By Farrokh Hesabi

Persepolis still hungry to win more

August 1, 2021 - 20:10

TEHRAN - Persepolis have won Iran Professional League (IPL) title for a fifth consecutive season. It’s an unprecedented record of league dominance for Iran’s top flight, however the team are still hungry to win more titles.

In fact, Persepolis did what Persepolis do! This absolutely sounds perfect for the Reds as they have won seventh titles of IPL in total and fifth in a row.

The Iranian giants club clinched their record-extending fifth consecutive title on Friday after beating Peykan 2-0.

When considering some of the major factors that have helped Persepolis maintain their dominance in Iranian football, one name that immediately comes to mind is Branko Ivankovic.

The Croatian tactician created the basis of success for the Tehran-based club when he took over in 2015 and won three out of the five consecutive league trophies for the Reds.

Ivankovic raised the bar for next Persepolis’ coaches. However, Yahya Golmohammadi, the current head coach, could handle the challenge in the best way possible and continued in the path that Branko had already started. Yahya now has forged a reputation as one of Iran’s best new generation coaches.

Another name for the Persepolis club is Jalal Hosseini. The Titan of Iranian football is now at the age of 39 and still playing for the Reds at the highest level, with the unparalleled power of team leadership on the pitch. In a sense, the veteran has become Persepolis’ figurehead.  The defender was a piece of power, quality, and technique in all the five successive titles for Persepolis.

Solid defense was a key to Persepolis’ winning factor. The team has a good goalkeeper, Hamed Lak. Still, the defenders such as Hossein Kananizadegan, Saeid Aghaei, Mehdi Shiri, Farshad Faraji, and even Vahid Amiri and Siamak Nemati, and the “team defense” in general, made a solid defending wall for the team this year.

Persepolis was also one of the most attacking teams in the IPL, and with scoring 47 goals, they had the second top offensive line in the league.

Sepahan were a strong and hard-working opponent for Persepolis in the title race until the last week of the league, but Golmohammadi’s side were fully deserved to win the title.  They are quite clearly head and shoulders above their rivals, and after a tough start to the season, they hit the top and looked unstoppable till the end of the league.

Persepolis finished the 20th edition of the IPL with 67 points, two points above Sepahan. Esteghlal came third with 56 points.