Heshmat Mohajerani

Heshmat Mohajerani

Mohajerani in 1977 after match against Hungary
Personal information
Full name Heshmatollah Mohajerani
Date of birth (1936-12-11) 11 December 1936
Place of birth Mashhad, Iran
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1955–1958 Taj
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1964 Taj
1964 Pas Tehran
Teams managed
1971–1976 Iran U-20
1972–1975 Iran U-23
1974–1975 Iran (assistant)
1975–1978 Iran
1979–1980 Al-Shaab
1980–1984 United Arab Emirates
1984–1986 Al-Wahda
1992–1994 Oman
1998–1999 Al-Ahli

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Heshmatollah Mohajerani (Persian:  حشمت مهاجرانى , born 11 December 1936 in Mashhad[1]) is a retired Iranian footballer and former football manager. He has been known for creating and development of Iran's golden age of football in the 1970s which won many Asian titles.

Mohajerani played professional football as a Midfielder in Taj for almost eight years before retiring due to injury. He also played six months for Pas Tehran. He began his coaching career with Iran national football team at three age rank (u-20, u-23 and senior team). Mohajerani later managed Al-Shaab and Al-Wahda in UAE League, United Arab Emirates and Oman national football teams and also Al-Ahli of Doha in Qatari League. He is known as the most successful Iranian coach of the Iranian national team, which won AFC Asian Cup in 1976 and led the team to the quarter-finals of 1976 Summer Olympics and also qualification to the 1978 FIFA World Cup.

Mohajerani is also one of the founders and co-owner of Aboumoslem located in Mashhad, a club founded in 1970 by Mohajerani and his brothers. Aboumoslem is currently playing in Second Division.

Early life

Mohajerani was born on 11 December 1936 in Mashhad, Khorasan, as the third out of five sons of Asadoolah Mohajerani and Leila Nassiri. After years, his family moved to Tehran and his older brothers began playing football in Taj's youth teams. He also began his football career at Taj in 1955 when he was nineteen years old.

Playing career

In his senior years, Mohajerani joined Taj SC (now known as Esteghlal) and played for this famous club until his pre-mature retirement at the age of 27 years. After the World Military Games held in Greece, he stopped playing football. He flew to Japan to participate in a three-month coaching course. In that course, which was under the auspices Sir Stanley Rous, President of FIFA, and the management of German coach Dettmar Cramer. Mohajerani was joined by Mohammad Ranjbar.

Managerial career

Early years

In 1971 and two years after completing the coaching course, he was given the job by the Iranian Football Federation, being appointed as head coach of Iran national under-20 football team. During his years as coach of Iran's youth team, he gave numerous opportunities to youths from cities other than the capital and many of those youths, like Hassan Nazari, Ebrahim Ghasempour, Mehdi Asgarkhani and Andranik Eskandarian found their way into the senior squad at Team Melli.

Under his management of Iran national under-20 football team, Iran won the Asian Youth Championship for four consecutive years, while before his time the Youth Team had never won the Asian Championship. This achievement is a record that no other coach has been able to match. After this brilliant record with the youth team, Mohajerani was appointed as manager of Iran national under-23 football team and subsequently assistant coach to Irishman Frank O'Farrell at the senior team.

Iran manager

After former Manchester United head coach Frank O'Farrell left Iran national football team, Mohajerani, who was his assistant coach was named as the interim manager by the Iranian Football Federation on 10 August 1975. He began his work as manager of the team with a 3–0 win over Bahrain. Mohajerani's good results was continued with a win over Saudi Arabia and a 2–2 draw with Brazil national football team in a friendly match.

He was named as permanent manager of Iranian national team on 5 February 1976, months before 1976 AFC Asian Cup, hosting by Iran. His side defeated Kuwait in the final, with goal from Ali Parvin in 71st minute. This was Iran's third consecutive title in eight years, two other titles was won under Mahmoud Bayati and Mohammad Ranjbar. Shortly after winning Asian Cup, it was qualification for the 1976 Summer Olympics, held in Montreal which was the first time that Iran's football team participated in the tournament. Iran qualified for the next round as Group C runner-up after defeated Cuba and lost to group winner Poland. In the quarter-finals, Iran faced Soviet Union and lost 2–1. This is Iran's best finish at Olympic Games.

The pinnacle of Mohajerani's achievement however was the first ever success of Iran to the World Cup finals in Argentine 1978. Not only Iran was among the elite 16 teams of the World, under his astute coaching Iran managed to draw against the mighty Scotland team while performing gallantly against the eventual runners-up the Netherlands and lost the final match to Peru. After they returns to Iran, Mohajerani resigned as the manager of the team two months after the World Cup. It was with the same time that Iranian Revolution begins.


In 1979, Mohajerani was appointed as manager of UAE-based club Al-Shaab of Sharjah. After spending one good season with Al-Shaab which they finished third, their best league finish at that time, Mohajerani was named as head coach of United Arab Emirates national football team, replaced former England national football team manager Don Revie. At the time, he was also manager of United Arab Emirates's Olympic team. He led the team in 1980 AFC Asian Cup, which they were not qualificated from group stage. He also led UAE to a third place in the Gulf Cup of Nations in 1982. He left UAE national football team in 1984 after four years and was succeeded by Carlos Alberto Parreira.

He signed a contract with Al-Wahda, another UAE team after his contract expires with UAE national team. He was in charge of the team until 1986 for two years, won a domestic cup with the team.

Oman and Al-Ahli

Mohajerani returns to the management in 1992 with Oman national football team after six years. However, Mohajerani was unable at Omani national team to qualification for the AFC Asian Cup finals. He resigned two years later. In January 1998, Mohajerani signed a contract with Al-Ahli club of Doha. Al-Ahli finished the league in fifth place and reached the final match of Emir of Qatar Cup, which lost 4–3 to Al-Ittihad. They also missed Sheikh Jassem Cup next season, after defeated by Al-Wakrah in final. After the match, Mohajerani resigned from the team and announced his retirement from management.

Personal life

Mohajerani in 2006 in his house in Tehran

Mohajerani married Zari Sheikhan in 1969. The couple have two daughters, Ladan (born 1970) and Leili (born 1973). Leili is also a footballer, currently plays in a lower league club in Iran. Ladan is a tennis player. Mohajerani and his wife had lived twenty five years outside Iran (in Dubai, Qatar, United States and Canada). They returned to Iran in 2009.[2]

Other activities

Mohajerani owns many football academies in Dubai and Doha. He is also one of the board directors of Aboumoslem and also the club's academy president. From 2003 to 2005, Mohajerani was technical manager of United Arab Emirates' under-23 and under-20 football teams and also an advisor to the president of United Arab Emirates Football Association. He became team manager of Iran national football team under coach Afshin Ghotbi in 2009 but he resigned just after three months. He was also technical advisor to the Esteghlal manager Parviz Mazloomi in 2010.

Gerd Azin Academy

In 2010, Mohajerani opened a youth academy in Tehran with the name of Gerd Azin, associated with Steel Azin. At the next years, he established the same academies in his hometown Mashhad and Shiraz.

Managerial statistics

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Iran U-20 Iran January 1971 February 1976 35 26 7 2 74.29
Iran U-23 Iran March 1972 August 1975 10 8 2 0 80.00
Iran Iran August 1975 September 1978 28 15 7 6 53.57
Al-Shaab United Arab Emirates July 1979 July 1980 30 19 6 5 63.33
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates July 1980 December 1984 26 10 4 12 38.46
Al-Wahda United Arab Emirates December 1984 June 1986 52 34 10 8 65.38
Oman Oman May 1992 June 1994 11 3 5 3 27.27
Al-Ahli Qatar January 1998 May 1999 38 21 10 7 55.26
Total 217 126 48 43 58.06


Playing honours


Managerial honours

Iran U-20


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