Team Melli Benefitting From Legionnaires

Karim - Ehsan - Masood

Financial Tribune - Iranian football legionnaire (player at a foreign club), Ehsan Haj-Safi of the Greek team Panionios F.C. finalized his move to top Greek club Olympiacos F.C. on Saturday as the first winter transfer of the team.

According to Varzesh3, the value of the contract is said to be $960,000. Panionios and Olympiacos are currently holding the fifth and first places in Greece Superleague respectively.

Founded in 1925, Olympiacos is the most successful club in Greek football history. It has won 44 Greek League titles, 27 Greek Cups and 4 Greek Super Cups (which make a total of 75 national titles).

Playing for Team Melli since 2009, Haj-Safi, 27, is regarded as a utility player, being able to play as the left midfielder, left-back, defensive midfielder and winger.

In 2009, he was selected by Goal.com as the most promising player in Asian football. He has represented Iran at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. He has also played for Sepahan of Iran at the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup.

Four days ago, Haj-Safi’s Iranian teammate in Panionios, Masoud Shojaei, made another move in the Greece Superleague to AEK Athens which sits in the second place of the league table as of December 30.

Established in Athens in 1924, AEK has become one of the three most successful teams in Greek football (plus Olympiakos and Panathinaikos), winning 30 national titles.

Another Iranian footballer playing in Greece is forward Karim Ansarifard who joined the Olympiacos in January 2017.

After playing for Panionios for two years, Ansarifard signed a three-year contract with Olympiacos for $480,000.

Haj-Safi and Ansarifard’s transfers to Olymiacos and Shojaei’s move to AEK have occurred following the players’ remarkable performances which benefits their new clubs as well as Team Melli.

Playing for top level clubs, they will be better prepared for Team Melli as Iran will play in the FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup finals in less than five months and hopes are high for it to pass through the group stage and reach the round of 16 for the first time.

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