Ashkan Dejagah (born July 5, 1986 in Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian-born German footballer who plays for VfL Wolfsburg. He usually plays as a striker.
He made his pro debut against VfL Bochum
in the opening match of 2004–05, playing the last five minutes in a 2–2 home draw, in his only first team appearance that year, thus becoming the youngest player to ever play for the club since it was founded in 1892. In his three years at Hertha, he also played in the regional league, being the team's top scorer in 2005–06, with twelve goals in 23 appearances. Hertha's manager Falko Götz
showed continuous faith in him by gradually giving the youngster playing time in the Bundesliga, as well as three UEFA Cup
showdowns in 2005–06, playing the following season in the Intertoto Cup
against FC Moscow
. In 2007 he joined Wolfsburg.
In 2004 upon being called up to Germany's u-19 national team
, Dejagah managed to score an impressive seven goals in 15 international games, including a memorable two against the Netherlands
after his team was down 2–0. In 2005, he was invited to play for Germany's U-21, and was given the coveted nº10 shirt.
Dejagah has been suggested to play for Iran at international level rather than Germany, but claims to have never really considered it an option. Having played for Germany at the age of 21, he is not eligible anymore to play for any other country.
In October 2007, Dejagah refused to play an under-21 international match of Germany against Israel, citing “very personal reasons” and saying “everybody knows I am half Iranian”. Charlotte Knobloch, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and Ronald Pofalla, General Secretary of the Christian Democratic Union, demanded that Dejagah be excluded from Germany's national team. Dejagah confirmed in a Stern interview, that he only decided that way because of his family and not because of political, antisemitic or racist reasons. After a personal meeting of Dejagah with Theo Zwanziger, the president of the German Football Association, and national technical director Matthias Sammer, he convinced both of his personal reasons and was not excluded from Germany's national team.
- Dejagah has two tattoos on his right wrist one saying Ashkan in Persian and another saying Teheran in English, where he was born. He also has on his left wrist Berlin, where he was raised.