Urawa Red Diamonds for a spot in the semifinal match against AC Milan. Urawa Reds managed to defeat Sepahan for the second time in just one month, reaching the semifinals of the FIFA Club World Cup.

By winning the Hazfi Cup once again in 2007, Sepahan also qualified for the AFC Champions League 2008, but could not repeat their success of 2007.

Sepahan has qualified for the AFC Champions League for the third consecutive time in 2009, coming as the Runners-up in Persian Gulf Cup 2007-08. Sepahan lost the title by only one point to Persepolis F.C., who beat them 2–1 in the last match of the season with a winner six minutes into second half injury time. They tried to improve the team where they sacked the Brazilian coach Viera and replaced him with the German coach Firat but they had a difficult season where they could not win anything in 2008–09 season and changed the coach for 3 times.

In the next season sepahan hired Turkish and former Iran''s assistant coach Engin Firat, but he was fired after getting poor result in the league, and Hossein Charkhabi who was Sepahan Novin head coach at that time replaced Firat. Despite getting good result with team Charkahbi was replaced once again with Farhad Kazemi who won the league title with Sepahan in 2002–03 season. Finally Sepahan finished 4th in the league and qualified for 2010 AFC Champions League Group stage. In the next season club hired former''s Iran & Esteghlal head coach Amir Ghalenoei, at the helm of Sepahan''s 2010 Season, the club sealed a championship title two weeks before the end of the season with a 2–2 tie against F.C. Aboomoslem.

In 2010–11 Persian Gulf Cup, Sepahan dominated the league after a slow start and practically won the title 2 weeks before the season end. They also advanced to the knock out stage of the ACL competition, after finishing on top of the table in the group stage. Their group was arguably the group of death, consisting of Al-Hilal, Al Gharafa and Al-Jazira. They won their third championship and became the most successful team in Iran Pro League.

Kranjčar Era

They also repeated their league title in 2011–12 season, this time with Croatian manager, Zlatko Kranjčar. Sepahan also made it to the quarter-finals of 2012 AFC Champions League after defeating the fellow Iranian club Esteghlal.

In 2013 however, Sepahan was placed in Group C of the 2013 AFC Champions League and was unable to get past 2013 AFC Champions League group stage. Being placed in the same group as Al-Gharafa Sports Club of Qatar, Al-Ahli SC of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates'' Al Nasr SC, they were unsuccessful to qualify as one of the top two teams of their group. Sepahan started the 2013 AFC Champions League with a great win at home against Al Nasr SC, however heading for an away game against Al-Gharafa Sports Club in Qatar, Sepahan only returned home humiliated by the Qatari team in a 3–1 lost game. That was not the end of Sepahan''s poor performance in the AFC Champions League. About three weeks after their loss in Qatar, Sepahan hosted Al-Ahli SC at Foolad Shahr Stadium, losing poorly once again but this time with a score of 4–2. Sepahan still had a chance after those two losses, but all hopes were lost once they lost in front of the Saudi giants again, this time with a score of 4–1 thus having them bid farewell to the 2013 AFC Champions League.

In the 2013–14 Iran Pro League season, Sepahan finished 4th. Thus missing out on the AFC Champions League for the first time in five years. At the end of the season, Croatian manager Zlatko Kranjčar announced that he would not be returning for the 2014-2015 season. Sepahan also struggled in the Champions League as well, failing to make it past the group stage with a 1–0 loss to Al Hilal on the final match day. After originally announcing he was leaving the club, Sepahan announced that they had extended the contract of Kranjčar for another season.

Sepahan started 2014–15 season with three wins in a row. However, Sepahan not won any match in their next four matches. Kranjčar resigned on 8 September 2014 and was replaced with former Foolad manager Hossein Faraki.

Reserve team

Sepahan is also one of the clubs in Iranian football to have a senior reserve team, Foolad Sepahan Novin F.C., that as of the 2007/08 season, participates in 3rd Division and the Hazfi Cup. The reserve team was promoted to the Iran Pro League from the Azadegan League, but was not allowed to participate due to Fifa''s regulations about two teams from the same club playing in the same league.

Rivalries Isfahan DerbyMain articles: Isfahan Derby

The Nagsh-e- Jahan derby is a football match played annually in of Isfahan, Iran, between the two rival professional teams of the city: Zob Ahan F.C. and Sepahan F.C.. Naqsh-e Jahan is an important square in old centrum of Isfahan.

According to Iranian football journalist Afshin Afshar, the competition is one of the most popular annual football events in Iran. Isfahan derby goes back to the 1970s, when Zob Ahan F.C. and Sepahan F.C. faced each other in Takht Jamshid Cup seasons(1974/75, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1977/78). Their rivalry resumed in the 1990s when they faced each other in Azadegan League seasons (1993/94, 1996/97, 1997/98) and from then on the two met each other twice a year.

Other rivalriesMain articles: Esteghlal–Sepahan rivalry Main articles: Persepolis–Sepahan rivalry

Esteghlal–Sepahan and Persepolis–Sepahan rivalries are the two important Iran Football Rivalries played between Sepahan and two Tehran based football clubs: Esteghlal and Persepolis.


The Naghsh-e-Jahan Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Isfahan, Iran that is home ground of Sepahan. It is currently used for football matches. The stadium was built in 2003 and holds 45,000 in a three-tier configuration. It is currently used by Sepahan, an Iranian football team in Iran''s Premier Football League.The first phase finished in 2003 and they have decided to finish the second phase which is the first floor of the stadium. It was started in 2007 and has been going on but meant to finish by 2008 and is still going on till summer 2014. The final capacity in of the stadium will be 75,000. Sepahan''s second home ground is Foolad Shahr Stadium that is home ground of Zob Ahan F.C. too. Some of matches of Sepahan are held in that stadium.

Naghsh-e-Jahan Stadium will be the second biggest stadium in Iran after the Azadi Stadium.

Panoramic view from the Foolad Shahr StadiumSeason-by-season

For details on seasons, see List of Sepahan F.C. seasons

Season Div. Pos. Hazfi Cup Asia
2001–02 IPL 9th Semi-Final - -
2002–03 IPL 1st Semi-Final - -
2003–04 IPL 6th Champion CL Group stage
2004–05 IPL 10th 1/8 Final CL Group stage
2005–06 IPL 7th Champion - -
2006–07 IPL 5th Champion CL Final
2007–08 IPL 2nd Quarter-Final CL Group stage
2008–09 IPL 4th 1/8 Final CL Group stage
2009–10 IPL 1st 1/8 Final CL Group stage
2010–11 IPL 1st Quarter-Final CL Quarter-Final
2011–12 IPL 1st Round of 32 CL Quarter-Final
2012–13 IPL 3rd Champion CL Group stage
2013–14 IPL 4th Round of 32 CL Group stage
Club honours
  • Iran Pro League
Winners (4): 2002–03, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12 Runner Up (1): 2007–08
  • Hazfi Cup
Winners (4): 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2012–13
  • AFC Champions League
Runner Up (1): 2007PlayersUpdated 15 July 2014.First-team squad

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

No.Position Player
1 GK Rahman Ahmadi
3 DF Shoja'' Khalilzadeh
4 MF Moharram Navidkia (captain)
5 DF Hadi Aghili (vice-captain)
6 MF Mohammad-Ali Ahmadi
7 MF Hossein Papi
8 MF Rasoul Navidkia
9 MF Mohammad Reza Khalatbari
10 DF Abdollah Karami
12 MF Ali Karimi U23
14 FW Xhevahir Sukaj
16 FW Erfan Maftoolkar U23
No.Position Player
18 DF Hossein Moradmand U23
20 FW Mehdi Sharifi U23
21 MF Vouria Ghafouri
23 MF Amin Jahan Alian
28 MF Ehsan Hajsafi
29 FW Luciano Pereira
33 DF Saeed Ghaedifar U23
35 GK Shahab Gordan
37 FW Hossein Fazeli U23
40 DF Ali Hamoudi
99 MF Amir Hossein Karimi U23
Reserves and Academy

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

No.Position Player
17 MF Milad Sarlak U21
19 DF Ali Gholami U21
22 GK Mehdi Amini U21
24 DF Armin Sohrabian U21
No.Position Player
27 GK Mehdi Sedghian U21
39 DF Mohammad Roshandel U21
51 DF Mohsen Aghaei U21
53 FW Mehdi Alimoradi U21
Out on loan

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

No.Position Player
FW Ali Choupani (at Padideh)
No.Position Player
MF Yaghoub Karimi (at Esteghlal)

For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers summer 2014.

Past Notable players

This list of former players includes those who received international caps (in bold) while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.

This list of "famous" or "notable" sporting persons has no clear inclusion or exclusion criteria. Please help to define clear inclusion criteria and edit the list to contain only subjects that fit those criteria. (August 2014)
  • Ahmadreza Abedzadeh
  • Edmond Bezik
  • Reza Enayati
  • Mohsen Garousi
  • Jalal Hosseini
  • Mahmoud Karimi
  • Rasoul Khatibi
  • Mohammad Reza Mahdavi
  • Bahram Mavaddat
  • Mehrdad Minavand
  • Mehdi Rahmati
  • Ali Shojaei
  • Abdollah Veisi
  • Mahmoud Yavari
  • Abdul-Wahab Abu Al-Hail
  • Emad Mohammed Ridha
  • Armando Sá
  • Ibrahima Touré
  • Bruno Correa
  • Januário
  • Armenak Petrosyan
  • Levon Stepanyan
  • Kamil Susko
Former players

For details on former players, see Category:Sepahan players.

Managerial staff Current managerial staff Position Staff
Head coach Hossein Faraki
Assistant coach Mahmoud Karimi
Assistant coach Majid Basirat
Assistant coach Ghasem Zaghinejad
Goalkeepers coach Ahmad Sajjadi
Fitness trainer Ahmad Khodadad
Analyzer Manouchehr Rezaei
Doctor Mohammad Rashadi
Physiotherapist Ali Khorami
Administrative manager Reza Fatahi
Executive manager Rasoul Khorvash
Head coaches

Below is a list of Sepahan coaches from 1953 until the present day.

Name of the coach Nationality Years
Mahmoud Hariri 1953–1960
Technical Commission 1960–1970
Mahmoud Yavari 1970–1978
Zdravko Rajkov 1978
Mahmoud Yavari 1978–1980
Masoud Tabesh 1980–1992
Ali Razmine 1992–1993
Firouz Karimi 1993–1994
Nasser Hejazi 1994–1995
Mahmoud Yavari 1995–1996
Rasoul Korbekandi 1996–1998
Mehdi Monajati 1998–1999
Hamid Nadimian 1999–2001
Stanko Poklepović 2001–2002
Farhad Kazemi 2002–2005
Stanko Poklepović 2005
Edson Tavares 2005–2006
Luka Bonačić 2006–2008
Jorvan Vieira 2008
Engin Firat 2008
Hossein Charkhabi 2008
Farhad Kazemi 2008–2009
Amir Ghalenoei 2009–2011
Luka Bonačić 2011
Karim Ghanbari* 2011
Zlatko Kranjčar 2011–2014
Hossein Faraki 2014–
  • * = Caretaker manager
Club officials Position Name
President Mehrzad Khalilian
Vice President Masoud Tabesh
Chairman of the Board Bahman Masoudi
Treasurer Ali Reza Shafiei
Trade and Marketing Manager Hamidreza Keshavarzian
Supreme Advisor Morteza Lachiani
Media and International Officer Hamed Asfa
Public Relation Hamid Bagheri
Academy manager Mohmammad Faramarzi
Media presenter Morteza Ramazani
Sponsorship Period Kit manufacturer Sponsor
2007–09 Uhlsport Mobarakeh Steel Company
2009–13 Lotto Sport Italia Mobarakeh Steel Company
2013– Uhlsport Mobarakeh Steel Company
List of Sepahan records FIFA Club World Cup participation FIFA Club World Cup History Year Round Score Result Scorers
2007 Play-off Sepahan 3 – 1 Waitakere United Win Emad Mohammed  3'', 4'' Abdul-Wahab  47''
2007 Quarterfinals Sepahan 1 – 3 Urawa Red Diamonds Loss Karimi  80''
Top scorers in Iran Pro League
  • 2002–03 : Edmond Bezik – 13 Goals
  • 2009–10 : Emad Mohammed Ridha – 19 Goals
Top scorers by season Season Player in League Player in whole season
2001–02 Edmond Bezik 6
2002–03 Edmond Bezik 13
2003–04 Rasoul Khatibi 08 Rasoul Khatibi 14
2004–05 Rasoul Khatibi 14 Rasoul Khatibi 17
2005–06 Rasoul Khatibi 10 Rasoul Khatibi 11
2006–07 Emad Mohammed Ridha 09 Emad Mohammed Ridha 12
2007–08 Mahmoud Karimi 09 Mahmoud Karimi 13
2008–09 Emad Mohammed Ridha 14 Emad Mohammed Ridha 16
2009–10 Emad Mohammed Ridha 19 Ibrahima Touré 20
2010–11 Ibrahima Touré 18 Ibrahima Touré 24
2011–12 Emad Mohammed Ridha 09 Bruno Correa 12
2012–13 Mohammad Reza Khalatbari 13 Xhevahir Sukaj 16
Players on international cups Cup Players
1978 FIFA World Cup Ali Shojaei Bahram Mavaddat
2006 FIFA World Cup Moharram Navidkia Rasoul Khatibi
2007 AFC Asian Cup Hadi Aghili
2009 FIFA Confederations Cup Abdul-Wahab Abu Al-Hail Emad Mohammed Ridha
2011 AFC Asian Cup Ehsan Hajsafi Hadi Aghili Jalal Hosseini Khosro Heydari Mehdi Rahmati Mohsen Bengar
2014 FIFA World Cup Ehsan Hajsafi Rahman Ahmadi

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