A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their teams defenders and forwards, some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being mobile and efficient in passing, they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the teams formation, most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing teams attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match, central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence. When the opposing team has the ball, a midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward. The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders, the 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, and in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder. The term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who have abilities and are skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots. A good box-to-box midfielder needs good passing, vision, control, stamina, tackling and marking in defence, left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch. They may be asked to cross the ball into the penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1, a notable example of a right midfielder is David Beckham. Defensive midfielders are players who focus on protecting their teams goal. These players may defend a zone in front of their teams defence, defensive midfielders may also move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude, The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someones position, great. A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of play, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing and great stamina. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their teams defence, a player in this role will try to protect their goal by disrupting the opponents attacking moves and stopping long shots on the goal. The holding midfielder may also have responsibilities when their team has the ball and this player will make mostly short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the teams strategy
Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan Football Club commonly known as Sepahan, is an Iranian football club based in Esfahan. They compete in Irans top-level league known as Persian Gulf Pro League and with 5 championships, in 2011 Sepahan won the first Asian treble. In 2002–03 season, they became the first non-Tehran based team to win the Iranian League title, Sepahan are the current champions of IPL in 2014–15 season. They are also the first and the only Iranian football club who won three titles in Iranian Football League history. Sepahan have been the most successful club in Iran since the establishment of Iran Pro League in 2001, with five IPL championships. They are also the first Iranian club who reached the AFC Champions League final in 2007, the Club is the football division of Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan Sport Club and is owned by Mobarakeh Steel Co. In 1953, with the help of Iran national football team player Mahmoud Hariri the Shahin Isfahan football club was created and 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 clubs first season in the Takht Jamshid Cup they finished in 10th place ahead of city rivals Zob Ahan, 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 factory of Isfahan and it participated in the Azadegan League until the year 2000, when Foolad Mobarekeh bought the team from the Siman factory. The team now plays under the name of Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan, and enjoys good support by the club board. The club was able to demonstrate its worth when it captured the title in the 2002–03 season of the IPL. It also won the Hazfi Cup in 2004 and was able to qualify for another season of the ACL competition, with Luka Bonačić, Sepahan was able to once again win the Hazfi Cup on 22 September 2006. With this win, they gained Irans final and second spot in the AFC Champions League 2007, 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. Urawa Reds managed to defeat Sepahan for the time in just one month. By winning the Hazfi Cup once again in 2007, Sepahan also qualified for the AFC Champions League 2008, 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 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
Persepolis Football Club, commonly known as Perspolis, is a Persian Gulf Pro League professional football club based in Tehran, Iran. Persepolis F. C. was founded in 1963 by Ali Abdo and has been in the first division of Iranian football since 1968, Persepolis had also three teams in Bowling, Basketball and Volleyball in its first years of establishment. Persepolis F. C. is the club of the multisport Persepolis Athletic. The club is owned by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, there have been many attempts to privatize the club with no success due to the large debt the club has accumulated. The club has played at its ground, Azadi Stadium. They contest the Tehran derby, which is regarded as one of the biggest in Asia, with archrivals Esteghlal, according to the Asian Football Confederation, Persepolis is the most popular football club in Asia. Only Dalian Shide and Al-Hilal come anywhere near to having such an amount of support in Asia. Persepolis F. C. AFC. </ref> Persepolis has won a record nine Iranian league titles, as well as five Hazfi Cups, many notable players have played for the club, including former Bayern Munich players Ali Karimi, Ali Daei, Vahid Hashemian and former Hamburger SV player Mehdi Mahdavikia. However, Ali Parvin is widely regarded as the clubs greatest ever player, Parvin played 18 years with the club from 1970 to 1988, and had his number 7 retired by Persepolis for seasons. Shahin was established in 1942 by Dr. Abbas Ekrami, a teacher and these talents made Shahin popular in the 1960s but its very popularity was viewed as a threat by the Iran Football Federation and the Keihan Varzeshi newspaper. The conflict between them became worse and on 9 July 1967, two days after Shahins 3–0 win against Tehranjavan F. C. the Iran Sports Organization declared Shahin F. C. as dissolved. League attendance dropped and other clubs including Pas, Rah Ahan, Persepolis Athletic and Cultural Club was established in 1963 by Ali Abdo. Abdo had returned to Iran from the United States and was a championship boxer, Persepolis F. C. started the 1968 season with Parviz Dehdari as manager. The team was quite weak, and participated in the 2nd division of the country. The best player on the team then was Mahmoud Khordbin, the club, using four Shahin players, had a friendly match with Jam Abadan, a respected team at the time. After the match the remainder of the Shahin players joined Persepolis and that year no league competition was held, as many teams had been dissolved, so a 44-team tournament was held, and Persepolis, along with Pas, Taj, and Oghab finished top of the group. The next year they represented as the first Iranian club in the Asian Champion Club Tournament held in Thailand, in 1962, the Iran Universal automobile factory was opened. In 1969, The boss of the factory, Mahmoud Khayami, paykan won the championship that year, but the new players moved back to Persepolis at the end of the season
Tractor Sazi F.C.
Tractor Sazi Tabriz Football Club commonly known as Tractor is a professional football club based in Tabriz, Azerbaijan, Iran. It is owned by Iran Tractor Manufacturing Company and they play in Irans Persian Gulf Pro League. The club was founded in 1970 and was promoted to the first division five years later, the club is one of the most famous and most popular clubs in Iran and Asia. It is one of the most popular clubs among Irans neighboring Turkic countries including Turkey, in 2010–11 Iran Pro League average attendance for home games in Sahand Stadium was near 42,000. In 2008–09 season, Tractor was returned to the first division of the Iranian football after eight years with promoting from Azadegan League to the Iran Pro League, after that, Tractor Sazi began its growing trend with ending the following season after their promotion in the 7th place. They finished next season in the 5th place before finishing 2011–12 and they also qualified to the AFC Champions League in the 2013 edition for the first time in their history. They repeated this position in the season and also in 2014–15 season. The club also won 2013–14 Hazfi Cup, Tractor qualified for the knock-out stage of the AFC Champions League in 2016. Tractor Sazi Club also has teams in futsal, basketball, volleyball, taekwondo, Tractor Sazi was formed in 1970 in support of Tractor Manufacturing Company in Tabriz. They played in the Pasargad League for five years until 1975 and they finished 1974–75 as the winner of the Pasargard League and promoted to the Takht Jamshid Cup. In their first season in the Takht Jamshid Cup, they were in poor form and they were also lost the Hazfi Cup final to the Malavan in the cups inaugural edition. After their relegation, Hossein Fekri remained as the manager and led them to a return to the first division for the 1977–78 season. In 1978–79 season which never finished due to Iranian Revolution, they were in the 8th place with twelve matches and their rival at these times was Machine Sazi, which is also based in Tabriz. In the 1980s the national league was suspended due to the Iran-Iraq War, romanian coach Vasile Godja was in charge of Tractor Sazis youth teams from 1986. He was also a worker of the Tractor Company and discovered various talents as the B teams coach and he also discovered and trained various talented players like Karim Bargheri, Sirous Dinmohammadi, Alireza Nikmer and Hossein Khatibi, which in time became players of Irans national team. In 1990, he was promoted as the first team coach which he led the club in the 1992–93 season finishing third place in national competition followed by Persepolis, 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, 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
Iran national football team
The National football team of Iran, also known as Team Melli, represents Iran in international football competitions and is governed by the Iran Football Federation. The national football team of Iran, known as Team Melli, ranks 1st in Asia, Iran is one of the most successful national teams in Asia with three Asian Cup championships. Iran has qualified for the World Cup four times but has never advanced past the group stage, Irans only win in the World Cup has been a 2–1 victory against the United States in 1998. The Iranian Football Federation was founded in 1920, in 1926 Tehran XI traveled across the border to Baku, USSR, this was the first away football match for an Iranian team. This Tehran Select team is the predecessor of Irans national football team. The first match that Team Melli played was on 23 August 1941, away at Kabul in a 1–0 win against British India, while Irans first FIFA international match was on 25 August 1941, away at Afghanistan. Iran won the Asian Cup three consecutive times, to which the team has not been able to add since, Iran lost two of three group stage matches against the Netherlands and Peru. After the 1979 Revolution, football was somewhat neglected and cast aside, during the 1980s, the Iranian national team did not feature in World Cup competitions due to the Iran–Iraq War and domestic football suffered the inevitable effects of conflict. The national team withdrew from the Asian qualifiers for the 1982 World Cup, the war and political upheavals left Iran without major club competitions until 1989 when the Qods League was established. A year later, the Qods League was renamed the Azadegan League, both games finished undecided, but Iran managed to qualify due to the away goals rule. Iran held Australia to a 1–1 draw at home, and a 2–2 draw in Melbourne, however, since Iran had scored more away goals, they were able to qualify for the Cup. At their first game of the Group F at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Iran played well against Yugoslavia, losing narrowly 1–0, only to a free kick goal by Siniša Mihajlović. Iran recorded their first World Cup victory in the game, beating the United States 2–1, with Hamid Estili. The Iran vs USA World Cup match was preheated with much excitement because of each countrys political stance after the Iranian revolution and the Iran hostage crisis. However, in an act of defiance against all forms of hatred or politics in sports, following defeat against Iran, the United States was eliminated from the World Cup. Iran played against Germany in the third game, the goals were scored by Oliver Bierhoff and Jürgen Klinsmann. The one win and two losses meant Iran came third in the group standing and failed to make it to the next round. Iran finished first in the stage of the tournament
Iran, also known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars, artists, and thinkers. During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris, Kurds and Lurs. Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, however, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was then shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably