Sepahan S.C.

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Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan Club (Persian: باشگاه فولاد مبارکه سپاهان, Bâšgâh-è Varzeši-ye Fulâd-è Mobârake-ye Sepâhân), commonly known as Sepahan S.C., is an Iranian sport club based in Isfahan.[1] They are playing in Iran's top-level competition known as Persian Gulf Pro League. With 5 championships, it is one of the most successful football clubs in Iran. In 2002–03 season, they became the first non-Tehran based team to win the Iranian League title. They are also the first Iranian football club who won three consecutive titles in Iranian Football League history.

Sepahan S.C.
Sepahan New Logo.svg
Full nameFoolad Mobarakeh Sepahan Sport Club
Nickname(s)Yellow Storm
Short nameSepahan
Founded5 October 1953; 68 years ago (1953-10-05)
GroundNaghsh-e Jahan Stadium
OwnerMobarakeh Steel Company
PresidentMohammad Reza Saket
ManagerJosé Morais
LeaguePersian Gulf Pro League
2021–22Persian Gulf Pro League, 3rd
WebsiteClub website

Sepahan is one of the most successful football clubs in Iran since the establishment of Iran Pro League in 2001, with five 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 as well as its youth academy 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 Company.

Club historyEdit

Pre RevolutionEdit

Shahin Isfahan Club

In 1953, with the help of Iran national football team player Mahmoud Hariri the Shahin Isfahan football club was created. This club was one of the teams attached to the more popular and successful Shahin F.C. of Tehran. In 1963, Shahin as the representative of Isfahan Province became champions of Iran after a 1–1 draw against Tehran XI. 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 the Takht Jamshid Cup league from 1974 to 1978. In the club's first season in the Takht Jamshid Cup they finished in 10th place ahead of city rivals Zob Ahan.

Post RevolutionEdit

After the Revolution, they played in the local Isfahan leagues for many years until 1993. That year the club was purchased by the Siman-e-Sepahan (Sepahan 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.[citation needed]

Success yearsEdit

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.[citation needed]

Sepahan in a 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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 by sacking the Brazilian coach Viera and replacing him with the German coach Firat but they had a difficult season where they could not win anything in the 2008–09 season and changed the coach three times.[citation needed]

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 the team Charkahbi was replaced once again with Farhad Kazemi who won the league title with Sepahan in the 2002–03 season. Finally Sepahan finished 4th in the league and qualified for the 2010 AFC Champions League Group stage. In the next season the club hired former Iran and 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.[2]

In the 2010–11 Persian Gulf Cup, Sepahan dominated the league after a slow start and practically won the title two 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.[citation needed]

Kranjčar EraEdit

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.[citation needed]

In 2013 however, Sepahan was placed in Group C of the 2013 AFC Champions League and was unable to get past the 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 could not 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.[citation needed]

Sepahan players celebrating their fifth league title in 2015

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.

Faraki YearsEdit

Sepahan started the 2014–15 season with three wins in a row. However, Sepahan did not win their next four matches. Kranjčar resigned on 8 September 2014 and was replaced with former Foolad manager [[Hossein Farakos

On 15 May 2015, with a 2–0 Sepahan victory over Saipa and Tractor drawing 3–3 with Naft Tehran, Sepahan won their fifth league title with a one-point margin over runner up Tractor. With the league victory, Sepahan returned to the AFC Champions League after a one-year absence.

On 12 November 2015 Hossein Faraki left Sepahan for personal problems. Faraki left by saying "Things just don’t seem to be working out for me and I decided to quit my job in the team, I have nothing more to say because I think Sepahan needs concentration at the moment since they will play in Iran’s Hazfi Cup on Thursday,"[3][4]

Štimac and Veisi yearsEdit

After Hossein Faraki's resignation, the club signed former Croatian national team manager Igor Štimac. Igor Štimac won his first game against Naft Tehran, but after not winning a game in 10 weeks made the situations harder for Sepahan. Sepahan got knocked out of the Hazfi Cup by their rivals, Zob Ahan in penalties at the semi-final. Sepahan also went out of the AFC Champions League after losing five times in the first round. Igor Štimac resigned as Sepahan head coach on 20 April 2016, after a run of unsuccessful results which led the league champions Sepahan to end up in 11th place and out of both season's cups, Hazfi Cup and AFC Champions League.

Before the start of the 2016–17 season, Abdollah Veisi who had led Esteghlal Khuzestan to the league title, was announced as the new manager of Sepahan but sepahans poor results continued so they announced Zlatko Kranjčar as their new manager. Sepahan finished the season in the 5th place.

Reserve teamEdit

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.


Isfahan DerbyEdit

Main 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. 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.[5] The 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.

Tehran rivalriesEdit

Main 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 general secretary of Ahed (left) and the president of Sepahan (right) in 2009

On 28 January 2009, Sepahan and Lebanese club Ahed signed an informal partnership deal.[6] The partnership was made official on 8 March 2021, involving training camps and friendly games between the two sides.[7]


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. 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 was meant to be finished by 2008, but construction continued until summer 2016. The final capacity of the stadium will be 75,000. Sepahan's second home ground is Foolad Shahr Stadium that is the home ground of Zob Ahan F.C. too. Some of Sepahan's matches are held in that stadium.


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 Champions Semi-Final - -
2003–04 IPL 6th Champions ACL Group stage
2004–05 IPL 10th 1/8 Final ACL Group stage
2005–06 IPL 7th Champions - -
2006–07 PGC 5th Champions ACL Runner Up
2007–08 PGC 2nd Quarter-Final ACL Group stage
2008–09 PGC 4th 1/8 Final ACL Group stage
2009–10 PGC Champions 1/8 Final ACL Group stage
2010–11 PGC Champions Quarter-Final ACL Quarter-Final
2011–12 PGC Champions Round of 32 ACL Quarter-Final
2012–13 PGC 3rd Champions ACL Group stage
2013–14 PGC 4th Round of 32 ACL Group stage
2014–15 PGPL Champions Round of 32 - -
2015–16 PGPL 11th Semi-Final ACL Group stage
2016–17 PGPL 5th Semi-Final - -
2017–18 PGPL 14th Round of 32 - -
2018–19 PGPL 2nd Semi-Final - -
2019–20 PGPL 5th Quarter-Final ACL Group stage
2020–21 PGPL 2nd Quarter-Final - -
2021–22 PGPL 3rd Round of 16 ACL Group Stage




  Winners (5): 2002–03, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2014–15
  Runners-up (3): 2007–08, 2018–19, 2020–21
  Winner (1): 1973–74


  Winners (4): 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2012–13


  Runners-up (1): 2007


First-team squadEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   AUT Christopher Knett
2 DF   IRN Mohammad Nejadmehdi
5 DF   IRN Ezzatollah Pourghaz (3rd Captain)
6 MF   IRN Masoud Rigi
7 MF   IRN Mohammad Reza Hosseini
8 MF   IRN Farshad Ahmadzadeh
12 GK   IRN Ali Keykhosravi U23
13 MF   IRN Mohammad Gerami U21
14 MF   IRN Aria Yousefi U21
16 DF   IRN Davoud Rajabi U25
17 MF   IRN Jalaleddin Alimohammadi (Vice Captain)
19 MF   IRN Omid Noorafkan U25
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 MF   IRN Milad Jahani
21 MF   IRN Mohammad Karimi
22 GK   IRN Hojjat Sedghi
23 MF   IRN Amir Mohammad Mohkamkar U21
25 DF   IRN Amir Saman Ranjbar U23
27 MF   IRN Hassan Shushtari
45 GK   IRN Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri
66 DF   IRN Mohammadreza Mehdizadeh
70 FW   IRN Shahriyar Moghanlou
77 MF   IRN Reza Mirzaei
80 MF   IRN Yasin Salmani U21
  • U21 = Under 21 year player. U23 = Under 23 year player. U25 = Under 25 year player. INJ = Out of main squad due to injury.

For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers winter 2021–22.

Loan listEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   IRN Nima Mirzazad U25 (at Sanat Naft until July 2022)
MF   IRN Mohammad Papi U25 (at Naft Masjed Soleyman until July 2022)
FW   IRN Alireza Sadeghi U23 (at Aluminium Arak until July 2022)
DF   IRN Sobhan Pasandideh U23

Former playersEdit

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

Notable playersEdit

See: List of Sepahan players

Managerial staffEdit


Current managerial staffEdit

Position Name
Manager   José Morais
Assistant coaches   Miguel Teixeira
  Farhad Bahadorani
  Mojtaba Toutouni
Goalkeepers coach   Rahman Ahmadi
Fitness trainer   Hashem Khodadadi
Analyzer   Manoochehr Rezaei
Doctor   Abbas Ali Rabiei
Physiotherapist   Shayan Naji
Masseur   Hamidreza Kalantari
  Mohammad Sorouri
Provision   Naser Mollarezaei
  Saeid Shabih Khani
Translator   Fardin Faghihi
Media Presenter
Executive manager   Reza Fatahi

Head coachesEdit

Below is a list of Sepahan coaches from 1953 until the present day.[10][11][12]

Name Nationality Years
Mahmoud Hariri   1953–1960
Technical Commission 1960–1970
Mahmoud Yavari   1970–1978
Zdravko Rajkov   1978
Mahmoud Yavari   1978–1980
Masoud Tabesh   1980–1993
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
Zlatko Kranjčar   2011–2014
Hossein Faraki   2014–2015
Igor Štimac   2015–2016
Ghasem Zaghinejad*   2016
Abdollah Veisi   2016–2017
Zlatko Kranjčar   2017–2018
Mansour Ebrahimzadeh   2018
Amir Ghalenoei   2018–2020
Miguel Teixeira*   2020
Moharram Navidkia   2020–2022
José Morais   2022–Present

Club officialsEdit

Position Name
President Mohammad Reza Saket
Chairman of the Board Mojtaba Lotfi
Board Members Mojtaba Lotfi
Mohammad Reza Saket
Karim Fakharezadeh
Ali Pezeshk
Alireza Afzal
Treasurer Ali Reza Shafiei
Trade and Marketing Manager Hamidreza Keshavarzian
Supreme Advisor Morteza Lachiani
Media and International Officer Hamed Asfa
Security Officer Hooman Firoozi
Public Relation Hamid Bagheri
Academy manager Ghasesm Zaghinejad
Official Club Speaker Mohammad Reza Saket

List of Sepahan recordsEdit

FIFA Club World Cup participationEdit

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 by seasonEdit

Season Player   in League Player   in whole season
2001–02   Edmond Bezik 6
2002–03   Edmond Bezik 13
2003–04   Rasoul Khatibi 8   Rasoul Khatibi 14
2004–05   Rasoul Khatibi 14   Rasoul Khatibi 17
2005–06   Rasoul Khatibi 10   Rasoul Khatibi 11
2006–07   Emad Mohammed Ridha 9   Emad Mohammed Ridha 12
2007–08   Mahmoud Karimi 9   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 9   Bruno Correa 12
2012–13   Mohammad Reza Khalatbari 13   Xhevahir Sukaj 16
2013–14   Mehdi Sharifi 8   Mehdi Sharifi 12
2014–15   Mehdi Sharifi 12   Mehdi Sharifi 12
2015–16   Mohammad Reza Khalatbari
  Luciano Chimba
4   Luciano Chimba
  Mehdi Sharifi
2016–17   Mehrdad Mohammadi
  Masoud Hassanzadeh
7   Mehrdad Mohammadi
  Masoud Hassanzadeh
  Jalaleddin Alimohammadi
2017–18   Sasan Ansari 11   Sasan Ansari 11
2018–19   Kiros Stanlley 16   Kiros Stanlley 17

Players on international cupsEdit

Cup Players
  1978 FIFA World Cup   Ali Shojaei
  Bahram Mavaddat
  2006 FIFA World Cup   Moharram Navidkia
  Rasoul Khatibi
     2007 AFC Asian Cup   Hadi Aghily
  2009 FIFA Confederations Cup   Abdul-Wahab Abu Al-Hail
  Emad Mohammed
  2011 AFC Asian Cup   Ehsan Hajsafi
  Hadi Aghily
  Jalal Hosseini
  Khosro Heydari
  Mehdi Rahmati
  Mohsen Bengar
  Emad Mohammed
  2014 FIFA World Cup   Ehsan Hajsafi
  Rahman Ahmadi
  2015 AFC Asian Cup   Ehsan Hajsafi
  Voria Ghafouri
  2019 AFC Asian Cup   Payam Niazmand


Shirt sponsors and manufacturersEdit

Sepahan League Sponsors
Period Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor
2007–08   Uhlsport Mobarakeh Steel Company
2009–10   Lotto
2013–14   Uhlsport
2015–16   Joma
2016–17   Uhlsport
2017–18   Peak Mobarakeh Steel Company / Snapp
2018–19   Start Mobarakeh Steel Company / Taban Air / Hamrah-e-Avval
2019–20   Uhlsport


  1. ^ "Weekly Howl 21-09-12".
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 May 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Hossein Faraki steps down as Sepahan coach".
  4. ^
  5. ^ Archived 3 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ مراسم خواهر خواندگی تیم‌های فوتبال سپاهان و العهد لبنان [Ceremony of partnership of Sepahan and Lebanese football team Ahed]. Mehr News Agency (in Persian). 29 January 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Abou Diab, Rami (8 March 2021). "Ahed partners up with a foreign club". FA Lebanon. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  8. ^ ورزش3: دستیاران قلعه‌نویی در سپاهان مشخص شدند
  9. ^ ورزش3: تکسیرا جانشین قلعه نویی در سپاهان
  10. ^ تاریخچه باشگاه سپاهان اصفهان
  11. ^ تاریخچه دیدارهای سپاهان و استقلال در تهران
  12. ^ تاریخچه دیدارهای سپاهان و استقلال در اصفهان

External linksEdit