Karim Bagheri (Persian: کريم باقری (help·info); born 20 February 1974) is a retired Iranian professional football player and coach. He played over half of his professional career for Persepolis in the Persian Gulf Pro League.
Karim Bagheri in 2015
|Full name||Karim Bagheri|
|Date of birth||20 February 1974|
|Place of birth||Tabriz, Iran|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|Persepolis (assistant coach)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Bagheri was born in Tabriz, Iran. He was discovered by manager Vasile Godja and began his football playing for his hometown club Tractor where he impressed enough to land himself a contract with Keshavarz On 1 August 1996 Bagheri was signed on free transfer by the capital's club, Persepolis. There, Bagheri enjoyed much success winning numerous titles and becoming a fan favorite. Numerous impressive displays ended up in Bagheri attracting attention from many European clubs and on 1 August 1997, a year after he signed a contract with Persepolis, Bagheri signed with German Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefeld along with his fellow Iranian international Ali Daei.
Move to EuropeEdit
Bagheri's first season in Germany was not a huge success and the club was relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga. In his second season, he established himself as a starter playing in the libero position, helping the team make it back to the Bundesliga. His performances during the 98-99 season earned him a place in Kicker magazine's team of the year. He remained in Arminia for one more season, though his time in Germany ended sourly when he bought out his contract and returned to Persepolis again, though Persepolis loaned him to Al-Nasr in the UAE.
At that time English clubs were interested in Bagheri and Charlton Athletic of the Premiership quickly signed him for an initial fee of £400,000. His father's death, international call-ups and injuries restricted him from making appearances in his first year. Alan Curbishley his manager on Bagheri:
"We took him as cover for Kinsella", Curbishley said. "Bagheri is a holding midfielder with great physique and an eye for goal. His goal-scoring record is unbelievable. He's got almost a goal every other game in 70 internationals which is an amazing feat for a midfield player. "The problem was he never stayed fit while he was with us. After playing against Ipswich he went off to play for Iran and came back with a groin strain. Then it was a hamstring. His father died and he had to return to Iran the next day and we didn't see him for three weeks. Then he injured his hamstring again. It was one thing after another. It was a pity because the boy can play. He has all the attributes and understood the English game. "He's an affable lad and from day one the other players liked him. Though he didn't speak English he got on with the others who respected him. He can play a bit and in 12 reserve matches for us he managed six goals. Had he stayed fit it may have been a different story. When the loan deal ended he came to me and said `I've loved it here but I haven't done myself justice'. "I've noticed he is scoring regularly for Iran and whoever picks him up at set pieces on Saturday must be alert while he times his runs from midfield very well."
He had very little success there, only playing 15 minutes during the entire season in a game against Ipswich Town and being the first Iranian to play in the Premiership. He then moved to Al Sadd in Qatar.
In 2002, he decided to return to Persepolis once again. In September 2006, many thought he had been released from the team after arguments with management and staff over the club's financial commitments and unpaid wages. Bagheri was instead disciplined but remained on the team. Bagheri has since established himself as one of the greatest icons of Persepolis and many compare his popularity with Ali Parvin. In the 2007–08 season, he captained the team to glory in the IPL after a six-year drought. During the 2008–09 season he was injured and missed many matches. He also missed matches because of the differences he had with the coach Nelo Vingada at the end of the season. He was the top scorer of the team for 2009–10 season and the most influential player on the team. In the second Sorkhabi derby of the season, Bagheri scored in the 87th minute with a trademark long-range shot to gain victory for Persepolis after six consecutive draws in the derby.
- As of 11 November 2010
|Karim Bagheri Statistics in Persepolis|
Club Career statisticsEdit
|UAE||League||UAE President's Cup||Asia||Total|
|Qatar||League||Emir of Qatar Cup||Asia||Total|
|2001–02||Al-Sadd||Qatar Stars League||11||5||0||0||4||0||15||5|
|2002–03||Persepolis||Persian Gulf Cup||9||0||4||3||3||0||16||3|
- Assist Goals
Bagheri was first called up to the Iranian national team during the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, making his debut versus Pakistan on 6 June 1993. He displayed great football and soon became a starter for Iran in the midfield. He played in 1996 AFC Asian Cup for Team Melli and finished third.
He sparked Iran's comeback against Australia in the second leg of their 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier in 1997. He scored the first of two goals that took Iran from two goals down to tie the game 2–2 and eventually become the last team to qualify for the tournament. Overall, he scored 19 goals during the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, making him the top goalscorer from all six continental confederations. He played in 1998 Asian Games and won the competition. Bagheri also had one of the strongest right-footed shots and scored many fantastic goals against opponents, such as his game-tying goal against South Korea in the quarter finals of the 2000 Asian Cup in Lebanon.
Goal scoring recordEdit
On 2 June 1997, he scored seven times against the Maldives, and equalled the record for the most goals scored in a World Cup match, which was held by the Australian Gary Cole since 1981. Their joint record was broken on 11 April 2001 when another Australian, Archie Thompson scored 13 goals against American Samoa. He was named the world's second top goal scorer in official international matches by International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), having scored 20 goals for Iran in 1997.
He retired from the national team with 80 caps and 47 goals for Team Melli after Iran's unsuccessful FIFA World Cup 2002 qualification campaign which ended with an aggregate defeat to Republic of Ireland in November 2001. He was called up to the national team again soon after World Cup 2006, but said he would not participate as he is retired from international football and has no plans on returning to it.
Return to national teamEdit
On 9 October 2008, Team Melli coach Ali Daei stated that because of Andranik Teymourian's injury Bagheri will be called up for the national team once again. On 9 November 2008 in a friendly match against Qatar, he appeared for Team Melli once again after almost seven years. Bagheri captained Iran in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against UAE on 19 November 2008, scoring for Iran. He has been given his favorite number 6 jersey back. He played few important matches for Team Melli in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification against UAE and South Korea. He was invited again by Afshin Ghotbi but he stated in Navad that he only returned to Team Melli because of Ali Daei and will not participate in any more matches for Team Melli.
|Iran national team|
- Scores and results list Iran's goal tally first.
Two years after his retirement, he was offered a coaching role at Persepolis by newly appointed head coach Yahya Golmohammadi. He was promoted as the first-team coach in the coaching staff of Ali Daei.
- Arminia Bielefeld
- Arab Club Champions Cup (1): 2001
- "Karim Bagheri - Goals in International Matches".
- "BBC SPORT | CHARLTON ATHLETIC | Addicks land Iran star".
- "Republic must discover way to cope with 'Zidane of Iran'". 8 November 2001.
- "Ipswich late show crushes Charlton". BBC. 11 November 2000. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- پرسپولیس و باقری سه شنبه تصمیم گیری می کنند (in Persian). FC Persepolis. 28 November 2010. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
- "Karim Bagheri" (in German). fussballdaten.de. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
- "Iranian Premier League Stats: 2009–2010 Season". iplstats.com. Retrieved 22 March 2010.
- "SOCCER: It's a Draw: Politics Aside, the Pieces Fall in Place; Group Hug? Doubtful When It's U.S.-Iran". New York Times. 5 December 1997. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
- "Australia 31 – American Samoa 0". Ozfootball. Retrieved 19 June 2008.
- "Top 10 International Goal Scorers – 1997". IFFHS. Retrieved 22 July 2006.
- کریم باقری برای همیشه از تیم ملی خداحافظی کرد/ باقری: می روم تا جابرای جوانان باز شود (in Persian). Mehr News Agency. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2006.
- علي دايي: کريم باقري را به تيم ملي دعوت مي کنم (in Persian). ISNA. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
- كاپيتان باقري از تيم ملي خداحافظي كرد (in Persian). perspolisnews.com. 7 October 2010. Archived from the original on 10 October 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
- "Karim Bagheri - Goals in International Matches".
- "Karim Bagheri Named Iran's Persepolis Assistant Coach".
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