Zob Ahan Esfahan F.C.

  (Redirected from Zob Ahan SC)

Zob Ahan Esfahan Football Club (Persian: باشگاه فوتبال ذوب‌آهن اصفهان‎) is an Iranian football club based in Fuladshahr, Iran. It competes in the Persian Gulf Pro League. The team is sponsored by the Isfahan Steel Company, which also goes by the name Zob Ahan. The club's main rival is fellow Isfahani team Sepahan, which is also sponsored by the rival steel mill Mobarakeh Steel Company.

Zob Ahan
Zob Ahan F.C. logo.png
Full nameZob Ahan Esfahan Football Club
Nickname(s)Gondos (The Crocodiles)
Founded6 July 1969; 50 years ago (1969-07-06)
GroundFoolad Shahr Stadium
OwnerIsfahan Steel Company
ChairmanJavad Mohammadi
Head CoachMiodrag Radulović
LeaguePersian Gulf Pro League
2018–19Persian Gulf Pro League, 6th
WebsiteClub website
Current season
Departments of Zob Ahan
Football pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Football (men) Basketball (men) Volleyball (men)
Taekwondo pictogram.svg Swimming pictogram.svg Futsal pictogram.svg
Taekwondo (men) Swimming (men) Futsal (men)
Football pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg Taekwondo pictogram.svg
Football (women) Basketball (women) Taekwondo (women)

Zob Ahan club also has a basketball team, sponsored by the same Isfahan Steel Company, which is one of the teams in the Iranian Super League.

In the 2010 AFC Champions League. Zob Ahan finished as runners-up losing 3–1 to South Korean club Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in the final.

Zob Ahan has won the Hazfi Cup on four occasions (2002–03, 2008–09, 2014–15 and 2015–16) and have finished as runners-up one time (2000–01). The club has also finished as League runners-up three times (2004–05, 2008–09 and 2009–10) and has won the Iranian Super Cup once (2016).

Club historyEdit

Early years (1969–1980)Edit

Mohammad Ali Taghizadeh Farahmand established the club in 1969. They entered the Takht Jamshid Cup in 1973 and end season in the 10th place. They promoted to the quarterfinals of the Hazfi Cup in 1976. Their best results in Takht Jamshid Cup was earned in 1977–78 in the 8th place. Zob Ahan prepared its team by buying 14 players from their local rivals Sepahan.

Azadegan League (1980–2001)Edit

The team has participated in the highest division of the Iranian league system since 1973, except for the 1995 season when they played in the 2nd division. After Iranian Revolution in 1979, Takht Jamshid Cup was suspended due to Iran–Iraq War. After the end of the war, league began again in the title of Azadegan League. They were once again promoted to the 1st division the year after.

PGPL (2001–present)Edit

Zob Ahan currently play in the IPL starting from 2001. The club's first honor, remains the winning of the Hazfi Cup in 2003, after defeating the Shiraz-based team Moghavemat Sepasi in the finals.[2] This feat was repeated in the 2008–09 Hazfi Cup, when the club beat Rah Ahan to re-claim the title after 6 years.[3] The club made its first appearance in the AFC Champions League in 2004, as the winners of the 2003 Hazfi Cup, but were eliminated in the group stages.

Having missed out so narrowly on winning their first-ever domestic league title in the 2008–09 season, Zobahan were one of the title contenders once again in the 2009–10 season, never dropping out of the top-four positions throughout the season. However, at the end, they had to settle for second place once again after finishing six points behind their city rivals Sepahan. They also lost their grip on the Hazfi Cup after a shock 0–2 loss to a second-division side Gostaresh Foulad in the semi-finals.[4]

2010 AFC Champion LeagueEdit

In the 2010 AFC Champions League Zob Ahan finished first on the group stage that included FC Bunyodkor, Al-Wahda and Al-Ittihad. By finishing first they qualified for the first time for the Knockout stages. On the Round of 16 they draw country neighbours Mes Kerman winning 1–0. The club then qualified to the Quarter-finals and were drawn with title holders Pohang Steelers, Zob Ahan won 2–1 at home and draw 1–1 on Korea, knocking-out shockingly the title holders. Zob Ahan played against Saudi powerhouse Al Hilal which they won 1–0 at home, and won 1–0 on Saudi Arabia with a goal from Igor Castro leading the club to an historical Asian Champions League final where they face Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma. On 13 November, in the final Zob Ahan lost 1–3 to Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma. At half-time the score was 0–1 with a goal from Saša Ognenovski, in the second-half Zob Ahan conceded an early goal scored by Cho Byung-Kuk making the score 0–2, Zob Ahan finally scored the goal from Mohammad Reza Khalatbari making 1–2, but on the last minutes of the game Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma scored the 1–3 and killed the game. Zob Ahan couldn't be the champions on their 2nd Asian Champions League participation always being under-dogs, but they fought like warriors and made Iran proud. The following year the club made it to the quarter finals but lost to Korean club Suwon Samsung Bluewings.

Dark yearsEdit

After the 2011 Champions League, Zob Ahan's golden age seemed all but over. A 6th place league finish in 2012 meant that the club failed to retain its spot in the Champions League. The following year, the club finished 14th in the league, narrowly avoiding relegation through a play-off. Fan attendance started to dip and Zob Ahan had another sub par year in the 2013–14 Iran Pro League season, finishing 13th, changing three managers during the course of the season and again narrowly avoiding relegation.

Resurrection under Golmohammadi and HosseiniEdit

Zob Ahan players celebrating Hazfi Cup title in 2015

In summer of 2014 Zob Ahan announced Yahya Golmohammadi as the club's new manager. Golmohammadi introduced a possession based philosophy to Zob Ahan and after a poor start to the season, Golmohammadi's tactics and the addition of Kaveh Rezaei paid off and Zob Ahan when on a six match unbeaten run which placed them 6th in week 23. On 5 December 2015 Zob Ahan defeated Persepolis 2–1 in the Hazfi Cup semi-final to advance to the final for the fourth time in club history. On 15 May 2015 after a 0–0 draw against Padideh, Zob Ahan finished fourth and returned to the AFC Champions League after five years. Zob Ahan also won their third Hazfi Cup title after defeating Naft Tehran 3–1 in the final.

On 23 February 2016 Zob Ahan won its first match AFC Champions League since 2011, defeating Lekhwiya of Qatar 1–0. Zob Ahan qualified for the Round of 16 of the AFC Champions League on 20 April 2016 after defeating Saudi club Al Nassr 3–0 in match day 5. However, Zob Ahan were defeated 3–1 on aggregate by Emirati club Al Ain in the Round of 16. Zob Ahan once again qualified for the final of the 2016 Hazfi Cup to defend their crown against Esteghlal. Zob Ahan defeated Esteghlal in penalties and won the Hazfi Cup for the fourth time in the club's history. Zob Ahan won the Iranian Super Cup after beating Esteghlal Khuzestan 4–2 in extra time. This was the first trophy that Zob Ahan won in Foolad Shahr Stadium.

In the beginning of the 2016–17, after poor results, Golmohammadi was fired as manager of the team and was replaced by Assistant coach Mojtaba Hosseini. Hosseini led Zob Ahan to the semi finals of the Hazfi Cup, where they lost to Tractor in extra time.

Colours and crestEdit

One of Zob Ahan's nicknames is Sabzpoushan ("The Greens", Persian: سبز پوشان‎), stemming from their traditional kit, which is predominantly green. From the foundation of the club, the common home kit includes a green shirt, black or white shorts, and white or yellow socks. White and black colours are also seen in the kit. The away kit of the club is commonly with a white background.

Stadium and facilitiesEdit

The home stadium of the club is Foolad Shahr Stadium located in Fooladshahr, Isfahan. The stadium had 20,000 capacity but was renovated to hold about 30,000 people in 2011. The stadium was built in 1998. There training stadium is located outside of Isfahan named Zob Ahan Private Stadium.


Zob Ahan is part of the Esfahan derby or Naghsh-e-Jahan derby, one of the biggest derby's in Iran. According to Iranian football journalist Afshin Afshar, the rivalry between Zob Ahan and Sepahan is one of the most important matches in the Iran Pro League.

The Esfahan derby goes back to the 1970s, when Zob Ahan and Sepahan 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.


First-team squadEdit

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 Mohammad Bagher Sadeghi
2   DF Mohammad Nejad Mehdi
3   DF Vahid Mohammadzadeh
4   DF Hadi Mohammadi
5   DF Nima Taheri U21
6   MF Hamid Bou Hamdan
7   MF Mohammadreza Abbasi U23
8   MF Ghasem Hadadifar (Captain)
10   FW Ehsan Pahlevan
11   MF Danial Esmaeilifar
12   GK Yousef Behzadi
13   GK Meraj Esmaeili U21
16   MF Alireza Cheraghali U23
17   DF Farshad Mohammadi Mehr
18   FW Darko Bjedov
No. Position Player
19   MF Alireza Ghaderi U21
21   MF Mohammad Mashayekh U21
22   GK Mehdi Khalil (on loan from Ahed)
23   MF Reza Habibzadeh
24   DF Mehran Derakhshan Mehr U21
28   DF Mohammad Garousi U21
32   DF Hamid Maleki U23
33   FW Alireza Monazzemi U19
61   DF Masoud Ebrahimzadeh
74   MF Mojtaba Haghdoost
99   MF Mehdi Mehdipour
  DF Vafa Hakhamaneshi
  • U21 = Under 21 Player
  • U23 = Under 23 Player

Loan listEdit

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

No. Position Player
  GK Mohammad Bakhtiari U21 (at Niroo Zamini until June 2020)
  FW Ali Khodadadi U23 (at Niroo Zamini until June 2020)


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

No. Position Player
35   DF Hossein Sangargir U21
40   GK Mohammadreza Sheykh Hassan U21
42   MF Mohammad Hossein Mehranfar U21
No. Position Player
  MF Mehdi Rezaei U19
  MF Alireza Aghabarari U21

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

Retired numbersEdit

No. Player Position Zob Ahan debut Last match ref
30   Mehdi Rajabzadeh AM June 2003 15 May 2018 [5]

On 18 June 2018, the club decided to retire the squad number 30 in memory of Mehdi Rajabzadeh.

Notable playersEdit

This list of former players includes those who received international caps 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.

Famous PlayersEdit

For notable players see List of Zob Ahan F.C. players.
For details on former players see Category:Zob Ahan Esfahan F.C. players.

Players on international cupsEdit

Cup Players
  1978 FIFA World Cup   Rasoul Korbekandi
  1996 AFC Asian Cup   Ali Akbar Ostad-Asadi
  1998 FIFA World Cup   Ali Akbar Ostad-Asadi
   2007 AFC Asian Cup
  Mehdi Rajabzadeh
  2011 AFC Asian Cup   Shahab Gordan
  Ghasem Haddadifar
  Mohammad Reza Khalatbari
  Farshid Talebi
  2014 FIFA World Cup   Ghasem Haddadifar
  2018 FIFA World Cup   Mohammad Rashid Mazaheri

Club captainsEdit

# Name Nat Career in
Zob Ahan
Captaincy Shirt
Rasoul Korbekandi   1969–80 1970–80
Mahmood Ebrahimzadeh  
1976–86 1980–86
Rahman Rezaei   1996–01 1997–00
Ali Akbar Ostad-Asadi   1995–03 2000–03
Sepehr Heidari   2000–07
Mohammad Salsali   2004–14 2007–14
Mehdi Rajabzadeh   2003–07
Ghasem Haddadifar   2003– 2018–

Club officialsEdit

IPL managersEdit

Only IPL matches are counted.

Last updated 14 January 2020.

Name Nat From To Record
P W D L Win % Final Position
Nasser Hejazi   Jul 2001 Dec 2001 20 8 6 4 40% 3rd (until week 20)
Bahram Atef   Dec 2001 Jul 2002 6 2 3 3 33.4% (01-02) 6th
Samvel Darbinyan   Jul 2002 May 2003 52 21 11 20 40% (02-03) 8th (03-04) 4th
Rasoul Korbekandi   May 2003 Jun 2007 90 39 26 25 43.4% (04-05) 2nd, (05-06) 6th, (06-07) 8th
Zoran Đorđević   Jun 2007 Oct 2007 10 3 4 3 30% 17th (until week 10)
Bijan Zolfagharnasab   Oct 2007 May 2008 24 8 11 5 33.4% (07-08) 6th
Mansour Ebrahimzadeh   Jul 2008 Jun 2012 134 62 48 24 46.3% (08-09) 2nd,
(09-10) 2nd,(10–11) 3rd,
(11-12) 6th
Rasoul Korbekandi   Jun 2012 Oct 2012 11 3 1 7 27.3% 15th (until week 11)
Farhad Kazemi   Oct 2012 Jul 2013 23 6 10 7 26% (12-13) 14th
Mahmoud Yavari   Jun 2013 Jul 2013 2 1 1 0 50% Win in the Relegation play-offs
Luka Bonačić   Jul 2013 Jan 2014 20 3 7 10 15% 14th (until week 20)
Mojtaba Taghavi   Jan 2014 Feb 2014 7 1 4 2 14.3% 15th (until week 27)
Firouz Karimi   Feb 2014 Jun 2014 4 3 0 1 75% (13-14) 13th
Yahya Golmohammadi   Jun 2014 Sep 2016 67 26 26 15 38.8% (14–15) 4th
(15–16) 6th
(16–17) 14th (until week 7)
Mojtaba Hosseini   Sep 2016 Jun 2017 23 11 7 5 47.8% (16–17) 4th
Amir Ghalenoei   Jun 2017 Jun 2018 30 15 10 5 50.0% (17-18) 2nd
Omid Namazi   Jun 2018 Nov 2018 11 2 5 4 18.1% (18–19) 11th (until week 11)
Alireza Mansourian   Nov 2018 Dec 2019 35 10 14 11 36.8% (18-19) 6th
(19–20) 11th (until week 16)
Miodrag Radulović   Jan 2020 Present 0 0 0 0

Current coaching staffEdit


Position Name
Head Coach   Miodrag Radulović
Assistant Coaches   Milić Ćurčić
  Hassan Esteki
  Mohammad Salsali
Goalkeeping Coach   José Caetano Mendes
Fitness Coach   Glydiston Egberto de Oliveira Ananias
Analyst   Kianoush Forouzesh
Physiotherapist   Abbas Moradi
  Behzad Moradi
Doctor   Amir Hossein Sharifianpour
Logistics   Mahmoud Mehruyan
Team Director   Majid Hajrasouliha
B team manager   Mehdi Rajabzadeh
Media Officer   Ehsan Baeedi


Chairperson Tenure
  Mohammad Mehdi Taghizadeh
July 1969 – July 1977
  Mostafa Ghanei
July 1977 – February 1979
  Asghar Nilchian
May 1979 – May 1984
  Fazollah Omranian
May 1984 – May 1988
  Heydar Taheri
May 1988 – May 1992
  Nematollah Zargar
May 1992 – June 1996
  Alireza Shogi
June 1996 – June 2004
  Saeed Azari
June 2004 – June 2009
  Asghar Dalili
June 2009 – August 2011
  Khosro Ebrahimi
August 2011 – September 2013
  Saeed Azari
September 2013 – present


For details on seasons, see List of Zob Ahan F.C. seasons

The table below chronicles the achievements of Zob Ahan since 1973.

Season League Position Hazfi Cup ACL Notes
1973–74 Takht Jamshid Cup 10th Not held Did not qualify
1974–75 11th
1975–76 9th 1/8 Final
1976–77 15th 1/16 Final
1977–78 8th Not held
1978–79 N/A did not finish
1981–82 Isfahan's 2nd Division 1st Promoted
1983–84 Isfahan League 3rd
1984–85 2nd
1991–92 5th
1993–94 Azadegan League 4th 1/8 Final
1994–95 8th 1/16 Final Relegated
1995–96 2nd Division 2nd 1/8 Final Promoted
1996–97 Azadegan League 10th 1/8 Final
1997–98 3rd Not held
1998–99 12th Third Round
1999–00 5th First Round
2000–01 4th Final
2001–02 Iran Pro League 6th Quarterfinal
2002–03 8th Cup
2003–04 4th Semi-Final First Round
2004–05 2nd 1/8 Final Did not qualify
2005–06 6th 1/8 Final
2006–07 8th 1/16 Final
2007–08 6th 1/8 Final
2008–09 2nd Cup
2009–10 2nd Semi-Final Runner-up
2010–11 3rd 1/16 Final 1/4 Final
2011–12 6th 1/8 Final Play-off
2012–13 14th 1/4 Final Did not qualify
2013–14 13th 1/4 Final
2014–15 4th Cup
2015–16 6th Cup 1/8 Final Super Cup
2016–17 4th Semi-Final First Round
2017–18 2nd 1/16 Final 1/8 Final
2018–19 6th 1/16 Final 1/8 Final
2019–20 ? 1/16 Final Did not qualify

Individual recordsEdit

Lists of the players with the most caps and top goalscorers for the club, (players in bold signifies current Zob Ahan player). Mehdi Rajabzadeh is the club's all-time most capped player and top scorer with 93 goals in 296 games. This list includes goals from Iran Premier League.

Most appearancesEdit

As of 6 May 2019
Name Nationality position total
1 Ghasem Haddadifar   Iran Midfielder 305
2 Mehdi Rajabzadeh   Iran Forward 296
3 Esmaeil Farhadi   Iran Forward 280
4 Rasoul Korbekandi   Iran Goalkeeper 265
5 Mohammad Salsali   Iran Defender 220
6 Sepehr Heidari   Iran Defender 175
7 Ali Akbar Ostad-Asadi   Iran Defender 164
8 Mohammad Mansouri   Iran Midfielder 155
9 Hassan Ashjari   Iran Defender 139
10 Morteza Tabrizi   Iran Forward 138

Top GoalscorersEdit

As of 6 May 2019
Player Period Appearances in PL Goals in PL Appearances Goals
1   Mehdi Rajabzadeh 2003–07; 2010–11; 2012–18 296 93 353 106
2   Morteza Tabrizi 2013–18 138 39 179 53
3   Esmaeil Farhadi 2005–15 280 44 308 47
4   Mohammad Reza Khalatbari 2006–11; 2019– 129 34 157 43
5   Igor Castro 2008–12 121 30 153 42

Top Scorers by seasonEdit

Season Player Goals
2001–02   Reza Sahebi 7
2002–03   Reza Sahebi 6
2003–04   Mehdi Rajabzadeh 9
2004–05   Mehdi Rajabzadeh 8
2005–06   Mehdi Rajabzadeh 14
2006–07   Mehdi Rajabzadeh 17
2007–08   Esmaeil Farhadi 9
2008–09   Igor Castro 16
2009–10   Mohammad Reza Khalatbari 11
2010–11   Seyed Mohammad Hosseini 12
2011–12   Mohammad Ghazi 7
2012–13   Mehdi Rajabzadeh 8
2013–14   Mehdi Rajabzadeh 9
2014–15   Masoud Hassanzadeh 9
2015–16   Morteza Tabrizi 7
2016–17   Morteza Tabrizi 11
2017–18   Morteza Tabrizi 13
2018–19   Amir Arsalan Motahari 6

Asian recordEdit

Zob Ahan's starting line-up Final against Seongnam, 2010 AFC Champions League

Asian Club Championship / AFC Champions LeagueEdit

Asian Club Championship / AFC Champions League
Season Round Rival Home Away Rank/Agg. Notes
2004 Group Stage
(Group A)
  Pakhtakor 1–0 2–0 2
  Qatar SC 3–3 0–0
2010 Group Stage
(Group B)
  Al-Wahda 1–0 1–0 1 Runners-up
  Al-Ittihad 1–0 2–2
  Bunyodkor 3–0 0–1
Round of 16   Mes Kerman 1–0 1–0
Quarter-finals   Pohang Steelers 2–1 1–1 3–2
Semi-finals   Al-Hilal 1–0 0–1 2–0
Final   Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma 1–3
2011 Group Stage
(Group D)
  Emirates 2–1 0–1 1
  Al-Shabab 0–1 0–0
  Al-Rayyan 1–0 1–3
Round of 16   Al-Nassr 4–1 4–1
Quarter-finals   Suwon Samsung Bluewings 1–2 1–1 2–3
2012 Qualifying play-off   Esteghlal 2–0 2–0 Not Qualify
2016 Group Stage
(Group B)
  Lekhwiya 0–0 0–1 1
  Bunyodkor 5–2 0–0
  Al-Nassr 3–0 0–3
Round of 16   Al-Ain 0–2 1–1 1–3
2017 Group Stage
(Group C)
  Al-Ain 0–3 1–1 3
  Al-Ahli 1–2 2–0
  Bunyodkor 2–1 0–2
2018 Qualifying play-off   Aizawl 3–1 3–1 Qualify
Group Stage
(Group B)
  Al Wahda 2–0 3–0 2
  Lokomotiv 2–0 1–1
  Al-Duhail 0–1 3–1
Round of 16   Esteghlal 1–0 3–1 3–2
2019 Preliminary round 2   Al-Kuwait 1-0 1-0 Qualify
Qualifying play-off   Al-Gharafa 2-3 3-2
Group Stage
(Group A)
  Al-Zawraa 0-0 2-2 1
  Al-Wasl 2-0 1-3
  Al-Nassr 0–0 2–3
Round of 16   Al-Ittihad

Club honoursEdit


Runners-up (4): 2004–05, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2017–18
Winners (4): 2002–03, 2008–09, 2014–15, 2015–16
Runners-up (1): 2000–01
Winners (1): 2016


  Runners-up (1): 2010


The owner of the Zob Ahan FC is Isfahan Steel Company. Company is the first Iranian steel maker opened in late 1960, based close to the cities of Fooladshahr and Zarrinshahr, Isfahan Province.

Zob Ahan-e Esfahan and Iran's first car manufacturer, Iran National (renamed Iran Khodro after the Iranian revolution) were parts of a significant move from mainly agriculture-based economy toward industrialization by the pre-revolutionary government of Amir Abbas Hoveida.


  1. ^ "World Stadiums - Stadiums in Iran". www.worldstadiums.com.
  2. ^ http://www.the-afc.com/en/tournaments/clubs/afc-champions-league/27160[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ http://www.the-afc.com/en/tournaments/clubs/afc-champions-league/27160[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ varzesh3. "رجب زاده خداحافظی کرد شماره 30 بایگانی شد". Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  6. ^ [1]

External linksEdit


Preceded by
Esteghlal F.C.
Hazfi Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Sepahan F.C.
Preceded by
Esteghlal F.C.
IPL Runner-up
Succeeded by
PAS Tehran
Preceded by
Sepahan F.C.
IPL Runner-up
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Esteghlal F.C.
Hazfi Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Perspolis F.C.
Preceded by
IPL Runner-up
Succeeded by
Esteghlal F.C.
Preceded by
ACL Runner-up
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Hazfi Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Hazfi Cup Champions
Succeeded by
Naft Tehran F.C.
Preceded by
Esteghlal F.C.
IPL Runner-up
Succeeded by
Sepahan F.C.