Behrang Safari

Behrang Safari (Persian: بهرنگ صفری, Persian pronunciation: [behræŋɡ sæfæriː]; born 9 February 1985) is a Swedish professional footballer who plays as a defender for Malmö FF in the Allsvenskan and previously for the Swedish national team.[1]

Behrang Safari
Safari warming up for Basel in 2011
Personal information
Full name Behrang Safari
Date of birth (1985-02-09) 9 February 1985
Place of birth Tehran, Iran
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Left-back, centre-back
Club information
Current team
Malmö FF
Number 4
Youth career
1992–2001 Lunds SK
2001–2004 Malmö FF
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2008 Malmö FF 59 (2)
2008–2011 Basel 94 (1)
2011–2013 Anderlecht 44 (0)
2013–2016 Basel 64 (0)
2016– Malmö FF 69 (1)
National team
2008–2013 Sweden 31 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 November 2019

Early life

Behrang Safari emigrated to Sweden as a two-year-old from Tehran, Iran, with his family. They settled in the small town of Höganäs, and later moved to Lund when he was five.[2]

Career

Malmö FF

Safari came through the ranks at Malmö FF and played his first game in the Allsvenskan in July 2004 when he came on as a substitute. He made his UEFA debut in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup on 19 June 2004 against Cork City F.C..[3] He won the Allsvenskan in his first season and became a first-team regular the following season.[4]

FC Basel

On 15 June 2008, Malmö announced that Safari had been sold to FC Basel in Switzerland.[5] This was confirmed one day later by FCB Online.[6] He made his Basel debut on 23 July 2008 in a 1–0 win over Grasshopper Club Zürich at St. Jakob-Park. He played his first European game in a Basel shirt on 30 July 2008 in a 1–1 Champions League qualifying match draw against IFK Göteborg at Ullevi. He scored his first goal for Basel in the 4–0 home win against BSC Young Boys on 7 February 2010. Safari won the double with Basel in 2010 and the Swiss national championship again in 2011.[7] He played 94 league games for Basel during his three-year contract.

Anderlecht

On 30 May 2011, Behrang signed a contract for the Belgian club Anderlecht. He had his debut for Anderlecht on 29 July 2011 in the 2–1 away defeat against Oud-Heverlee Leuven. He played his first European game for the team in the Europa League qualifying away win against Bursaspor in the Bursa Atatürk Stadium on 18 August 2011.[8] He won the league in his first season with Anderlecht.

Return to Basel

After Safari's return to Basel, he featured in their 2013-14 Champions League campaign.[9] At the end of the 2013–14 Super League season Safari won his third league championship with Basel.[10] They also reached the final of the 2013–14 Swiss Cup, but were beaten 2–0 by Zürich after extra time. During the 2013–14 Champions League season Basel reached the group stage and finished the group in third position. Thus they qualified for Europa League knockout phase and here they advanced as far as the quarter-finals.

The next season, Safari started for Basel as a left back where they made it to the knockout stages of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League.[11] He also won the 2014–15 Swiss Super League, his sixth consecutive league title and seventh overall. Safari and his Basel teammates attended a charity event in June 2015.[12] He continued in the left back position the following season in the Champions League, Europa League and Swiss Super League.

The season 2014–15 was a successful one for Safari and for his club Basel. The championship was won for the sixth time in a row that season[13] and in the 2014–15 Swiss Cup they reached the final. But for the third season in a row, they finished as runners-up, losing 0–3 to FC Sion in the final. Basel entered the Champions League in the group stage and reached the knockout phase as on 9 December 2014 they managed a 1–1 draw at Anfield against Liverpool.[14] But then Basel lost to Porto in the Round of 16. Basel played a total of 65 matches (36 Swiss League fixtures, 6 Swiss Cup, 8 Champions League and 15 test matches). Under trainer Paulo Sousa, Safari totaled 41 appearances, 24 League, 2 Cup, 7 Champions League, as well as 13 in test games. Safari scored 1 goal in these matches during a friendly game against FC Schaffhausen.[15]

Under trainer Urs Fischer Safari won the Swiss Super League championship at the end of the 2015–16 Super League season for the fifth time with Basel. For the club it was the seventh title in a row and their 19th championship title in total.[16]

Return to Malmö FF

On 18 January 2016 it was announced that Safari would return to Malmö FF when his contract with FC Basel expired at the end of the 2015–16 season. Safari signed a contract with Malmö that extends over the 2020 season and allows him to join the team halfway through the 2016 season.[17] He scored a goal in the Allsvenskan on 11 April 2017 against GIF Sundsvall and was named vice-captain after Markus Rosenberg. He won his tenth league title after winning the 2017 Allsvenskan, making Zlatan Ibrahimović the only Swede with more league titles.[18] Safari became a regular starter for MFF as they qualified for the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League on 30 August 2018.[19]

International

Safari was called up to the Swedish national team for their friendly match tour in January 2008.[20] He played in all of the matches, which were a 1–0 win over Costa Rica, a 2–0 defeat to the United States, and a 0–0 draw with Turkey. During his debut game against Costa Rica, Safari set up the only goal of the game with a cross to Samuel Holmén, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net.[21]

Safari featured in Sweden's Euro 2012 qualifiers and was called up to their Euro 2012 squad by manager Erik Hamrén.[22]

Style of play

Safari has been praised for his crosses and ability to adapt to both defensive and attacking roles on the left side of play.[23][24]

Outside football

Sponsorship

Safari is outfitted by German sportswear manufacturer Puma.[25][26]

Career statistics

Club

As of 11 November 2019[27][28]
Club Season League Cup Continental Total
DivisionAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Malmö FF 2004 Allsvenskan 30001040
2005 30101050
2006 18220202
2007 24010250
2008 11010120
Total 5925020662
FC Basel 2008–09 Swiss Super League 3405090480
2009–10 32130100451
2010–11 28000120400
Total 941803101331
Anderlecht 2011–12 Belgian Pro League 2401090340
2012–13 2004050290
Total 44050140630
FC Basel 2013–14 Swiss Super League 21030100340
2014–15 2502070340
2015–16 18010110300
Total 64060280980
Malmö FF 2016 Allsvenskan 11000110
2017 2111000221
2018 21060130400
2019 16020141321
Total 691902711052
Career total 330433010214655

International

As of 31 May 2016[27]
National teamYearAppsGoals
Sweden 200850
200970
201080
201130
201260
201320
Total310

Honours

Malmö FF

Basel

Anderlecht

See also

References

  1. "Swedish Iranians Fan Thread". PersianFootball.com. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  2. http://www.sydsvenskan.se/sport/fotboll/mff/behrang-safari-gar-till-schweiziska-basel/
  3. http://www.uefa.com/teamsandplayers/players/player=94009/profile/index.html
  4. http://www.expressen.se/sport/malmo-saljer-behrang-safari-till-schweiz/
  5. "Behrang Safari lämnar Malmö FF". Archived from the original on 16 October 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  6. "FCB verpflichtet mit Gelabert und Safari zwei neue Spieler" (in German). FC Basel 1893. 2008. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  7. "Basel snatch Swiss title from Young Boys". UEFA.com. UEFA. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  8. "Bursaspor Anderlecht lineups". uefa.com. 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  9. http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/clubs/player=94009/index.html
  10. Grossenbacher, Sacha (2014). "Fotos vom Spiel gegen Lausanne sowie den anschliessenden Feierlichkeiten" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 18 May 2014.
  11. http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2015/clubs/player=94009/index.html
  12. "Charity from Behrang Safari with FC Basel Players - Style - 03-06-2015 - Basel". goalgetter.tv. 3 June 2015. Archived from the original on 14 January 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  13. Marti, Caspar (2015). "Der Meisterfreitag im bunten Zeitraffer" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  14. "Liverpool 1 Basel 1". BBC Sport. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  15. Zindel, Josef (2015). Rotblau: Jahrbuch Saison 2015/2016. FC Basel Marketing AG. ISBN 978-3-7245-2050-4.
  16. Marti, Casper (2016). "Es ist vollbracht ! Der FCB ist zum 19. Mal Meister". FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  17. "Välkommen tillbaka till Malmö FF, Behrang Safari". Malmö FF. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  18. https://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/fotboll/a/VRpbOl/han-jagar-zlatans-rekord-i-ligaguld
  19. https://www.fotbollskanalen.se/europa-league/mff-seger-i-danmark---klart-for-europa-league-gruppspel/
  20. "Behrang Safari om landslagsplatsen och ryktena". svenskafans.com. Archived from the original on 30 December 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  21. "Guidetti ruled out of Hamrén's Sweden squad". UEFA.com. 14 May 2012.
  22. http://www.goal.com/en/news/1549/rest-of-europe/2011/05/31/2511417/swedish-international-behrang-safari-joins-rsc-anderlecht-on
  23. http://www.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2009/12/16/1691773/player-ratings-basel-2-3-fulham
  24. http://www.get.voetbalnieuws.be/news/37863/alleen-safari-kiest-voor-puma-bij-anderlecht
  25. https://www.resume.se/nyheter/artiklar/2009/02/11/pumas-guldgossar/
  26. "Behrang Safari". soccerway.com. Soccerway. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  27. "Spelade matcher". mff.se (in Swedish). Malmö FF. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  28. "Anderlecht hold off Zulte Waregem to seal title". UEFA.com. 19 May 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
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