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Reza Ghoochannejhad
Reza Ghoochannejhad in 2014.jpg
Ghoochannejhad in 2014
Personal information
Full name Reza Ghoochannejhad Nournia
Date of birth 20 September 1987 (1987-09-20) (age 34)
Place of birth Mashhad, Iran
Height 1.80 m
Playing position Striker
Youth career
LAC Frisia 1883
Cambuur
1998–2005 SC Heerenveen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2009 SC Heerenveen 2 (0)
2006–2007 → Go Ahead Eagles (loan) 13 (4)
2009 → FC Emmen (loan) 12 (1)
2009–2010 Go Ahead Eagles 10 (6)
2010–2011 Cambuur 37 (15)
2011–2013 Sint-Truiden 32 (17)
2013–2014 Standard Liège 8 (1)
2014–2016 Charlton Athletic 38 (3)
2014–2015 → Al-Kuwait (loan) 10 (7)
2015 → Al-Wakrah (loan) 9 (2)
2016–2018 SC Heerenveen 67 (27)
2018–2019 APOEL 10 (2)
2019 Sydney FC (loan) 10 (1)
2019–2021 PEC Zwolle 34 (13)
National team
2003 Netherlands U16 1 (0)
2003–2004 Netherlands U17 4 (0)
2005 Netherlands U18 1 (0)
2006–2007 Netherlands U19 3 (1)
2012–2018 Iran 44 (17)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:00, 26 May 2021 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11:45, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

Reza Ghoochannejhad Nournia (Persian: رضا قوچان‌نژاد نورنیا, born 20 September 1987) is a professional footballer who last played for Dutch side PEC Zwolle as a forward. He is also known as Gucci in Belgium and Netherlands, having played for Dutch national youth teams and the Iranian national team.

Ghoochannejhad represented Iran at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. He is the eighth-highest all-time goalscorer for Iran with 17 international goals.

Early life

Ghoochannejhad was born in Mashhad, Iran, and emigrated to the Netherlands at the age of four.

Club career

Heerenveen

Ghoochannejhad spent twelve years in the Eredivisie side Heerenveen's academy, rising through the ranks at Leeuwarden clubs LAC Frisia 1883 and Cambuur, before making his senior Heerenveen debut against AZ Alkmaar in 2006.

In the summer of 2009, Ghoochannejhad folded his contract with Heerenveen due to his focus on his academic studies at the Vrije University of Amsterdam, studying jurisprudence and political theory. After meeting Marc Overmars, Ghoochannejhad was convinced to sign for the Go Ahead Eagles.

Cambuur

In his first game for Cambuur, on 22 January 2010 against BV Veendam, he scored his first goal after nine seconds for his new team, tying Johan Cruyff's record for the fastest goal in the Netherlands. During his time at Cambuur, he also played as a winger. On 14 February 2011, Ghoochannejhad scored a hat trick against FC Emmen.

Sint-Truiden

In June 2011, Ghoochannejhad transferred to Sint-Truiden, scoring his first goal in the Belgian Pro League against Club Brugge.

Standard Liège

On 31 August 2012, Sint-Truiden came to an agreement with Standard Liège. Ghoochannejhad joined Standard Liège in January 2013 after signing a three-and-a-half-year deal, while scoring 10 goals in 12 matches in the half-season he remained with Sint-Truiden. The following season, he represented Liège in the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League.

Charlton Athletic

On 30 January 2014, Ghoochannejhad joined Championship side Charlton Athletic on a two-and-a-half-year deal, becoming the second Iranian after Karim Bagheri to play for the Addicks. On 1 February, he made his first appearance for Charlton in a 2–1 defeat away to Wigan Athletic, where he played the full 90 minutes and hit the bar with a shot on goal in the first half. He made his FA Cup debut in a 2–1 fifth round win at Sheffield Wednesday on 24 February. He scored his first goal on 1 April in a 1–0 league win at Leeds United.

Al-Kuwait (loan)

On 6 August 2014, Ghoochannejhad joined Al-Kuwait on a season-long loan deal. On 15 August, he made his debut as a substitute against Qadsia SC in the Kuwait Super Cup. On 26 August, he scored his first goal in the 2014 AFC Cup against Persipura Jayapura. He scored his first league goal for the club on 30 August in a 1–1 draw against Al Jahra. On 12 September, he scored 4 goals in an 8–1 win over Al-Sahel. He then scored a hat trick in 14 minutes in another game for Al-Kuwait. Ghoochannejhad scored 11 goals in 10 league matches with the club.

Al-Wakrah (loan)

In February 2015, Ghoochannejhad signed a four-month loan deal with Qatar Stars League club Al-Wakrah. He scored his first goal on 27 February 2015 against Umm Salal. Al-Wakrah escaped relegation on the last day and Ghoochannejhad's loan deal expired at the end of the season.

Return to Charlton

In the summer of 2015, Ghoochannejhad announced he would be returning to Charlton Athletic for the 2015–16 season. He scored his first goal of the season in a 4–1 League Cup victory against League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge. He scored his first league goal of the season on 7 November 2015 in a 3–1 win against Sheffield Wednesday. He was released by the south London club on Thursday 19 May 2016 following the end of the 2015–16 season. In total, Ghoochannejhad made 42 appearances in all competitions, scoring five goals. He left the club after they got relegated.

Return to Heerenveen

On 22 June 2016, Ghoochannejhad returned to former club Heerenveen with a two-year contract, In his first friendly match with the club he scored twice and also earned an assist. He scored his first and second goal for Heerenveen on 10 September 2016 in a 3–1 victory against Twente. He scored also twice in January 2017 in a match against ADO Den Haag, it was his second brace of the season and lifted Heerenveen to fourth place in the league. On 22 January 2017, Ghoochannejhad scored a hat-trick in a 4–3 loss against PSV Eindhoven. In the process he became the first ever Iranian to score a hat-trick in a top flight European league and became the first player to score a hat-trick away to PSV since the 1970s. He finished his first season at Eredivisie with 19 goals and became the third highest goalscorer and Heerenveen's 2016-17 player of the year and took place in Eredivisie 2016-17 team of the year. Ghoochannejhad did not continue his good work in his second season in Heerenveen and finished the season with 7 goals and became Heerenveen's top scorer.

APOEL

Ghoochannejhad signed for Cypriot First Division club APOEL on 23 July 2018 on a two-year contract. He played there for half of a season and scored two goals as well.

Sydney FC (loan)

Ghoochannejhad signed for A-League club Sydney FC on loan for six months on 31 January 2019. He made his debut on 8 February against the Brisbane Roar and became the first Iranian international in the A-League. He scored his first goal for the club on 1 March against Adelaide United.

He later scored the winning penalty in the 2019 A-League Grand Final and became the first Iranian to win the title in the Australian A-League.

PEC Zwolle

Ghoochannejhad joined Eredivisie side PEC Zwolle in September 2019. During his debut, after coming on to the pitch he did a poker against RKC Waalwijk and scored four goals for his team to earn the three points and he became the first Eredivisie player in history to score four goals after coming on as a substitute. And also the first Iranian to score four goals in one of the top European leagues.

On 22 January 2021, Ghoochannejhad scored three goals after coming on as substitute to make it 3–1 against Willem II and became the first player in the history of the Eredivisie to achieve a hat-trick twice as a substitute.

International career

Iran vs. Angola 2014-05-30 (190)
Ghoochannejhad during a match against Angola in 2014
Iran vs. Argentina match, 2014 FIFA World Cup 15
Ghoochannejhad shaking hands with Argentinian players before 2014 FIFA World Cup Group match

Ghoochannejhad represented the Netherlands from 2003 to 2007, having played for the Netherlands national under-19 football team. After being invited to the Iranian national team by coach Carlos Queiroz, he made his senior national team debut on 16 October 2012 in Iran's 1–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier victory against South Korea, while scoring his first two goals in his third international cap against Lebanon in a 5–0 Asian Cup qualifier win. On 4 June 2013, Ghoochannejhad scored the lone goal in a World Cup qualifier against Qatar. Days later, he scored against Lebanon in a 4–0 win. He scored the winning goal again in the next match, a 1–0 win against South Korea. This led to Iran's qualification at the top of their group for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

His goal-scoring streak continued, scoring in each of the Asian Cup qualifying matches against Thailand and Lebanon to secure Iran's spot in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup as well as becoming the top scorer of the qualifiers and bringing his tally to six goals in six consecutive competitive international matches. Ghoochannejhad scored on 5 March 2014 against Guinea in a friendly to bring his record to seven goals in seven matches with a total of nine goals in eleven matches.

On 1 June 2014, Ghoochannejhad was called into Iran's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad by Carlos Queiroz. On 25 June 2014, he scored Iran's only goal of the tournament in the 3–1 defeat against Bosnia and Herzegovina. He became the first ever Charlton Athletic player to score at a FIFA World Cup.

On 30 December 2014, Ghoochannejhad was called into Iran's 2015 AFC Asian Cup squad. He scored the only goal in the team's final group stage match against the United Arab Emirates, ensuring Team Melli qualified from Group C in first place. In the quarter-final match against Iraq, Ghoochannejhad scored Iran's third equalizer in the 119th minute as they drew 3–3 at Canberra Stadium and were eventually defeated 7–6 in a penalty shootout.

Reza Ghoochannejhad Iran I1
Ghoochannejhad with Iran in 2017

On 1 September 2016, Ghoochannejhad scored a stoppage time winner in a 2–0 victory against Qatar in the final round of Asian World Cup Qualifying.

In May 2018 he was named in Iran's preliminary squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, but not played any minutes in the tournament. On 27 June 2018, Ghoochannejhad announced his retirement from international football on his Instagram.

Style of play

Ghoochannejhad has been praised mostly for his sense of goal scoring and also his ability to find the right spot in attacking situations. He has been compared to Iranian legend Khodadad Azizi.

Outside football

Ghoochannejhad can speak at least four languages including English, Dutch, French and Persian as his mother tongue and he understands German too, he has said that he has also learned Italian and Portuguese. He is keen on playing musical instruments and he can play violin.

Personal life

Ghoochannejhad is the son of Jalal and Mahin Ghoochannejhad. His uncle, Jabar Ghoochannejhad, is a volleyball coach in Iranian Volleyball Super League. Ghoochannejhad married Sarvin Bayat, sister of Iranian actress Sareh Bayat on 30 March 2016 in a private ceremony held in Imam Reza mosque. The couple have a son named Doran (born 29 January 2018).

He said that he has been a long time supporter of his home town football club, Aboomoslem, in his interview.

Career statistics

Club

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Heerenveen 2005–06 Eredivisie 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2006–07 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007–08 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008–09 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Go Ahead Eagles (loan) 2006–07 Eerste Divisie 13 4 0 0 2 0 15 4
FC Emmen (loan) 2008–09 Eerste Divisie 12 1 0 0 0 0 12 1
Go Ahead Eagles 2009–10 Eerste Divisie 10 6 2 1 0 0 12 7
Cambuur 2009–10 Eerste Divisie 13 2 0 0 1 0 14 2
2010–11 24 13 1 1 2 0 27 14
Total 37 15 1 1 0 0 3 0 41 16
Sint-Truiden 2011–12 Pro League 22 11 2 1 1 0 25 12
2012–13 Second Division 10 6 3 3 0 0 13 9
Total 32 17 5 4 0 0 1 0 38 21
Standard Liège 2012–13 Pro League 7 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 9 3
2013–14 1 1 1 1 7 0 0 0 9 2
Total 8 1 1 1 7 0 2 3 18 5
Charlton Athletic 2013–14 Championship 15 1 2 0 0 0 17 1
2014–15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015–16 23 2 1 1 1 1 25 4
Total 38 3 3 1 0 0 1 1 42 5
Kuwait SC (loan) 2014–15 Kuwaiti Premier League 10 7 1 0 2 1 1 0 14 8
Al-Wakrah (loan) 2014–15 Qatar Stars League 9 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 2
Heerenveen 2016–17 Eredivisie 34 19 4 2 1 1 39 22
2017–18 33 8 1 1 2 1 36 10
Total 67 27 5 3 0 0 3 2 75 32
APOEL 2018–19 First Division 10 2 1 0 3 0 0 0 14 2
Sydney FC (loan) 2018–19 A-League 10 1 0 0 6 0 1 0 17 1
PEC Zwolle 2019–20 Eredivisie 13 7 1 0 0 0 14 7
2020–21 21 6 1 0 0 0 22 6
Total 34 13 2 0 0 0 36 13
Career total 292 99 21 11 18 1 14 6 345 117

International

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Iran 2012 3 0
2013 8 8
2014 8 3
2015 10 2
2016 5 4
2017 6 0
2018 4 0
Total 44 17
Scores and results list Iran's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Ghoochannejhad goal.
List of international goals scored by Reza Ghoochannejhad
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 6 February 2013 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Lebanon 1–0 5–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
2 4–0
3 4 June 2013 Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha, Qatar  Qatar 1–0 1–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
4 11 June 2013 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Lebanon 3–0 4–0
5 18 June 2013 Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium, Ulsan, South Korea  Korea Republic 1–0 1–0
6 15 October 2013 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Thailand 2–0 2–1 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
7 15 November 2013 Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand  Thailand 2–0 3–0
8 19 November 2013 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut, Lebanon  Lebanon 4–0 4–1
9 5 March 2014 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Guinea 1–2 1–2 Friendly
10 8 June 2014 CT Joaquim Grava, São Paulo, Brazil  Trinidad and Tobago 2–0 2–0
11 25 June 2014 Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1–2 1–3 2014 FIFA World Cup
12 19 January 2015 Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane, Australia  United Arab Emirates 1–0 1–0 2015 AFC Asian Cup
13 23 January 2015 Canberra Stadium, Canberra, Australia  Iraq 3–3 3–3
14 1 September 2016 Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran  Qatar 1–0 2–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
15 10 November 2016 Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam, Malaysia  Papua New Guinea 5–1 8–1 Friendly
16 6–1

Honours

Club

SC Heerenveen

APOEL FC

Sydney FC

International

Individual

  • The first Iranian to ever score a hat-trick in a match at top European league.
  • The first player to score a hat-trick in PSV Eindhoven stadium since the 1970s.
  • The first Iranian to ever score 4 goals (POKER) in a match at top European league.
  • Scoring the fastest goal in the Dutch league in the 9th second.
  • The first and the only Iranian to win the A-League title.
  • The first and the only player to score 4 goals after coming on as a substitute in Eredivisie history.
  • Taking place in Eredivisie team of the season 2016–17.
  • Elected as SC Heerenveen player of the year in 2016–17.
  • The first Iranian to score 19 goals in one season at a European league.
  • The first ever Charlton Athletic player to score at a FIFA World Cup.
  • The first and only player in Eredivisie history to score a hat-trick twice as a substitute.
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