Esteghlal Football Club (Persian:باشگاه فوتبال استقلال , meaning independence) until 1979 known as Taj Football Club (Persian: تاج, meaning Crown) is an Iranian professional football club based in Tehran that plays in the Persian Gulf Pro League. Esteghlal F.C. is the football club of the multisport Esteghlal Athletic and Cultural Club (Persian: باشگاه فرهنگی ورزشی استقلال تهران).
Founded by General Khosravani, in 1945, the name of the club was first changed to Taj (Persian: تاج) which means “Crown” in Persian. The name of the club was finally modified into Esteghlal (Persian: استقلال) which is the current name of the club, meaning “Independence”, subsequent to the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
In 1970, under the management of Zdravko Rajkov, Esteghlal Tehran became the first Iranian football club to win the Asian Club Championship.
They have won several official titles on the national and international stage since 1970, including eight Iranian League (1st tier) titles and a record 6 Hazfi Cups.
There are two golden stars above the team’s official badge to represent winning two first titles in the Asian Club Championship 1970 and 1990. Esteghlal also has two second titles in 1991, 1998 and two third titles in 1971, 2001. With seven appearances in the semi finals, Esteghlal is third successful club in AFC Champions League after Pohang Steelers and Al-Hilal FC.