COACH – Carlos Queiroz
BEST SHOWING Group Stage 1978, 1998, 2006
QUALIFICATION – Winner of AFC Final Stage Group A
TOURNAMENT ODDS – 3000/1 (Ladbrokes)
June 16th – Nigeria (2000 BST, Curitiba, BBC)
June 21st – Argentina (1700 BST, Belo Horizonte, ITV)
June 25th – Bosnia (1700 BST, Porto Alegre, ITV)


Button Argentina Button Bosnia Button Nigeria


Carlos Queiroz had a miserable time as Portugal’s head coach and when he was appointed as Iran’s coach things were little easier. The political climate made it tough for him to arrange friendlies to look at his players but he slowly moulded his team into a cohesive unit and secured the Iranians’ qualification by topping a qualification group that contained the traditional Asian powerhouse South Korea.

Going into the tournament Iran are ranked as Asia’s number one side and will be looking to add to their solitary World Cup win over the USA in 1998.

Queiroz’s eye for detail and coaching has been beneficial to the Iranians and he’s brought players from the Iranian diaspora into the fold and who will be organised, tough to break down and can hit on the counter attack.

Long time Iranian ‘keeper Mehdi Rahmati has been exiled by Queiroz and been replaced by Rahman Ahmadi. He played well in a crucial win in qualification over South Korea but hardly inspires confidence.

The defence is an experienced unit – Ehsan Hajsafi already possesses over 50 Iranian caps despite being 24, he should start at left back. Steven Beitashour, who turned down the USA to play for Iran, could play on the other flank with Khosro Heydari providing competition.

Jalal Hosseini and Amir Sadeghi could be the pairing at centre-back.

The midfield also have experience with captain Javed Nekounam and ex-Dingle Andranik Teymourian providing it. Masoud Shojaei and Ashkan Dejagah should play on the wings.

Up front it’ll be Charlton’s Reza Ghoochannejhad. He hasn’t shone for the Addicks but has struck nine goals in 13 internationals for the Iranians.


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06 WORLD CUP BEITASHOURBorn in America, Beitashour is another player with Iranian heritage that Queiroz has called up to the side. Drafted in 2010 by San Jose, Beitashour was named an MLS All Star in 2012.

He can play a part in the Iranian counter attacking game with his knack of getting forward and setting up more than his fair share of goals.

He’s also comfortable on the defensive end of things and is part of an Iranian backline that can frustrate more talented opposition.


3000/1 outsiders, Iran have only won one game in three World Cup appearances but they come in this time with a bit of confidence.

Queiroz has transformed them into one of the best teams in Asia and he’s given his team a siege mentality. He’ll use their underdog status as motivation and tactically he’ll make them a difficult team to beat.

The problem is their talent doesn’t match up to the other teams in the group. Good organisation, motivation and tactics will take you some way and Iran will frustrate their opponents but I can’t see them being good enough to hold out against the other talent in the group.

They’ll have passionate backing, they’ll frustrate a lot of teams but the bottom line is their talent won’t take them through.


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Out in the groups for the fourth time.

world cup Brasil emblem 01

Danny (D-Good)
Owls Alive
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @DGood83

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