Carlos Queiroz announced the list of 24 players that will form Team Melli squad for the two friendly matches in Europe.
Iran will meet Chile in Austria in then on 31st March Sweden will host Team Melli for a friendly.
As usual, Queiroz has stuck to his tried and trusted names rather than current form. However, the selection of Masoud Hassanzadeh and Habib Gordani has created some glimmer of hope for the aspiring Iranian league players that all is not lost and their good standards and and efforts could be rewarded by Team Melli and will not be totally ignored by the Portuguese coach. Hassanzadeh in particular has been in exceptional form for Zob Ahan and his selection is merited on display and the goals he has scored. The players that keeps being picked for the team despite abysmal display is Karim Ansarifard who has played 12 matches (515 minutes) but has yet to score a goal or provide an assist since joining Osasuna in the second division of the La Liga.
Also missing and presumably for good for Team Melli, is the Sepahan’s winger Mohammadreza Khalatbary who seems to be in the blacklist of Queiroz. The ex-Zob Ahan and Persepolis winger seems to have hit top form with Sepahan this term and scoring freely, yet he is not as good as Anasrifard who is not even getting decent playing time in Spain!
It also seems that the short stint of Mehrdad Steven Beitashour , the Iranian-American is just about over with Team Melli. It was a very quick spell that lasted for short while. Beitashour has been ignored since the last selection in the FIFA World Cup 2014. Daniel Davari , the Iranian-German keeper is also facing the same fate as Beitashour and quickly going into oblivion.
The most significant absentee for the time being is Mehrdad Pooladi who has military service issue and somehow cannot play for Team Melli.
Carlos Queiroz , in a brief news conference at the headquarters of FFIRI , stated that these two matches are quite important for him as it is the last chance to evaluate the standard of his players before the commencement of the FIFA World Cup 2018 preliminaries. Such statement seems to be academic as Queiroz should have a pretty solid idea of the players that he keeps selecting in regular fashion and have been permanent fixtures in the Team Melli squad since he took over the reign of coaching the team.
Queiroz said that the players have been picked according to the their performances in the League!
“For Iran , the FIFA World Cup 2018 starts in 2015 with the qualifying rounds.” Queiroz added.
Veiled criticism of Kaffashian
On Azmoun and Jahanbakhsh , Queiroz said “ We need these two players in Team Melli. Everywhere else in the world, the National Team has the priority over other teams. These two matches are golden opportunity for us and have cost us nothing financially with the sponsorship deals and I intend to take full advantage.”
Ali Kaffashian has announced earlier that both these players will have to be available for Omid Team, despite Queiroz’s strong objection.
Queiroz took a swipe at his boss Ali Kaffashian and sarcastically dismissed his plan and announcement for the Italy match. “When the issue has not been properly addressed nor properly negotiated, one should not publically announce it and create false hope. I am sure that some of you want and hope to take a holiday in the Mediterranean, but if you don’t have money, you cannot claim the trip is canceled. The talk about Italy is nothing but this. ”
“Instead of spending US$ 1.5 million for the Italy game, we can arrange tow high profile friendly games with two teams. Such money can also be spent in the infra-structure of football where it is truly needed like training facilities, ground and beach soccer. (..)”
Queiroz then concluded “My question to you is. What was the benefit of playing Brazil except for destroying the morale of the players after conceding three goals” .
Truly a peculiar justification for not favoring to play against World Class teams like Italy from a coach who considers himself World Class and a master tactician! Queiroz has been known to favor playing against inferior oppositions such as Palestine , Mozambique , Tajikistan and teams way below Team Melli standard and reputation rather than high profile opponents.
War with FFIRI Secretary General looming!
To the surprise and delight of the media , Queiroz opened the subject of a private closed meeting in the FFIRI HQ.
Querioz , a character who never shies from bragging about his background and achievements , said “ I have a 33 years’ experience in football including competing in the World Cup and European Championships. Apparently though, there are some educated people here that know better than me! We had two meetings with Mr. Asadi, the new Secretary General of FFIRI . It was not my intention to speak about these issues, but what I heard from him , forces me to talk about.”
“ The meeting was carried in the presence of Kaffashian with objective of introduction of Mr. Asadi and reviewing future Team Melli plans. However , when I heard Asadi talk , it left me in shock.”
“ I have to say there is a wide gap of differences between me and the secretary general. It seems that I have not even reached his minimum acceptable standard. I need to give myself a few days grace period to go through all that discussion before I react to them.”
“Asadi claimed during the meeting that despite the enthusiasm that I have created around Team Melli and amongst the fans, I have not achieved anything of significance result or performance wise. I have not engaged in force in institution of new and young players to the team to replace the current aging generation, I have also failed to assist and support young coaches, in his opinion.”
“ I find such statements as an insult to my character and reputation. All he has done was to ruin my day and destroy my morale. That is not acceptable for me. I have demanded from Kaffashin to act (…) and do something about Asadi, else working in such environment is not healthy for me and makes my difficult job more like impossible,”
Queiroz then went on talking about the sacrifices that he has carried out for Team Melli’s sake. He went through loads of self-praising deeds, how he had to navigate through the constant difficulties, how he had to fight on several fronts and had to face the critics and several other hardships , just to be in the service of Team Melli. Now, a guy like Asadi is here to ruin all that by his attempt to hurt his morale and reputation.
Team Melli Squad
|13||HASSANZADEH , Masoud|