Ricardo Sá Pinto who is the coach of Esteghlal

After some solid performances he attracted the attention of La Liga’s Real Sociedad, signing a four-year contract in July 1997 for a fee of 400 million pesetas, but was issued with a year-long worldwide suspension before making his debut.He scored in his first official game for his new club, a 3–3 home draw with Real Oviedo on 30 August 1998.