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Ali Daei ( , ; nicknamed Shahriar , meaning the King; born 21 March 1969 in Ardabilmarker, Iranmarker) is a former Iranianmarker football player and coach. He is a former captain of the Iran national football team, and is the world's all-time leading goalscorer in international matches. Daei as of June 2007 is also a member of the FIFAmarker Football Committee.

Club career

Early years

Daei graduated from Sharif University of Technologymarker in Materials Engineering (Metallurgical) with a B.Sc. degree. Born in Ardabilmarker, he played for his hometown club, Esteghlal Ardabil, when he was 19. His next club was Taxirani F.C. in Tehranmarker, where he played for one season, before joining another Tehranimarker club, Bank Tejarat FC. He stayed four years with Bank Tejarat, missing out on a chance to play in the J. League due to military service. Daei's fame is attributed mostly to his renowned goal scoring ability. He managed to score frequently for his clubs, although due to the league schedule at the time he did not play many matches per season. His impressive performance at his club finally got results.

Move to Europe

After playing for a couple of minor league teams, Taxirani and Bank Tejarat, in 1994 Daei joined one of country's premier squads, Persepolis F.C. Following his impressive performance in Asian Cup in 1996 as Arminia Bielefeld joined the Bundesliga, they signed a contract with Daei and his fellow Iranian national team-mate Karim Bagheri. Ali Daei spent one season in Bielefeldmarker and proved to be a successful franchise. He was hand picked for the Bayern Munich club by legendary footballer Franz Beckenbauer, president of the club, who rated him as a world-class centre-forward. He made a famous four million deutschemark move from Arminia Bielefeld to the four-time European Cup winners, which was a record for Asian players at the time. Daei also opened the door for Vahid Hashemian and Ali Karimi who became the second and third Iranians to join the Bavarians (Bayern Munich).

Daei became the first Asian player to feature in a UEFA Champions League match. Yet with Bayern's 15 international players and the Iranian national team's scheduling, Daei had found very little time for playing. In Germanymarker he was known to be a true gentleman, famous for the way he treated the fans. Daei would always sign autographs to Bayern fans and was often the centre of attention, as he was featured in OPEL car commercials. Amazingly, he usually did manage to score when given a chance to play. Still, Ali Daei was unhappy with his position in the club and decided to make a move to Hertha BSC before the end of his three year contract, when Bayern won the championship title in the 1999 Bundesliga. In 2000 he played in the Champions League with Hertha BSC, becoming the teams best scorer in the competition with 3 goals. His famous match against Chelsea gained him a lot of recognition. Yet even at Hertha he was not the talk of the town, since he was only amongst one of the squad's many successful players, who were to fulfill Hertha's Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League dreams.

Return to Asia

At the same time he was very successful in international competition scoring in practically every game and making new records. Daei was playing in numerous continental friendlies against world class opposition, yet was still unable to maintain a stable position in his club's starting line-up. In 2001, he was not among the top scorers in the Asian Qualifying round and he did not manage to take the team into the World Cup as captain for the first time. After receiving offers from Rapid Vienna, Rangers, the J. League and a few English Premiership teams, he decided that he was no longer fit to play world-class football. He joined the UAEmarker league at 34 years of age, signing a contract with Al-Shabab as a free agent. In 2003, Daei quit the UAEmarker team and joined his old team in Tehranmarker, Persepolis F.C. Daei moved from Persepolis to Saba Battery F.C. on a free transfer for a modest contract of around $300,000.

He spent two years at Saba Battery, scoring 23 goals, winning the Hazfi Cup and participating in the Asian Champions League. After World Cup 2006 and the arrival of Saba Battery's new manager, Farhad Kazemi, it was announced that he was no longer needed on the team and his contract would not be renewed. Despite rumors of retirement, he signed for another industry-linked club from Tehran, Saipa F.C., on August 1, 2006.

On March 6, 2007, Ali Daei was fined $2000 and suspended for 4 games by the Iranian Football Federation after the incidents in a league game where he delivered a head-butt to the face of Sheys Rezaei, the young Persepolis defender. In an interview with the Iranian paper, Iran Varzeshi, Daei has criticized this decision and has threatened to take his case to FIFA head-quarters if the decision is upheld by the IFF.

On May 28, 2007, after Saipa won the Persian Gulf Cup in a match vs Mes Kerman F.C., Daei announced his retirement from playing club football and he would concentrate on his coaching career.

International career

Daei was called up to join Team Melli on June 6, 1993 in an ECO Cup tournament held in Tehran, where he made his debut for Iran against Pakistan. He continued his national team appearances and was named the top scorer of the final Asian round of 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifications with 4 goals in 5 matches.

Daei was named the world's top scorer in official international competitions by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), having scored 20 goals in competitive matches for Iran in 1996, including his famous 4 goal haul against South Korea in Asian Cup 1996. By the end of the 1996 Asian Cup, he had scored 29 goals in 38 appearances for Iran. In the 1998 World Cup qualifying campaign, he was again on top of the charts, scoring 9 goals in 17 matches for Iran, reaching his impressive record of 38 goals in 52 appearances for his country. He is one of the most prolific strikers in the history of football and is now ranked first in most goals in international matches. His experience with world-class football opened the way for other Asian players such as Hidetoshi Nakata and Mehdi Mahdavikia.

Century of international goals

Ali Daei joined the exclusive circle of players with a century of caps. In a November 28, 2003 Asian Cup qualifier in Tehranmarker against Lebanon, he scored his 85th international goal, elevating him past Hungarianmarker legend Ferenc Puskás to top the all-time list of scorers in international matches. On November 17, 2004, he scored four goals against Laos in a World Cup qualifier, giving him 102 goals and making him the first male player to score 100 goals in international play. As of September 2009, he has 149 caps for Iran, ranked among the top 12 of world's most capped players.

Criticism and controversy

Daei continued to hold his place in Iran national team by playing for Iran in World Cup 2006 at the age of 37. Despite the numerous criticism from Iranian media calling for his retirement, Ali Daei has always defended his position in Team Melli and has rejected that he was too old to play for the team.

Coaching career

Saipa

On October 8, 2006, upon sudden leave of Saipa's German coach Werner Lorant, he was appointed as the interim coach of Saipa. He was later officially announced as the full-time head coach. On May 28, Saipa became the Persian Gulf Cup champions in Daei's first season at the helm. Going into his second season as manager Daei relinquished his playing duties for the defending champions and found himself on the sidelines full-time. The results of Saipa's 2007-2008 campaign were not nearly as successful as his team finished 11th in the 18 team Iran Pro League table. However Daei did lead Saipa to an Asian Champions League quarterfinal birth before leaving to take over as the full-time manager of the Iranian National Football Team.

Iran

On March 2, 2008 IRIFF officially appointed Ali Daei as Team Melli's new head coach. Despite admitting that his appointment as manager of the Iranian national team was a "surprise", Daei refused to leave his current coaching job at Saipa F.C., therefore taking on dual managerial careers until after Saipa had entered the Asian Champion League quarterfinals, after which Daei left Saipa by mutual concept. While Daei guided Iran to a respectable 16-6-3 mark, his third loss on March 28, 2009 to a Saudi Arabian team that was down 1-0 to Iran in Tehran proved to be the final straw. During his tenure as the National Team coach, the Iranian team managed the weakest World Cup Qualification results in its history with only one win out of 5 WCQ games. After the loss in the 2010 World Cup Qualifier, Daei was fired as head coach after the match. While introducing many new players such as Gholamreza Rezaei, and Ehsan Hajysafi, Daei's squad was often in flux as to who would be invited to a fixture. As well, many critics pointed towards the failures of Daei's teams to score and an unsolved weakness in the central defense as causes for his downfall.

2009-present

In 2009, Daei turned down a job offer as manager of Rah Ahan F.C.[28495] It was widely believed that Daei could be next in-line for the coaching position of Persepolis F.C. but club chose Zlatko Kranjčar.

Honours

Country



  • AFC Asian Cup
    • Appearances and goals: 1996 (Third Place, 8 goals), 2000 (Quarterfinals, 3 goals) 2004 (Third Place, 3 goals)

Club











Individual



Coaching honours









Club career statistics



Famous matches



International Goals



Beyond football

Personal character

Asides from his great sportsmanship on the pitch, Daei ran many charitable organisations and used a great deal of his money in support of the less fortunate. Today Daei owns his own football jersey manufacturing company called Daei Sport's Wears & Equipments, making sportswear for Iranmarker sporting clubs in various fields and league clubs worldwide.His company also made jerseys for the national team. He has made very significant charitable donations and has made appearances in charitable football matches worldwide (featuring in the World vs. Bosnia match with Roberto Baggioand other football legends). He also appeared in a UNICEFcommercial with superstar David Beckhamand Madeleine Albright, and has regularly been seen working with the organisation.He is also very famous for being a "gentleman", the name which was given to him even in Germany where he used to play, because of his moderate behaviour.

Daei featured on July 18, 2007 in 90 Minutes for Mandela, a match between the Africa XI and the Rest of World XI to celebrate the birthday of Nelson Mandela. Daei played approximately 70 minutes in the match which ended 3-3.

Personal life

Besides his footballing career, Ali Daei also owns Daei Sport's Wears & Equipments, his company provides clothing for several Iranian football clubs and previously for the Iran national football team. In 2005, he married a former classmate from Sharif Universitymarker in a lavish ceremony in north of Tehran in which many of his fans were standing in the nearby streets to cheer him.Some of the photos of his wedding ceremony were later published without his permission that caused a controversy inside the country. He has funded a sports complex in his home city of Ardabilmarker called the Ali Daei Sports Complex that opened in May 2008

Autobiography

On April 7, 2008 Daei announced that he has begun writing an autobiographyset to be released in March 2010 and that despite reflecting on "bitter and sweet memories" he stated he would "keep some of his secrets in his heart forever".

See also



References

External links



1988-89 Esteghlal Ardabil - -
1989-90 Taxirani - -
1990-91 Bank Tejarat - -
1991-92 - -
1993-94 - -
1994-95 - -
1994-95 Persepolis Azadegan League 25 15
1995-96 13 8

1996-97 Al-Sadd Qatari League 12 10 - -

1997-98 Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga 25 7 - -
1998-99 Bayern Munich 23 6 4 0
1999-00 Hertha BSC 28 3 2 0
2000-01 23 3 2 0
2001-02 8 0 3 0

2002-03 Al-Shabab UAE League 25 11 - -

2003-04 Persepolis Iran Pro League 28 16 - -
2004-05 Saba Battery 25 12 - -
2005-06 26 11 2 5 18
2006-07 Saipa 26 10 1 0 - - 27 10
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Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Goals
1993-06-25 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 6-0 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1993-07-27 Damascusmarker, Syriamarker 6-0 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
1993-10-18 Dohamarker, Qatarmarker 2-1 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1993-10-22 Dohamarker, Qatarmarker 1-2 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1993-10-25 Dohamarker, Qatarmarker 2-1 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
1996-05-30 Kuwait Citymarker, Kuwaitmarker 2-1 International Match 2
1996-06-10 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 8-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 4
1996-06-12 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 7-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 5
1996-06-14 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 2-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
1996-06-19 Muscatmarker, Omanmarker 4-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
1996-06-21 Muscatmarker, Omanmarker 2-1 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
1996-12-05 Dubaimarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker 1-2 1996 AFC Asian Cup 1
1996-12-08 Dubaimarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker 3-1 1996 AFC Asian Cup 1
1996-12-11 Dubaimarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker 3-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup 1
1996-12-16 Dubaimarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker 6-2 1996 AFC Asian Cup 4
1996-12-23 Abu Dhabimarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker (4)1-1(3) 1996 AFC Asian Cup 1
1997-06-02 Damascusmarker, Syriamarker 17-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
1997-06-04 Damascusmarker, Syriamarker 7-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1997-06-04 Damascusmarker, Syriamarker 1-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1997-06-04 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 9-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
1997-10-03 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 3-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1997-10-17 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 4-1 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1997-11-16 Johor Bahrumarker, Malaysiamarker 2-3 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1998-12-05 Sisaketmarker, Thailandmarker 6-1 1998 Asian Games 2
1998-12-08 Bangkokmarker, Thailandmarker 2-4 1998 Asian Games 1
1998-12-10 Bangkokmarker, Thailandmarker 5-0 1998 Asian Games 2
1998-12-12 Bangkokmarker, Thailandmarker 2-1 1998 Asian Games 1
1998-12-14 Bangkokmarker, Thailandmarker 4-0 1998 Asian Games 3
1999-06-04 Edmontonmarker, Canadamarker 1-0 Canada Cup 1
1999-09-08 Yokohama, Japanmarker 1-1 International Match 1
2000-01-09 Oaklandmarker, United Statesmarker 1-2 International Match 1
2000-01-12 Los Angelesmarker, United Statesmarker 2-1 International Match 1
2000-03-31 Damascusmarker, Syriamarker 8-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 3
2000-04-02 Damascusmarker, Syriamarker 1-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2000-04-09 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 3-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2000-04-13 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 3-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2000-06-07 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker (7)1-1(8) LG Cup 1
2000-06-09 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 3-1 LG Cup 1
2000-06-09 Dohamarker, Qatarmarker 2-1 International Match 2
2000-10-12 Beirutmarker, Lebanonmarker 4-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup 1
2000-10-15 Beirutmarker, Lebanonmarker 1-1 2000 AFC Asian Cup 1
2000-10-18 Sidonmarker, Lebanonmarker 1-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup 1
2000-11-24 Tabrizmarker, Iranmarker 19-0 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 4
2000-11-28 Tabrizmarker, Iranmarker 2-0 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2001-01-19 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 4-0 Ancient Civil. Cup 1
2001-08-08 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 4-0 LG Cup 1
2001-08-10 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 5-2 LG Cup 2
2001-08-24 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 2-0 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
2001-09-07 Baghdadmarker, Iraqmarker 2-1 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2001-09-28 Jeddahmarker, Saudi Arabiamarker 2-2 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2001-10-21 Manamamarker, Bahrainmarker 1-3 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2001-10-31 Abu Dhabimarker, United Arab Emiratesmarker 3-0 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2002-08-21 Kievmarker, Ukrainemarker 1-0 International Match 1
2002-09-19 Tabrizmarker, Iranmarker (4)1-1(3) LG Cup 1
2003-09-05 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 4-1 2004 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2003-11-19 Beirutmarker, Lebanonmarker 3-0 2004 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2003-11-28 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 1-0 2004 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2003-12-02 Kuwait Citymarker, Kuwaitmarker 1-3 International Match 1
2004-02-18 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 3-1 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2004-03-31 Vientianemarker, Laosmarker 7-0 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
2004-06-17 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 4-0 WAAF Tournament 3
2004-06-21 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 7-1 WAAF Tournament 1
2004-06-25 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 4-1 WAAF Tournament 1
2004-07-20 Chongqingmarker, Chinamarker 3-0 2004 AFC Asian Cup 1
2004-08-06 Beijing, Chinamarker 4-2 2004 AFC Asian Cup 2
2004-09-08 Ammanmarker, Jordanmarker 2-0 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2004-11-17 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 7-0 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 4
2004-12-18 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 1-0 International Match 1
2005-02-02 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 2-1 International Match 1
2005-08-17 Yokohama, Japanmarker 1-2 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2005-08-24 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 4-0 International Match 1
2005-11-13 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 2-0 LG Cup 1
2006-02-22 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 4-0 2007 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2006-03-01 Tehranmarker, Iranmarker 3-2 International Match 1

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