The Persian team wants to surprise the three English-speakers and give the bell
The Iranian soccer team will play in Qatar for the sixth World Cup in its history: the third in a row. And it is no secret that the South Asian country has grown a lot at a football level in recent years, which is why it has once again planted itself in a World Cup.
Soccer players like Javad Nekounam, Ali Daei, Ali Karimi or Masoud Shojaei (the first and the last, by the way, played in LaLiga with Osasuna) were, in recent years, forging the foundations of a team, that of ‘The Princes of Persia ‘, who dreams of continuing to surprise in Qatar.
Iran, looking for the surprise
Now Omid Noorafkan, Majid Hosseini, Saeid Ezatolahi, Ahmad Nourollahi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and company have picked up the baton from their predecessors. And the forwards Mehdi Taremi and Sardar Azmoun, props of Porto and Bayer Leverkusen, respectively, and who are the two great stars of their team, led since last September by the Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, former coach of Real Madrid.
In it, its two goalkeepers also shine: Amir Abedzadeh (known in Spain for being the guardian of Ponferradina) and Alireza Beiranvand, who holds the Guinness World Record for throwing the ball with his hand: no less than 61 metres. All of them, under the accurate guidance of the great captain, Ehsan Hajsafi (almost 120 games with Iran), have formed a block full of enthusiasm for getting out of the group stage for the first time in their history. Only time will tell if they manage to do it. Opposite, they have three great rivals: the English-speaking Group B, which are England, Wales and the United States. But the illusion of the Persians is enormous.
This is Group B of the Qatar 2022 World Cup
How it arrives
Iran qualified for the 2022 Qatar World Cup directly, as the first classified in Group A in the Asian phase. With eight wins, one draw and only one loss (to South Korea) in ten games, Dragan Skocic’s boys finished first with 25 points to Korea’s 23. Earlier, they also swept the preliminary stage, beating Hong Kong, Bahrain, Cambodia and Iraq.
Matches, rivals, results and classification
The Iranian team has a complicated ballot in the World Cup. ‘The Princes of Persia’ have been framed in Group B, along with England, Wales and the United States. But they trust their chances and believe in the goal of going to the round of 16. They premiere on November 21, against England, at 2:00 p.m. Spanish time. Then they face Wales, on November 25, at 11:00; while they close the group stage on the 29th, at 8:00 p.m., against the ‘Yankee’ team.
Eleven type (1-4-1-4-1): Alireza/Amir; Moharrami, Kanaani/Noorafkan, Hosseini, Hajsafi; Ezatolahi; Jahanbakhsh, Ali Gholizadeh, Nourollahi, Taremi; Azmoun
Players to watch, Mehdi Taremi
At 30 years old, the Porto striker has before him one of the most important appointments in his history. He has scored more than 50 goals with the ‘Dragons’ in the last two and a half seasons, and has scored more than 70 in the three years he has been in Europe. At 1’87 tall, he is a strong striker, with a great shot and a lot of power. But he also has speed and is very skilled with the ball at his feet: he has dribbling, vision of the game and a lot of quality passing. Thus, he is not just a mouse from the area to use, but he contributes much more.
Mehdi Taremi Iran
What’s more, in the national team he doesn’t usually play like a ‘nine’ to use, but he usually does it thrown to the band in that characteristic 1-4-1-4-1 of Iran, with Sardar Azmoun, the Leverkusen striker and the other great offensive stronghold of Iran, playing as reference above. Because Taremi, right footed, is a different striker, one of those who associate very well and adapt to everything. For this reason, he offers endless possibilities to the attack of his team, which he will command in Qatar. In addition, he arrives in top form: he is one of the top scorers in the current UEFA Champions League (with 5 goals) and has scored 13 goals in the first part of the season with Porto.
Young promise Allahyar Sayyadmanesh
The main future talent of Iranian football is already a reality. Allahyar Sayyadmanesh, a striker with an almost unpronounceable name and who, at only 21 years old, is one of the main promises of football in the Middle East. This summer, he signed for Hull City, of the English Championship (Second Division), who paid almost five million euros for his transfer to the historic Turkish Fenerbahce. The club, in that sense, that ‘took him out’ of Iran when he was only 18 years old.