Ehsan Hajsafi: The captain of Iran in the World Cup 2022

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ESPN Argentina – BUENOS AIRES, At 17, Ehsan Hajsafi established himself as a starter at Sepahan SC and played in the Club World Cup in 2007. From that moment, he stood out as one of the best Iranian soccer players and consolidated an international career that places him among the greatest symbols in the history of the Iranian National Team. In Qatar, he will play his third World Cup.

He went through all the youth team levels: U-17, U-20, and U-23s. Although he often had an advantage due to age, he was the leader in each of the junior squads. 

In May 2008, at the age of 18, he played his first official game for the senior team. He was a big figure in the 3-2 victory over Zambia and provided two assists. A few days later he made his debut at the 2010 South Africa Qualifiers. He has never left the national team since.

After standing out as one of the best young players, top assister, and best defender in the Iranian League, he aroused the interest of several European teams and in 2015 he was signed by FSV Frankfurt, of the German second division. There he had continuity, but the decline of his team forced him to return to Sepahan for a year. But he soon returned to Europe, and in 2017 he arrived in Panionios in Greece, the country where he was able to establish himself.

After a stint at Greek giants Olympiakos, he returned to Iran to play for Tractor and Sepahan. In 2021, he returned to Greece to join his current club, AEK Athens. In the last season, he started and showed a good level, just a few months before the World Cup, which is his main objective.

Hajsafi plays as a left-back but has played as a defensive midfielder on several occasions. His leadership ability is essential for the team that will play the World Cup in Qatar. In Carlos Queiroz’s long cycle as Iran coach, he became an emblem of Team Melli and with Dragan Skočić he has maintained his importance.

At 32, he has 119 caps and is the fourth most capped player in the history of the national team. He started all three matches in Brazil 2014, and repeated this in Russia 2018, where he was also captain. His experience makes him one of the strongholds of the team that will be looking to strike in Group B against England, the USA, and Wales.

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