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Tractor Sazi Tabriz Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال تراکتورسازی تبریز‎), commonly known as Tractor Sazi, simply Tractor, also spelled Tiraxtur, is an Iranian football club based in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan, that competes in the Persian Gulf Pro League. The club was founded in 1970 by the Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company.

Tractor Sazi
تراکتورسازی
Tractor Sazi F.C. Logo.svg
Full nameTractor Sazi Tabriz Football Club
Founded1970; 49 years ago (1970)
GroundSahand
Capacity66,833[1][2]
OwnerMohammad Reza Zonuzi
ChairmanAbbas Elyasi
Head CoachGeorges Leekens
LeaguePersian Gulf Pro League
2017–18Persian Gulf Pro League, 10th
WebsiteClub website
Current season
Tractor Sazi 's active sections
Football pictogram.svg
Football
Basketball pictogram.svg
Basketball
Handball pictogram.svg
Handball
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Volleyball
Futsal pictogram.svg
Futsal
Athletics pictogram.svg
Athletics

Since the beginning of the 1996–97 season, Tractor Sazi has played its home games at the Sahand which has a seating capacity of 66,833[3], though it is able to hold more people during important matches. Tractor Sazi is holding the attendance record for a promoted team in Iranian football when they had an estimated average attendance about 57,000 during the 2009–10 season.[4] The club is owned and supported by the businessman Mohammad Reza Zonuzi since 2018.

Tractor Sazi is one of the most successful clubs in Tabriz, having won one national cup and one Azadegan League title. The club's colors are red. Tractor Sazi holds a long-standing enmity with Tehran based rivals Esteghlal and Persepolis.

Contents

History

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

Pre-Revolution

Tractor Sazi was formed in 1970 in support of the 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 were promoted to the Takht Jamshid Cup (now the Iran Pro League). In their first season in the Takht Jamshid Cup, they were in poor form, and as a result they were relegated to the Pasargard League after just one year in the first division. They also lost the Hazfi Cup final to 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 in 5th place. In the 1978–79 season, which never finished due to the Iranian Revolution, they were in 8th place with twelve matches played. Their rival at the time was Machine Sazi, who are also based in Tabriz.

Post-Revolution

In the 1980s the national league was suspended due to the Iran–Iraq War, therefore Tractor were 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

Romanian coach Vasile Godja was in charge of Tractor Sazi's youth teams from 1986. He was also a worker at 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, played for Iran's national team. In 1990, he was promoted to first team coach and led the club in the 1992–93 season, finishing third place in the 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 the MILLS International cup in India in 1995.

Godja left the team in 1997 after eight years in charge of the club. Mohammad Hossein Ziaei then became the player-coach of Tractor Sazi. At this time, notable players of the team started their migration to the other clubs. 1998 to 2001 they finished the league in mid-table.

Iran Pro League

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

Relegation to Azadegan League

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

Return to Pro League

 
Tractor Sazi's fans in return to Pro League

In the 2011–12 season and under Amir Ghalenoei's management, Tractor Sazi finished as runners-up, securing a spot for the 2013 AFC Champions League. This was the first time Tractor Sazi had qualified for the competition, subsequently qualifying for the 2014 and 2015 editions as well. In July 2012, former S.L. Benfica and Sevilla FC coach, Toni was named as the club's manager. He led the club to a runners up finish in the Iran Pro League.

Champions League

 
Toni, who won the 2013–14 Hazfi Cup and ended up as runners up in 2012–13 and 2014–15 Pro League.

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

On 15 May 2015, the final match of the season was played between Tractor Sazi and Naft Tehran. The match took place at Sahand Stadium in Tabriz. After communication issues at the stadium, Tractor Sazi staff mistakenly thought that Sepahan was losing to Saipa, which would mean Tractor would win the league with a draw. Tractor Sazi tied the game, believing that a 3–3 draw with Naft had won them the title. While they were celebrating with their fans on the field, they found out that the actual result of the parallel game was 2–0 for Sepahan and that Sepahan were league champions. Tractor Sazi finished as runners-up for the third time, with Amir Ghalenoi in 2012-13 and Toni in 2012-13 and 2014-15.[5][6]

 
Celebration after a 2-0 win against Pakhtakor in 2016 AFC Champions League group stage match.

Midway through the 2015–16 season Tractor head coach Toni was once again sacked and replaced by Amir Ghalenoi. On 24 February 2016 Tractor won their first match of the 2016 AFC Champions League in a 4–0 win against Emirati club Al Jazira. Tractor won the return leg 1–0 on 2 March 2016 in Abu Dhabi as well. After the first two games, Tractor Sazi surpassed the most points they ever gained in the AFC Champions League group stage. Tractor Sazi qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions League for the first time in their history on 19 April 2016 after defeating Saudi club Al-Hilal 2–0. Tractor eventually lost in the Round of 16 to Emirati club Al Nasr.

In the 2016–17 season, Tractor defeated Zob Ahan in the semi final of the Hazfi Cup to reach the final against Naft Tehran. In January 2017 it was revealed that Tractor had been suspended from two transfer windows by FIFA due to outstanding debts to former players. This led to the club terminating the contract of Sajjad Shahbazzadeh whom they had signed days earlier.

Fans

 
Fans prior to a match in the league.

Tractor Sazi is the most popular team in northwestern Iran and 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 has 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[citation needed].

For the last dramatic game of the 2014–15 IPL between Tractor and Naft Tehran (3–3) there were 81,756 spectators.

Tractor Sazi is known as "Tiraxtur" among its fans. The club's title is also Qırmızı Qurdlar which means Red Wolves in Azerbaijani. 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)[citation needed].

Official anthem

 
Fans before a Pro League match.

There are a lot of popular marches for Tractor F.C. but 'Tiraxtur iftixarımız' ('Tractor is our pride'), created and implemented in 2012, was chosen as the official anthem. The table below shows the lyrics of the Tractor fans anthem:[citation needed].

Crest

From its foundation, the team used a 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 changed the colour of the crest to black.

Kit

Tractor Sazi is currently sponsored by the Turkish airline AtlasGlobal. They were previously sponsored by the Hamrah-e Aval (Mobile Telecommunication Company). On July 2018, the club signed a contract with Merooj, starting from 2017–18 Iran Pro League season.

Media

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 on 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

The club is owned by the Tractor Manufacturing Company since its establishment in 1970. Since 2011, it has been owned by Kowsar Foundation (51%),[7] with 30% of the club belonging to the East-Azerbaijan Province.[8] In addition, the Iranian Mehr Institute is an affiliate of Kowsar Foundation and other stakeholders and custodians of the club. Kowsar Foundation is part of Sepah Pasdaran - with the club enabling its players to complete their military service. Since 2018, the club has been owned by Mohammad Reza Zonuzi, an Iranian businessman and shareholder.

Rivals

Tractor Sazi has most rivalry with two football clubs from Tehran (Esteghlal and Persepolis). These rivalries known as Turks against Persians.

Tractor Sazi has brotherly relationship with Machine Sazi (another football club from Tabriz). During the 1970s both Tractor Sazi and Machine Sazi met regularly in the Takht Jamshid Cup and both teams had some memorable successes in the fixture.Following the creation of the Azadegan League, Machine Sazi and Tractor Sazi met twice in the 1996–97 Azadegan League.

Machine Sazi's promotion to the Iran Pro League in 2016 saw fans eagerly anticipating the first league derbies in 7 years.

Players

Current squad

As of 20 April 2019

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

No. Position Player
2   DF Mohammad Tayyebi
3   DF Reza Sharbati (on loan from Siah Jamegan)
5   DF Ali Abdollahzadeh
6   MF Alireza Naghizadeh
7   MF Masoud Shojaei (Captain)
8   MF Ali Taheran U21
9   MF Mehdi Mehdipour (on loan from Zob Ahan)
10   FW Ehsan Pahlavan (on loan from Zob Ahan)
11   MF Danial Esmaeilifar (on loan from Zob Ahan)
17   FW Mohammad Reza Azadi U21
19   FW Lee Harry Erwin
21   MF Ashkan Dejagah
23   MF Kévin Constant
No. Position Player
24   FW Yukiya Sugita
26   DF Ehsan Hajsafi
28   FW Anthony Stokes
29   DF Iman Salimi U23
32   FW Hamed Hosseinalizadeh U21
33   GK Mahdi Mohammadian U21
36   DF Ahmad Mousavi
40   DF Ali Esmaeili U23
66   MF Akbar Imani
78   MF Sobhan Khaghani U19
90   FW Sasan Ansari
97   GK Mohammad Reza Akhbari
99   MF Ghaem Eslamikhah U23
  • U19 = Under 19 Player
  • U21 = Under 21 Player
  • U23 = Under 23 Player

For recent transfers, see List of Iranian football transfers winter 2018–19.

Stadium

 
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.

Recent seasons

The results of the club in last 10 years.

Season Position MP W D L GF GA GD Pts Hazfi Cup ACL Top Scorers(Goals) Manager(s)
2018–19 PGP 4th 27 14 7 6 38 21 +17 49 1/16 Final  –   A. Stokes(11)   A. Dejagah(5)   John Toshack   Georges Leekens
2017–18 PGP 10th 30 8 10 12 28 33 -5 34 1/4 Finals GS   E. Pahlevan(6)   M. Iranpourian(6)   Y. Golmohammadi   E. Sağlam
2016–17 PGP 3rd 30 15 11 4 38 24 +14 56 Runners-up  –   F. Hatami(7)   Edinho(7)   A. Ghalenoei  –
2015–16 PGP 4th 30 13 12 5 43 27 +16 51 Semi Final 1/8 Final   A. Nong(7)   M. Iranpourian(7)   Toni   A. Ghalenoei
2014–15 PGP Runners-up 30 17 7 6 58 34 +24 58 1/16 Final GS   Edinho(20)   S. Nariman Jahan(9)   R. Khatibi   Toni
2013–14 PGP 6th 30 11 13 6 39 33 +6 45 Champions GS   K. Ansarifard(14)   S. Daghighi(5)   M. Jalali   Toni
2012–13 PGP Runners-up 34 18 11 5 55 32 +23 65 1/8 Final GS   M. Salehi(16)   Flavio Paixao(10)   Toni  –
2011–12 PGP Runners-up 34 19 9 6 57 32 +25 66 1/16 Final  –   Flavio Paixao(10)   Tosi(8)   A. Ghalenoei  –
2010–11 PGP 5th 34 15 12 7 42 29 +13 57 1/8 Final  –   A. Alizadeh(8)   Karrar(8)   F. Kamalvand  –
2009–10 PGP 7th 34 11 14 9 43 42 +1 47 1/8 Final  –   M. Ebrahimi(10)  F. Kheirkhah(10)   F. Kamalvand  –

Seasons

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 5th
1984–85 1st
1985–86 2nd
1986–87 3rd
1987–88 2nd
1988–89 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 3rd Not held
1993–94 8th Final
1994–95 9th First Round Relegated
1995–96 2nd Division 2nd Second Round Promoted
1996–97 Azadegan League 11th Second Round
1997–98 9th Not held
1998–99 11th Second Round
1999–00 6th 1/16 Final
2000–01 12th Second Round
2001–02 Iran Pro League 14th Third Round Relegated
2002–03 Azadegan League 3rd Second Round
2003–04 8th Third Round
2004–05 7th Third Round
2005–06 2nd Second Round
2006–07 1st Second Round Promoted to Play Off
2007–08 4th 1/16 Final
2008–09 1st Quarter Finals Promoted
2009–10 Persian Gulf Cup 7th Second Round
2010–11 5th 1/8 Final
2011–12 2nd 1/16 Final
2012–13 2nd 1/8 Final Group Stage
2013–14 6th Champion Group Stage
2014–15 2nd 1/16 Final Group Stage
2015–16 4th Semi Final 1/8 Final
2016–17 3rd Final
Did not qualify
2017–18 10th Quarter Finals Group Stage
2018–19 Round of 32 Did not qualify

Honours

 
Tractor Sazi players celebrating winning Hazfi Cup in 2014

Official titles

  Runner up (3): 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15
  Third Place (1): 2016–17
  Winner (1): 2013–14
  Runner up (3): 1975–76, 1994–95, 2016–17
  Third Place (1): 1992–93
  Winner (1): 2008–09
  Winner (1): 1974–75
  Runner up (2): 1976–77, 1995–96
  Winner (1): 1992
  Winner (1): 1984–85
  Winner (1): 1981–82

Unofficial titles

  •   MILLS International Cup
  Winner (1): 1995
  •   Sardaran Shahid International Cup
  Winner (2): 1995, 1996
  •   Shohada Cup
  Winner (2): 2014, 2017

Personnel

Current coaching staff

Position Staff
head coach   Georges Leekens
Assistant coaches

  Patrick De Wilde
  Amir Hossein Peiravani
  Kazem Mahmoudi

Fitness coach   Emad Mohajeri
Goalkeeper coach   Amir Yousefi

Management

Position Staff
Owner Mohammad Reza Zonouzi
President Ayoub Behtaj
Vice President Kazem Shahriyari
Board chairman Abbas Elyasi
Board members

Alireza Navin
Mohammad Javad Dolfkar
Ghafour Kargari
Dara Ghaznavi
Mohammad Ali Mojtahedi
Saeed Abbasi

Fans club president Esmaeil Ghilichkhani
Academy manager Sadegh Pourhossein

Sports statistics

  • Updated to May 2017.

General information

Details
Concept Times
Seasons in Iran 1st Tier League 23
Seasons in Iran 2nd Tier League 12
Promotions to Iran 1st Tier League 4
Participations in the Hazfi Cup 27
Participations in Asian competitions 5
All-time best position in Iran Pro League 2nd

Asian record

Asian Club Championship / AFC Champions League

Accurate as of January 21, 2019
Competition Played Won Drew Lost GF GA GD Win%
AFC Champions League 32 8 6 18 35 49 −14 025.00

Legend: GF = Goals For. GA = Goals Against. GD = Goal Difference.

Asian Club Championship / AFC Champions League
Season Round Rival Home Away Agg.
2013 Group Stage
(Group A)
  Al-Jazira 3–1 0–2
  El Jaish 2–4 3–3
  Al-Shabab 0–1 0–1
2014 Group Stage
(Group C)
  Al-Ittihad 1–0 0–2
  Lekhwiya 0–1 0–0
  AL-Ain 2–2 1–3
2015 Group Stage
(Group D)
  Nasaf Qarshi 1–2 1–2
  Al-Ahli 1–0 2–3
  Al-Ahli 2–2 0–2
2016 Group Stage
(Group C)
  Al-Jazira 4–0 1–0
  Pakhtakor 2–0 0–1
  Al-Hilal 1–2 2–0
Round of 16   Al-Nasr 3–1 1–4 4–5
2018 Group Stage
(Group A)
  Al-Jazira 1–1 0–0
  Al-Ahli 0–1 0–2
  Al-Gharafa 1–3 0–3

Individual records

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 the 2nd leading all time goalscorer for the club.
Top Ten Highest Goalscorers
Player Period Appearances Goals
1   Edinho 2014–15, 2016–17 45 27
2   Mohammad Ebrahimi 2009–15, 2016–18 156 24
3   Flávio Paixão 2011–13 67 21
4   Mehdi Seyed-Salehi 2012–13 38 19
5   Farzad Hatami 2012; 2016–18 51 18
6   Karim Ansarifard 2013–14 35 17
7   Karrar Jassim 2009–11 48 13
8   Mohammad Nosrati 2009–10; 2010–11; 2012–14 123 12
9   Saman Nariman Jahan 2014–2015 46 10
10   Ali Alizadeh 2010–12 40 10
11   Farhad Kheirkhah 2009–10 31 10
 
Tractor Sazi in 2013–14 season.
Rank Player Goals Seasons
1   Geílson Soares 3 1
  Bakhtiar Rahmani 3 1
  Farzad Hatami 3 1
2   Mehdi Seyed-Salehi 2 1
  Edinho 2 1
  Farshad Ahmadzadeh 2 2
  Aloys Nong 2 1
  Augusto 2 1
3   Karim Ansarifard 1 1
  Saeed Daghighi 1 1
  Flávio Paixão 1 1
  Shahin Saghebi 1 2
  Mehdi Sharifi 1 1
  Saeid Aghaei 1 1
  Shoja' Khalilzadeh 1 1
  Masoud Ebrahimzadeh 1 2
  Javad Kazemian 1 2
  Mohammad Iranpourian 1 4
  Milad Fakhreddini 1 2

References

  1. ^ http://stadiumdb.com/stadiums/irn/yadegar_e_emam_stadium
  2. ^ http://tabrizpedia.info/ورزشگاه-یادگار-امام-تبریز-؛-اولین-استا/
  3. ^ http://stadiumdb.com/stadiums/irn/yadegar_e_emam_stadium
  4. ^ http://www.iplstats.com/website09-10/team17.htm
  5. ^ Dorsey, James M.; Studies, ContributorS Rajaratnam School of International; fellow, Senior (16 May 2015). "Ethnic Tensions Spill Onto Iranian Soccer Pitches". HuffPost.
  6. ^ "Iran's league season ends in farce". gulfnews.com.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "تیم تراکتورسازی و جوانان خیر". tractor-club.com. Retrieved 23 October 2014.

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