Ali Daei: Wikis


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Ali Daei
Personal information
Full name Ali Daei
Date of birth 21 March 1969 (1969-03-21) (age 40)
Place of birth    Ardabil, Iran
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 3+12 in)
Playing position Centre forward
Club information
Current club Persepolis
Youth career
1983–1988 Esteghlal Ardabil
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Esteghlal Ardabil
Bank Tejarat
Arminia Bielefeld
Bayern Munich
Hertha BSC
Saba Battery

00? 0(14)

038 0(23)
016 0(10)
025 00(7)
023 00(6)
059 00(6)
025 0(11)
024 0(16)
051 0(23)
026 0(10)   
National team
1993–2006 Iran 149 (109)
Teams managed

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Ali Daei (Persian: علی دایی, pronounced [ʔæliː-je dɑːjiː]; nicknamed Shahriar [ʃæhrijɑːr], meaning the King; born 21 March 1969 in Ardabil, Iran) is a former Iranian football player and coach.[2] 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 FIFA Football Committee.[3] At the moment, Daei is the manager of the popular Iranian team Persepolis F.C. and signed a 18 month contract with the club in late December 2009.


Club career

Early years

Daiee graduated from Sharif University of Technology in Materials Engineering (Metallurgical) with a B.Sc. degree. Born in Ardabil, he played for his hometown club, Esteghlal Ardabil, when he was 19. His next club was Taxirani F.C. in Tehran, where he played for one season, before joining another Tehrani 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 Daiee 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 Bielefeld 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 Germany 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 UAE league at 34 years of age, signing a contract with Al-Shabab as a free agent. In 2003, Daei quit the UAE team and joined his old team in Tehran, 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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

On May 28, 2007, after Saipa won the Persian Gulf Cup (2006-2007) in a match vs Mes Kerman F.C., Daei announced his retirement from playing club football and he would concentrate on his coaching career.[7][8]

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 Tehran against Lebanon, he scored his 85th international goal, elevating him past Hungarian 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.[9]

Coaching career


On October 8, 2006, upon sudden leave of Saipa's German coach Werner Lorant, he was appointed as the interim coach of Saipa.[10] 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.


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",[11] 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 consent. 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 team to score and an unsolved weakness in the central defense as causes for his downfall.


In 2009, Daei turned down a job offer as manager of Rah Ahan F.C.[1] It was widely believed that Daei could be next in-line for the coaching position of Persepolis F.C. but the club chose Zlatko Kranjčar. But later, on 28/12/2009 Daei was chosen as coach for this team.

Coaching career statistics

As of 18 March 2010.
Nat Team From To Record
G W D L Win % GF GA +/-
Iran Saipa October 2006 June 2008 67 27 21 19 40% 77 69 +8
Iran Iran 1 March 2008 30 March 2009 24 15 6 3 63% 42 15 +27
Iran Persepolis 28 December 2009 Present 11 8 2 1 72% 19 12 +7
Total 102 50 29 23 49% 138 96 +42



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



Coaching honours

Club career statistics

Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Iran League Hazfi Cup Asia Total
1994-95 Persepolis Azadegan League 25 15
1995-96 13 8
Qatar League Emir of Qatar Cup Asia Total
1996-97 Al-Sadd Qatari League 12 10 - -
Germany League DFB-Pokal Europe Total
1997-98 Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga 25 7 1[16] 0 - - 26 7
1998-99 Bayern Munich 23 6 4[17] 0 5 0 32 6
1999-00 Hertha BSC 28 3 2[17] 0 13 4 43 7
2000-01 23 3 2[18] 0 5 2 30 5
2001-02 8 0 3[19] 0 1 0 12 0
United Arab Emirates League UAE Emir Cup Asia Total
2002-03 Al-Shabab UAE League 25 11 - -
Iran League Hazfi Cup Asia Total
2003-04 Persepolis Iran Pro League 28 16 - -
2004-05 Saba Battery 25 12 - -
2005-06 26 11 2 6 5 18
2006-07 Saipa 26 10 1 0 - - 27 10
Total Iran 143 72
Qatar 12 10 - -
Germany 107 19 12 0 24 6 143 25
United Arab Emirates 25 11 - -
Career Total 287 112

Famous matches

International goals

Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Goals
1993-06-25 Tehran, Iran  Chinese Taipei 6-0 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1993-07-27 Damascus, Syria  Chinese Taipei 6-0 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
1993-10-18 Doha, Qatar  Japan 2-1 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1993-10-22 Doha, Qatar  Iraq 1-2 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1993-10-25 Doha, Qatar  Korea DPR 2-1 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
1996-05-30 Kuwait City, Kuwait  Kuwait 2-1 International Match 2
1996-06-10 Tehran, Iran  Nepal 8-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 4
1996-06-12 Tehran, Iran  Sri Lanka 7-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 5
1996-06-14 Tehran, Iran  Oman 2-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
1996-06-19 Muscat, Oman  Nepal 4-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
1996-06-21 Muscat, Oman  Oman 2-1 1996 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
1996-12-05 Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Iraq 1-2 1996 AFC Asian Cup 1
1996-12-08 Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Thailand 3-1 1996 AFC Asian Cup 1
1996-12-11 Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Saudi Arabia 3-0 1996 AFC Asian Cup 1
1996-12-16 Dubai, United Arab Emirates  Korea Republic 6-2 1996 AFC Asian Cup 4
1996-12-23 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  Kuwait (4)1-1(3) 1996 AFC Asian Cup 1
1997-06-02 Damascus, Syria  Maldives 17-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
1997-06-04 Damascus, Syria  Kyrgyzstan 7-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1997-06-04 Damascus, Syria  Syria 1-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1997-06-04 Tehran, Iran  Maldives 9-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
1997-10-03 Tehran, Iran  Qatar 3-0 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1997-10-17 Tehran, Iran  China PR 4-1 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1997-11-16 Johor Bahru, Malaysia  Japan 2-3 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
1998-12-05 Sisaket, Thailand  Laos 6-1 1998 Asian Games 2
1998-12-08 Bangkok, Thailand  Oman 2-4 1998 Asian Games 1
1998-12-10 Bangkok, Thailand  Tajikistan 5-0 1998 Asian Games 2
1998-12-12 Bangkok, Thailand  China PR 2-1 1998 Asian Games 1
1998-12-14 Bangkok, Thailand  Uzbekistan 4-0 1998 Asian Games 3
1999-06-04 Edmonton, Canada  Canada 1-0 Canada Cup 1
1999-09-08 Yokohama, Japan  Japan 1-1 International Match 1
2000-01-09 Oakland, United States  Mexico 1-2 International Match 1
2000-01-12 Los Angeles, United States  Ecuador 2-1 International Match 1
2000-03-31 Damascus, Syria  Maldives 8-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 3
2000-04-02 Damascus, Syria  Syria 1-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2000-04-09 Tehran, Iran  Bahrain 3-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2000-04-13 Tehran, Iran  Maldives 3-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2000-06-07 Tehran, Iran  Egypt (7)1-1(8) LG Cup 1
2000-06-09 Tehran, Iran  Macedonia 3-1 LG Cup 1
2000-06-09 Doha, Qatar  Qatar 2-1 International Match 2
2000-10-12 Beirut, Lebanon  Lebanon 4-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup 1
2000-10-15 Beirut, Lebanon  Thailand 1-1 2000 AFC Asian Cup 1
2000-10-18 Sidon, Lebanon  Iraq 1-0 2000 AFC Asian Cup 1
2000-11-24 Tabriz, Iran  Guam 19-0 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 4
2000-11-28 Tabriz, Iran  Tajikistan 2-0 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2001-01-19 Tehran, Iran  China PR 4-0 Ancient Civil. Cup 1
2001-08-08 Tehran, Iran  Oman 4-0 LG Cup 1
2001-08-10 Tehran, Iran  Bosnia and Herzegovina 5-2 LG Cup 2
2001-08-24 Tehran, Iran  Saudi Arabia 2-0 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
2001-09-07 Baghdad, Iraq  Iraq 2-1 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2001-09-28 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia  Saudi Arabia 2-2 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2001-10-21 Manama, Bahrain  Bahrain 1-3 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2001-10-31 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  United Arab Emirates 3-0 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2002-08-21 Kiev, Ukraine  Ukraine 1-0 International Match 1
2002-09-19 Tabriz, Iran  Paraguay (4)1-1(3) LG Cup 1
2003-09-05 Tehran, Iran  Jordan 4-1 2004 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2003-11-19 Beirut, Lebanon  Lebanon 3-0 2004 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2003-11-28 Tehran, Iran  Lebanon 1-0 2004 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2003-12-02 Kuwait City, Kuwait  Kuwait 1-3 International Match 1
2004-02-18 Tehran, Iran  Qatar 3-1 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2004-03-31 Vientiane, Laos  Laos 7-0 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 2
2004-06-17 Tehran, Iran  Lebanon 4-0 WAAF Tournament 3
2004-06-21 Tehran, Iran  Syria 7-1 WAAF Tournament 1
2004-06-25 Tehran, Iran  Syria 4-1 WAAF Tournament 1
2004-07-20 Chongqing, China  Thailand 3-0 2004 AFC Asian Cup 1
2004-08-06 Beijing, China  Bahrain 4-2 2004 AFC Asian Cup 2
2004-09-08 Amman, Jordan  Jordan 2-0 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2004-11-17 Tehran, Iran  Laos 7-0 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 4
2004-12-18 Tehran, Iran  Panama 1-0 International Match 1
2005-02-02 Tehran, Iran  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1 International Match 1
2005-08-17 Yokohama, Japan  Japan 1-2 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification 1
2005-08-24 Tehran, Iran  Libya 4-0 International Match 1
2005-11-13 Tehran, Iran  Togo 2-0 LG Cup 1
2006-02-22 Tehran, Iran  Chinese Taipei 4-0 2007 AFC Asian Cup Qualification 1
2006-03-01 Tehran, Iran  Costa Rica 3-2 International Match 1

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 Iran 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 Baggio and other football legends). He also appeared in a UNICEF commercial with superstar David Beckham and 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.[20] Daei played approximately 70 minutes in the match which ended 3-3.

Personal life

Besides his footballing career, Ali Daei also owns Daei Sport, 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 University 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 Ardabil called the Ali Daei Sports Complex that opened in May 2008


On April 7, 2008 Daei announced that he has begun writing an autobiography set 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".[21]

See also


  1. ^ "Iran's Daei not ready to quit club job for national team". 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  2. ^ "Ali Daei named new Iran football coach". Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  3. ^ "FIFA Football Committee". Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  4. ^ "(Persian) علي دايي با قراردادي يك ساله به تيم سايپا پيوست". ISNA. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  5. ^ "Ali Daei suspended for 4 games". IRNA. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  6. ^ "(Persian) دايى: به فيفا شكايت مى كنيم". Iran Varzeshi Newspaper. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  7. ^ "(Persian) علي دايي رسما از فوتبال كناره‌گيري كرد". ISNA. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  8. ^ "Ali Daei calls it a day". Herald Sun.,21985,21821322-2883,00.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  9. ^ "Iran's Daei denies he is past his best". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  10. ^ "(Persian) علي دايي : پس از مشورت با بزرگترها مربيگري تيم سايپا را قبول كردم". IRNA. Retrieved 2006-10-09. 
  11. ^ "Ali Daei 'surprised' by Iran football coach job". Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  12. ^ "Top 10 International Goal Scorers - 1996". IFFHS. Retrieved 2006-08-02. 
  13. ^ "Top 10 International Goal Scorers - 2000". IFFHS. Retrieved 2006-08-02. 
  14. ^ "Top 10 International Goal Scorers - 2004". IFFHS. Retrieved 2006-08-02. 
  15. ^ "Daei 26th in AFS best players list". Press TV. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Stars named for Mandela match". BBC. 2007-07-12. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  21. ^ "Iran's Ali Daei to publish memoirs". PRESS TV. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Iran Amir Ghalenoei
Iran national football team Manager
Succeeded by
Iran Afshin Ghotbi
Preceded by
Germany Werner Lorant
Saipa manager
October 8, 2006 –
Succeeded by
Germany Pierre Littbarski
Preceded by
Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh
Iran captain
Succeeded by
Yahya Golmohammadi

Simple English

Ali Daei
Personal information
Full name Ali Daei
Date of birth 21 March 1969 (1969-03-21) (age 41)
Place of birth    Ardabil, Iran
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 3+12 in)
Playing position Striker (retired)
Youth clubs
1983-1988 Esteghlal Ardabil
Senior clubs
Years Club
Esteghlal Ardabil
Bank Tejarat
Arminia Bielefeld
Bayern Munich
Hertha Berlin
Al-Shabab Dubai
Saba Battery
National team
1993-2006 Iran
Teams managed

Ali Daei (born 21 March 1969) is a former Iranian football player. He has played for Iran national team.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals
1994/95PersepolisAzadegan League2515
1996/97Al-SaddStars League1610
1997/98Arminia BielefeldBundesliga257
1998/99Bayern MunichBundesliga236
1999/00Hertha BerlinBundesliga283
United Arab EmiratesLeague
2002/03Al-Shabab DubaiUAE League2511
2003/04PersepolisPro League2816
2004/05Saba BatteryPro League2512
2006/07SaipaPersian Gulf Cup2610
CountryIran 14372
Qatar 1610
Germany 10719
United Arab Emirates 2511
Total 291112

International career statistics


Iran national team


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