Nekounam spent 6 years in LaLiga playing in Osasuna, most of them with compatriot Masoud Shojaei. In his first season in Pamplona he helped his club to reach UEFA Cup semi-finals, and Spanish supporters still remember his late goal at 120′ against Bordeaux in 2nd leg of Round of 32.
After a couple of years in Esteghlal Tehran and Al Kuwait – following his excellent performances in FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 – he returned to Osasuna in Segunda Division as captain, joined by Karim Ansarifard. He played last season between Iran (Saipa Karaj) and Qatar (Al Arabi).
LaLiga All Stars will face an Iranian squad captained obviously by Javad Nekounam. Rumours say that we will see playing again Ali Daei, Mehdi Mahdavikia, Yahya Golmohammadi. Ali Karimi was added to the team, after he denied his appearance.
In Spain the complete list of the squad was announced on 22 August, as you can see below.
LaLiga All Stars
Goalkeepers: Koke Contreras, Leo Franco Defenders: Eric Abidal, Francisco Pavón, Michel Salgado, Joan Capdevila, Fernando Sanz Midfielders: Claude Makélélé, Gaizka Mendieta, David Albelda, Marcos Senna, José Emilio Amavisca, Francesco Coco Strikers: Fernando Morientes, Luis García, Albert Luque
National football team of Iran started on 13 August a 10-days training camp in Italy, to prepare for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. During this camp Team Melli will play 2 friendly matches, with SPAL and B Italia, the under-21 Italian Serie B representative team. The first game is scheduled on 19 August in Forlì.
Thursday 19 August – Iran v SPAL
What time is the kick-off? At 4,00 p.m. It is recommended to reach the stadium at least one hour before the game.
Where is the match? In “Tullo Morgagni” Stadium in Forlì city (see the map below)
How much is the ticket? Ticket prices have been published on 17 August by SPAL official website. There are no discounted tickets for this game. The following prices do not include pre-sale.
– Tribuna (for both home and guest supporters, on bleacher) 1 single seat: 10 Euro;
– Curva ospiti (for guest supporters, behind goal posts) 1 single stand: 5 Euro;
– Curva locali (for home supporters, behind goal posts) 1 single stand: 5 Euro.
How can I buy the tickets? Since tickets are named, you have to show to retailer a currently valid ID card or passport when you purchase it.
Where can I find the tickets? You can buy from the ticket offices of the stadium or in the retail stores recognized by SPAL team: the full list of retail stores is avalaible on SPAL official website. It is recommended to buy in advance the tickets, mind the pre-sale option to avoid long queues.
What if I don’t buy a ticket? No problem, you can watch the match live and free on Telestense, a local television broadcasting in Italian.
Very interesting the 4rd week of Persian Gulf Pro League 1395/96, scheduled before a 28-day break in order to train Team Melli for the upcoming qualifiers against Qatar and China. All the matches were played on 11 August, except for FC Mashhad v Foolad Khuzestan scheduled the day after. Carlos Queiroz – head coach of National football team of Iran – issued the list of call-ups before the last game.
The Tabrizi derby was won by Tractorsazi thanks to a double of defender Mohammad Iranpourian, and the red card received at 43′ by rival defender Hamed Pakdel, who had just came back after a suspension; this is the first defeat for neo-promoted Mashinsazi captained by Andranik Teymourian: now Amir Ghalenoei’s guys have the best goal difference (+4). Behnam Berzaei scored a vital goal preventing Esteghlal Tehran losing against Paykan: it is not certain that Ali Reza Mansourian will seat on the Blues bench in case he will not win the next game, maybe he can benefit from the tournement break. Finally Gostaresh Foolad scored their first goal of the season with Luciano “Chimba” Pereira against Zob Ahan: in the second half, Yahya Golmohammadi – back after club suspension – subbed in Morteza Tabrizi, whose header assisted Honduran striker Jerry Bengtson to equilize. Another 1-1 draw was between Saipa and Padideh, so that both clubs are in the middle of the league standings. Again victorious Sanat Naft beating with a goal by Mohammad Shadkam Sepahan, despite the return of Ehsan Hajsafi in the Isfahani side. After three weeks without scoring, Mehdi Taremi sent the ball in the net helping Persepolis to beat Saba and remain on the top with 10 points. Great game in Ahvaz as defending champions Esteghlal Khuzestan tied 2-2 with Ali Daei’s Naft Tehran: guest team took the advantage with Iman Mob’Ali, but Sirous Pourmousavi’s boys performed a come back with Ashour and Beit Saeid, before Ghazi scored with ten minutes remaining. In the last game FC Mashhad – still commonly known as Siahjamegan – were winning with a goal by 20-year-old defender Payam Malekian, but at 87′ a ball handled by Hamid Reza Ali-Asgari inspired a penalty that Ayoub Vali scored twice, because the referee ordered him to repeat, and the match ended 1-1.
Persian Gulf Pro League will restart on 9 September after Team Mellitraining camp in Italy and FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Qatar and China.
With one match of Persian Gulf Pro League week 4 – FC Mashhad v Foolad Khuzestan – not played yet, FFIRI-Football Federation of Iran official website published the list of call-ups for the training camp in Italy.
Carlos Queiroz, head coach of National football team of Iran, invited 25 players that will reach Italy on 13 August. The plan of the Italian camp with the friendly games is avalaible on this website (click here for details).
At the current time, the Portuguese coach chose to call only footballers that play in Iran or in Qatar, since the Qatar Stars League will start on 15 September. Most probably the Legionnaires (Iranian players in European professional leagues) will be added before the qualifiers against Qatar and China. Team Melli captain Andranik Teymourian is back after 5 months since he had a bad injury. Below you can read the full list.
After the 4th week of Persian Gulf Pro League 1395/96 – scheduled on 11 and 12 August – the National football team of Iran is going to restart preparation for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. Carlos Queiroz and his men will reach “Leonardo Da Vinci” Fiumicino airport on 13 August to spend some days in a training camp in Italy, a favourite place for Iranians: in 1998 and 2006 Team Melli trained and played friendlies with AS Roma before beginning FIFA World Cups.
Iran will train in Coverciano, a district in Florence where are placed the central training ground and the technical headquarter of FIGC (Italian football federation). Persians will play on 23 August behind closed doors a friendly against B Italia, the under-21 Serie B representative team: for the first time in the history an Italian National representative will face Iran, thanks to the recent cooperation between the two football federations.
21 goals scored in the 3rd week of Persian Gulf Pro League 1395/96, only one tie between Saba Qom and Mashinsazi: Spanish goalkeeper Manu conceded one goal at his debut before Jalal Rafkhaei scored on penalty with ten minutes remaining. Zob Ahan found the first victory of this season beating away Foolad Khuzestan 0-2: on the Isfahani bench was sitting S. Mojtaba Hosseini instead of the head coach Yahya Golmohammadi, the latter suspended by his team due to disciplinary matters. Good news for Ali Daei, since Naft Tehran beat 3-0 Padideh thanks to a double by veteran Iman Mob’Ali and the third goal by Mohammad Ghazi. A very nervous match between FC Mashhad and Saipa, where the players did not hide their legs and the referee Ali Safaei showed 6 yellow cards: Saipa eventually won 2-0. Incredible defeat suffered at Azadi Stadium by Esteghlal Tehran, although they were winning 1-0 until 86′ when Reza Norouzi equilized for Sanat Naft, and few minutes later his teammate Baghlani scored on penalty: Ali Reza Mansourian has to take responsibility after collecting 1 point in 3 weeks. Persepolis giants won against Gostaresh Foolad with a goal by Vahid Amiri: to say the truth it seemed more a cross than an attempt, but it was enough to surprise Fernando de Jesus Ribeiro; now Branko Ivankovic selection is on the top of the league. Sepahan did not disappoint home fans and defeated 3-1 Esteghlal Khuzestan: Rahim Zahivi scored on penalty the only goal of the guest team, becoming the top scorer of the tournement. In the last match of this week, Tractorsazi collected a 3-1 victory at home: in five minutes the host scored twice and Paykan got the ball into the net with Sadeghi; Iraqi midfielder Karrar Jassim secured the win with his first goal of the season.
Week 1 of Dutch Premier League, better known as Eredivisie, celebrating 60 years.
In Alkmaar the home team AZ faced SC Heerenveen in a nice game, with 4 goals, ended in a draw. Many Iranian people were waiting for this match to see two stars of Team Melli: Jahanbakhsh and Ghoochannejhad.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh is playing his second season with AZ, after spending 2 years in NEC Nijmegen: the Gilan-born winger is nearly 23 and this Eredivisie could represent an important point to grow up in his young career. Many teams from England and Germany showed interest in Alireza, a fast midfielder and assistman.
Reza Ghoochannejhad came back to Netherlands in the club with whom he made his first professional appearance at 18 in 2005. The stricker wants to get back scoring after one unsuccessful Championship with Charlton, just relegated to League One. He is the only Iranian that scored in the last FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014.
Both the players started in the line-up of the match, on 7 August 2016. Reza played 75 minutes, replaced by Veerman. Ghoochannejhad tried to beat Sergio Rochet twice in the 1st half: his left footed shots were saved by AZ Uruguayan goalkeeper, the second one saved in the bottom right corner. On the other side, Alireza helped his team to take the advantage, as he assisted Markus Henriksen after 33 minutes. Jahanbakhsh attempted twice, too: at 70′, but his shot was slowed down by an opponent’s touch; and with three minutes remaining, when he shot from the right and the ball was blocked by Heerenveen number one.
Iranian fans can be satisfied by their condition, since Carlos Queiroz will most probably call them up for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Qatar and China,
AZ Alkmaar (4-3-3)
1 Rochet; 23 Luckassen, 3 Van Eijden, 4 Vlaar, 5 Haps; 10 Henriksen, 8 Van Overeem, 30 Wuytens; 7 Jahanbakhsh, 9 Weghorst (81′ #27 Friday), 19 Dos Santos (79′ #28 Levi Garcia)
In the 2nd week of Persian Gulf Pro League 1395/96 we find a record by Hamed Pakdel, sent off by referee Mohsen Torki after collecting 2 yellow card in only one minute! Two derbies were played, in Mashhad and in Tabriz, and both ended with tie. All teams that were defeated in the 1st week obtained points: Sepahan defeated away Naft Tehran with a penalty by Farid Behzadi Karimi; Zob Ahan and Saipa shared one point; Foolad Khuzestan were close to win at Persepolis home, but Vahid Amiri equilized 5 minutes after Abdollah Nasseri’s goal. Esteghlal Khuzestan defending champions won 2-1 against Esteghlal Tehran, thanks to a double scored by Hassan Beit Saeid: the Khuzestani striker is the top scorer with his teammate Rahim Zahivi. Goalless draw between Sanat Naft and Tractorsazi, while Paykan and Saba tied 1-1 (both goals on penalties).