Open main menu

Voria Ghafouri (Sorani Kurdish: وریا غەفووری‎; Persian: وریا غفوری‎; born 20 September 1987) is an Iranian footballer who plays for Persian Gulf Pro League club Esteghlal and Iran national team. He has played much of his career as a right-back and also played as a right winger occasionally.

Voria Ghafouri
Vouria Ghafouri at Esteghlal training 20190702.jpg
Ghafouri with Esteghlal in 2019
Personal information
Full name Voria Ghafouri
Date of birth (1987-09-20) 20 September 1987 (age 31)
Place of birth Sanandaj, Iran
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Right-back
Right winger
Club information
Current team
Esteghlal
Number 21
Youth career
Pas Tehran
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2010 Pas Hamedan 81 (5)
2010–2012 Shahrdari Tabriz 50 (3)
2012–2014 Naft Tehran 62 (3)
2014–2016 Sepahan 45 (2)
2016– Esteghlal 63 (8)
National team
2014– Iran 27 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 February 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 June 2019

Before joining Esteghlal in 2016, Ghafouri spent a successful two-year spell with Sepahan, winning the Iranian League in 2015. Ghafouri debuted for Iran in 2014 against South Korea. He was part of Iran's squad in the 2015 and 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Club careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

Ghafouri played his entire career for Pas Hamedan until 2010 when he signed with Shahrdari Tabriz. He later signed with Naft Tehran.[1]

SepahanEdit

In July 2014 Ghafouri signed a two-year contract with Sepahan.[2]

Ghafouri was named "Persian Gulf Pro League Defender of the year" by F.F.I.R.I. at the end of 2014–15 season.[3]

EsteghlalEdit

On 5 June 2016, he signed with Esteghlal on a two-year contract, reuniting him with his former manager at Naft Tehran, Alireza Mansourian.[4][5] He announced on his Instagram account that he will wear number 21, the same number he used to wear in his previous teams.[6]

 
Ghafouri (left) celebrating his goal against Persepolis in the Tehran derby in 2018.

He made his debut for the club in a 1–1 draw against his former team, Naft Tehran.[7] His first season with Esteghlal was a frustrating one for Ghafouri as he missed 13 matches in total due to various injuries which limited him to making just 17 appearances for the season in the league.[8]

Ghafouri scored his first goal for Esteghlal in a 3–0 win against Esteghlal Khuzestan on 28 December 2017.[9] On 1 March 2018, he scored Esteghlal's winning goal against Persepolis in the Tehran derby.[10] His performance elected him as Man of the match.[11] He was also named as the best right back in Football Tribe's Asia best eleven of the month for his display in March.[12][13] On 2 April, Ghafouri scored his first AFC Champions League goal from the penalty spot in a 2–0 win against Al-Rayyan, securing qualification for the Round of 16 as Group D winners.[14] He scored another goal in the following match against Al-Hilal and was named Man of the match for his performance.[15] He finished his second season with 6 goals in 34 appearances in all competition as Esteghlal finished the season in third in the league, won the Hazfi Cup and qualified for the quarter-finals of Champions League.[16]

In June 2018, Ghafouri signed a new contract keeping him at Esteghlal for another season.[17] From the start of the 2018–19 season, Esteghlal's manager Winfried Schäfer, led to him being deployed in right-wing positions, a place where he'd occasionally played in his previous teams.[18] On 2 August, he scored the first brace of his career in a 2–2 draw with Zob Ahan in Isfahan.[19] On 26 November, he captained his side for the first time in a 0–1 defeat against his former team Sepahan.[20]

International careerEdit

He was called up to Iran national football team in October 2014 by Carlos Queiroz. He made his debut in a 1–0 win against South Korea on 18 November 2014 entering as a substitute for Khosro Heydari.[21]

Ghafouri was selected for the Iranian 2015 AFC Asian Cup squad on 30 December 2014 by Carlos Queiroz.[22] Despite a successful group phase, where Iran won all their games with him featuring in all matches, Ghafouri did not achieve international glory as the team were beaten by Iraq in penalties which he successfully converted his turn in the first knockout stage of the tournament.[23] Due to his performance in the tournament, he was voted as the surprise player of the tournament by the fans.[24]

In May 2018 he was named in Iran's preliminary squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.[25] however he did not make the final 23.[26]

Ghafouri was named in the Iranian squad for 2019 AFC Asian Cup.[27] After sitting out the first game against Yemen, he made his first appearance in the competition on 12 January and played the entire 2–0 win over Vietnam.[28]

Personal lifeEdit

Born in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, Ghafouri is of Kurdish descent. Ghafouri and his wife Mona Ardalan have two children: son Radin and daughter Barin (born 2017).[29][30][31] He cites Dani Alves and Frank Lampard as his favourite football players.[32]

Ghafouri regularly criticizes the general problems of society in Iran on his social media.[33] In February 2019, after Mohammad Javad Zarif the Foreign Minister of Iran stated: "We are proud of being under pressure defending the people of Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria", Ghafouri posted a story on his Instagram account, criticizing him by saying: "You are not under pressure. As a matter of fact, it is the ordinary people who are under pressure." On 18 February, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated: "Some people, who benefit from the country's peace and security enjoying their jobs and their favourite sports, bite the hand that feeds them” which was claimed to be referring to Ghafouri and fellow footballer Ali Karimi. A few hours after Khamenei's speech, he was summoned by the Ministry of Sport and Youth to give an explanation about his comments on Zarif.[34][35][36][37] After being summoned, many fellow footballers supported him on their social media.[38] During Esteghlal's next home game against Pars Jonoubi Jam, fans chanted his name at the 21 minute mark (as his shirt number is 21) to show their support to him.[39]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of 10 February 2019[40]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Hazfi Cup Asia Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Pas Hamedan 2007–08 Persian Gulf Pro League 30 2 30 2
2008–09 23 2 23 2
2009–10 28 1 0 0 28 1
Total 81 5 0 0 81 5
Shahrdari Tabriz 2010–11 Persian Gulf Pro League 20 1 1 1 21 2
2011–12 30 2 1 0 31 2
Total 50 3 2 1 53 4
Naft Tehran 2012–13 Persian Gulf Pro League 32 0 0 0 32 0
2013–14 30 3 1 0 31 3
Total 62 3 1 0 63 3
Sepahan 2014–15 Persian Gulf Pro League 27 2 1 0 28 2
2015–16 18 0 2 2 3 0 23 2
Total 45 2 3 2 3 0 51 4
Esteghlal 2016–17 Persian Gulf Pro League 17 0 0 0 6 0 23 0
2017–18 24 4 4 0 7 2 35 6
2018–19 17 4 1 0 2 0 20 4
Total 58 8 5 0 15 0 63 10
Career total 298 21 11 3 13 2 322 25

InternationalEdit

As of 6 June 2019[40]
Iran
Year Apps Goals
2014 1 0
2015 11 0
2016 0 0
2017 5 0
2018 7 0
2019 3 0
Total 27 0

HonoursEdit

Sepahan

Esteghlal

Individual

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-05-01. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "غفوری به سپاهان پیوست" [Ghafouri joined Sepahan] (in Persian). Tarafdari.
  3. ^ "غفوری برترین مدافع فصل ایران شد" (in Persian). Varzesh 3.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "غفوری استقلالی شد" [Ghafouri joined Esteghlal] (in Persian). Fars News Agency. 5 June 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  5. ^ "وریا غفوری دوباره شاگرد منصوریان شد" (in Persian).
  6. ^ "وریا غفوری با انتشار عکسی در اینستاگرام، شماره جدیدش را مشخص کرد" (in Persian). Tarafdari.
  7. ^ "استقلال 1 - نفت 1؛" (in Persian).
  8. ^ "وضعیت مصدومیت وریا غفوری تا روز پنجشنبه مشخص خواهد شد" (in Persian). Tarafdari.
  9. ^ "استقلال خوزستان 0 - استقلال 3؛ استقلال زلزله" (in Persian). 28 December 2017. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  10. ^ "استقلال ۱ - پرسپولیس ۰/ استقلال انتقام دربی رفت را گرفت" [Esteghlal 1 - Persepolis 0]. Navad. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  11. ^ "وریا غفوری برترین بازیکن دربی ۸۶" [Voria Ghafouri was the best player of the 86th derby.]. Navad. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  12. ^ "The Football Tribe Asia XI: March 2018". 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  13. ^ "وریا غفوری و فرشید اسماعیلی در تیم ماه آسیا (عکس)" [Voria Ghafouri and Farshid Esmaeili in Asia's team of the month]. Varzesh 3. 7 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  14. ^ "استقلال 2-0 الریان قطر؛ استقلال تماشایی شفر، به راحتی از گروه مرگ صعود کرد" (in Persian). 2 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  15. ^ "گلزن استقلال بهترین بازیکن زمین شد" (in Persian). 16 April 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  16. ^ "استقلال 1- خونه به خونه 0؛ هفتمین تاج‌گذاری". Varzesh 3. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  17. ^ "وریا در استقلال ماندنی شد". Esteghlal FC. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  18. ^ "پروژه شفر برای جذب محمدی مهر چیست؟". Varzesh 3. 3 June 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  19. ^ "وریا غفوری و اولین دبل لیگ هجدهم". Varzesh 3. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  20. ^ "غفوری کاپیتان استقلال برابر سپاهان". Varzesh 3. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  21. ^ "ایران 1 - کره جنوبی 0؛ هت‌تریک کی‌روش" (in Persian).
  22. ^ "Queiroz Names Team Melli Squad". afcasiancup.com. 30 December 2014.
  23. ^ "ایران 3 (6) – (7) 3 عراق؛ ویلیامز و بدشانسی ایران را نقره داغ کردند" (in Persian).
  24. ^ "پدیده لیگ در جام ملت ها مشخص شد" (in Persian).
  25. ^ "World Cup 2018: All the confirmed squads for this summer's finals in Russia".[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "Carlos Queiroz Names Provisional Iran Squad for FIFA World Cup 2018". IFPNews.com.
  27. ^ "FINAL REGISTRATION CALL UP LIST". FFIRI. 26 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  28. ^ "AFC ASIAN CUP UAE 2019™ VIETNAM – ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN". the-afc.com.
  29. ^ "بیوگرافی و عکس های وریا غفوری به همراه همسرش" (in Persian).
  30. ^ "وریا غفوری" (in Persian).
  31. ^ "جشن پدرشدن وریا غفوری در اردوی استقلال" (in Persian).
  32. ^ "بیوگرافی وریا غفوری" (in Persian).
  33. ^ Tajadini, Mahdi (15 February 2019). "واکنش وریا غفوری به مشکلات معیشتی مردم و صحبت های جواد ظریف" (in Persian). Tarafdari. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  34. ^ "Media In Iran Edit, Delete Khamenei's Latest Comments". Radio Farda. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  35. ^ "«وریا غفوری» به دلیل انتقاد از جواد ظریف به وزارت ورزش احضار شد" (in Persian). VOA. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  36. ^ Haji Hosseini, Zeinab (18 February 2019). "حضور بازیکن استقلال در وزارت ورزش" (in Persian). Mehr News Agency. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  37. ^ Daragahi, Borzou (20 February 2019). "Voria Ghafouri: Iranian footballer summoned by authorities after slamming foreign minister". The Independent. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  38. ^ "حمایت ملی‌پوشان و پرسپولیسی‌ها از وریا غفوری" (in Persian). Bank Varzesh. 19 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  39. ^ "وریا و تشویق ویژه در ورزشگاه آزادی" (in Persian). Varzesh 3. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  40. ^ a b "Iran – V. GHAFOURI – Profile with news, career statistics and history – Soccerway". ca.soccerway.com.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mehdi Rahmati
Esteghlal Tehran FC captain
2019-present
Succeeded by
Incumbent