Month: March 2024

New players called to Team Melli


One of the most promising defenders of Iran. his physique, aerial ability, and tough tackling make him a defender with a bright future. Has already captained the U20 team.

AGE: 20 years
BORN: Ahvaz on 6th May 2003
Club|: Al Sadd -Qatar

arsha shakouri

Iran’s U17 keeper made his name in the FIFA U17 World Cup with some solid work. This is his first senior call however, with some stiff competition, he is one candidate for being out of the final list

AGE: 17 years
BORN: Tehran on 1st October 2006
Club: Esteghlal Tehran

Hossein Goudarzi

He was one of the fixed players of the Omid national team in the West Asia U23 Tournament, AFC Under-23 Championship qualifiers, and the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Playing with Shams Azar, he managed to score against Persepolis and Esteghlal in the league competetion.

AGE: 22 years
BORN: Broujard on 3rd May 2001
Club: Shams Azar

javad agaheipour

One of the most promising Started his senior career in his hometown of Rasht with Sepidroud before ending up in Ahvaz with Esteghlal. He has never played for Iran at the international level and this is his first-ever call to Team Melli

AGE: 24 years
BORN: Rasht on 6th December 1999
Club: Esteghlal Khuzestan

Mohammad Ghorbani

This young defensive midfielder has just transferred to the Russian League club Orenburg from Sepahan where he was building a good reputation,

AGE: 22 years
BORN: Arak on 21st May 2001
Club: Orenburg – Russia

mehdi limouchi

The 23-year-old attacker Limuchi played in Peykan. Ghashghaei Shiraz and Foolad Khuzestan. He is also a member of the Omid team

AGE: 23 years
BORN: Kazeroon on 23rd November 1999
Club: Aluminium Arak

mohammadreza azadi

He scored 6 goals in his 11 games for the Omid team from 2016 to 2021. He played for the Greek club Panetolikos F.C. in the 2020/21 season.

Currently with Nassiji, this is his first call-up to Team Melli’s senior side.

AGE: 24 years
BORN: Tabriz on 7th December 1999
Club: Nassaji Mazandaran

Saeed Saharkhizan

He scored 6 goals in his 11 games for the Omid team from 2016 to 2021. He played for the Greek club Panetolikos F.C. in the 2020/21 season.

Currently with Nassiji, this is his first call-up to Team Melli’s senior side.

AGE: 20 years
BORN:  Ardabil on 26th June 2003
Club: Gol Gohar Sirjan

Squad announced for Turkmenistan matches.

Iran’s national football team will face Turkmenistan in the preliminary stage of the World Cup on 21st March in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. This match will be held at 19:30. Iran’s national football team will play the first leg against Turkmenistan on the 21st and then will travel to play away in Turkmenistan on March 26th

Iran is in Group E of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers along with Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, and Turkmenistan. The names of the players invited to the squad for this match were announced by head coach Amir Ghalenoei as follows:


Alireza Beiranvand, Payam Niazmand, Seyed Hossein Hosseini, Aria Shakouri


Shoja Khalilzadeh, Hossein Kanaanizadegan, Amin Hizbavi, Saman Fallah, Ramin Rezaeian, Saleh Hardani, Milad Mohammadi, Abolfazl Jalali, Hossein Goudarzi


Omid Nourafkan, Saman Ghoddos Saeed Ezzatollahi, Mohammad Ghorbani, Ali Gholizadeh, Allhayar Sayyadmanesh, Mehdi Limuchi, Mehdi Torabi, Alireza Jahanbakhsh


Mehdi Taremi, Javad Aghaeipour, Sardar Azmoun, Mohammad Reza Azadi , Saeed Saharkhizan , Mohammad Mohebi, Mehdi Ghaeydi,

Iran v Turkmenistan: Head2Head

Team Melli is gearing up to face Turkmenistan on Thursday, coinciding with Nowrooz, in the second round of FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers. The objective is clear: to fortify their position atop Group E and secure an early ticket to the third round of qualifiers.

On paper, Iran’s football prowess dwarfs that of Turkmenistan’s. The FIFA rankings and various metrics underline Iran’s superiority over its northeastern counterpart. However, when it comes to on-field clashes, Turkmenistan proves to be a formidable opponent for Team Melli.

Out of the eight encounters between the two teams, Iran has managed to clinch victory only thrice while suffering defeat twice. Notably, these matches have seldom seen significant score gaps, indicating the competitive edge that Turkmenistan brings to the field.

Turkmenistan’s enigmatic status as one of the world’s most secretive nations, governed by an autocratic leader fond of ostentatious displays, adds an aura of intimidation. This could partially explain Iran’s relatively modest performances on Turkmen soil, although such factors hold no sway in matches played on neutral or Iranian turf.

Despite Turkmenistan’s underwhelming performance, and failing to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar, they remain a puzzle for Team Melli. Their inability to dominate a lower-ranked opponent raises questions, especially considering Iran’s football pedigree.


4Hong Kong, China201126-41

As the upcoming match unfolds at the Azadi Stadium, Team Melli stands as the undeniable favorite, despite the disappointment of their defeat in the AFC Asian Cup semi-finals against Qatar. With the home advantage and a thirst for redemption, Iran is poised for victory with a comfortable margin. Among those eager to make their mark is Sardar Azmoun, an Iranian Turkmen renowned for his knack of finding the net against Turkmenistan.

In conclusion, while Turkmenistan presents a challenge, Team Melli’s determination and talent are primed to secure a convincing win, propelling them closer to their World Cup aspirations.


TEAMFIFA RankingAFC RankingHighest RankLowest Rank

Match Data

H / A / NMatchesWDLGoals+ / –
Home43017 – 4+3
Away30212 – 3-1
Nneutral10101 – 1+0
Total833210 – 8+2

List of Matches

DateCompetetionH / A / NscoreStadiumResult Attendance
12.Nov.2015CompetitionH3 – 1Azadi Stadium, TehranW35,800
16.Jun.2015World Cup Qualifier / Round 2 – GROUP DA1 – 1Garaşsyzlyk Stadium , DashoguzD10,000
25.Nov.1996Friendly H0 – 1Azadi Stadium, TehranL15,000
28.Apr.1996Friendly A0 – 1Ashgabat Stadium, AshgabatL30,000
26.Apr1996Friendly A1 – 1Ashgabat Stadium, AshgabatD10,000
05. Oct.1994Asian Games N1 – 1Bingo Athletic Stadium, OnomichiD7,000
14.Jun.1993ACO CupH2 – 1Azadi Stadium, TehranW1,5000
25. Nov.1996ACO CupH2 – 1Azadi Stadium, TehranW15,000

No place for Ahmad Nourollahi in Team Melli, unless…

Title: Amir Ghalenoei’s Firm Stand: Ahmad Nourollahi’s Omission from Team Melli

The AFC Asian Cup 2023 marked the absence of midfielder Ahmad Nourollahi, a notable exclusion from Team Melli’s roster. Despite his recent commendable performances with Al Wehda in the UAE Professional League, Nourollahi found himself sidelined under the helm of coach Amir Ghalenoei.

Nourollahi’s departure from the Team Melli camp during the match against Hong Kong in the preliminary stage of the 2026 World Cup was a breach of discipline that led to his exclusion from Ghalenoei’s final squad. Despite his continued success in the Emirates Club Football League post-Asian Cup, media inquiries persisted regarding his potential reinstatement into Team Melli.

However, Ghalenoei’s response to queries about Nourollahi’s return to the national team was met with a wry smile, indicating that complications still surrounded the midfielder’s potential comeback. The coach’s stance remained steadfast: Nourollahi would only be reconsidered if he publicly and officially apologized to the coaching staff for his actions, demonstrating a commitment to team discipline and cohesion.

Ghalenoei’s unwavering position on Nourollahi’s reinstatement deserves commendation, as it underscores the importance of maintaining discipline within the squad. With enough players already posing potential disciplinary issues, Ghalenoei’s decision serves as a reminder of the standards expected from Team Melli members both on and off the field.

Rejuvenating Team Melli: A Call for New Blood

Amidst the disappointment of Team Melli’s performance at the AFC Asian Cup, one name stands out in the discourse of missed opportunities: Amir Ghalenoei. With ample time to infuse fresh talent into the squad, Ghalenoei opted to rely on the seasoned veterans, a decision that ultimately fell short. As we reflect on the past and look towards the future, it’s imperative to consider the players who should be part of the rejuvenation of Team Melli.

  1. Mohammad Amin Hizbavi (Al Sadd Club): At just 20 years old, Hizbavi’s exclusion from the Asian Cup squad raised eyebrows. His standout performances for Al Sadd caught the attention of many, showcasing his prowess as a defender with remarkable agility and goal-scoring ability.
  2. Mohammad Javad Hosseinnejad (Sepahan): A mature talent at 21, Hosseinnejad brings immense stamina, vision, and exceptional passing skills to the field. Despite his young age, he exhibits the composure and professionalism of a seasoned player, making him a valuable asset for Team Melli.
  3. Yasin Salmani (Persepolis): Once hailed for his immense potential, Salmani’s progress has been hindered by limited opportunities at Persepolis. Nonetheless, his capabilities as an attacking midfielder are undeniable, and with proper guidance, he could reignite his spark on the international stage.
  4. Mohammad Ghorbani (Orenburg): A versatile defensive midfielder, Ghorbani’s recent move to the Russian Premier League signals his potential for growth. At just 22 years old, his adeptness at reading the game and strong tackling make him a promising addition to Team Melli’s roster.
  5. Allahyar Sayyadmanish (Westerlo): Despite setbacks due to injuries and club changes, Sayyadmanish remains a talent to watch. His stint at Hull City showcased glimpses of his capabilities, hinting at the heights he can reach with the right support and guidance. No in the Belgium League, the opportunities for shining are within reach.
  6. Saeid Saharkhizan (Havadar): With attention from critics and big clubs alike, Saharkhizan has emerged as a young talent primed for the spotlight. While overlooked for the Asian Cup, his inclusion in future squads could provide the dynamic edge Team Melli needs.

While Ghalenoei may not be inclined towards a drastic overhaul, the inclusion of these promising talents would signify a step towards revitalizing Team Melli. As critics clamor for change, it’s essential for the coach to heed the call for fresh faces. While immediate starting positions may not be guaranteed, their presence in the squad would signify a nod towards progress and a nod towards the aspirations of Iranian football fans.

Amir Ghalenoei is not the maverick type of a coach, in fact, he is quite conservative and sensitive to any type of criticism. If he wants to shield himself from that, he needs to act quickly as time is against him.


Futsal News

Hossein Tayebi’s injury is not serious enough to miss the Asian Nations Cup.

Hossein Tayebi, the captain of Iran’s national futsal team and Palma club, was injured during his team’s match against Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga, The match ended with a 1-0 defeat for Palma, raising concerns about his absence in the AFC FUTSAL ASIAN CUP™ 2024, which is scheduled to be held in Thailand. The injury of the captain of the national team is not serious as Palma’s medical crew is trying to prepare him for the next games. According to the announcement of the Futsal Team Melli coaching, the participation of the national team in the first camp and friendly tournament in Vietnam is not mandatory for Tayebi, and the announced list, which includes the players of the domestic league, is supposed to participate in these matches.

Vietnam Four-side International tournament

The International Futsal Quadruple Tournament at the national team level will take place in Ho Chi Minh City. HCM from March 28 to 31. This is the “springboard” for Vietnam Futsal (VN) to activate the World Cup ticket-hunting campaign for the third time in a row. Iran will find this invitational tournament an opportunity to test itself against strong opposition and lay a claim to the title that is held by Japan.

In addition to the Vietnamese team, the three international guests are Iran (Asian runner-up), Morocco (African champion), and New Zealand (Oceania champion – OFC). The teams will play in a round-robin format.


Group A: Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, China PR

Group B: Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Australia

Group C: Japan, Tajikistan, Korea Republic, Kyrgyz Republic

Group D: IR Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Afghanistan


18 April 2024 – 16:00 – Iran v Afghanistan – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok
18 April 2024 – 21:00 – Kuwait v Bahrain – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok
20 April 2024 – 16:00 – Afghanistan v Kuwait – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok
20 April 2024 – 21:00 – Bahrain v Iran – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok
22 April 2024 – 21:00 – Iran v Kuwait – Indoor Stadium Huamark, Bangkok

22 April 2024 – 21:00 – Bahrain v Afghanistan – Bangkok Arena, Bangkok

Which players should be left out of Team Melli?

The defeat against Qatar in the semi-finals of the 18th AFC Asian Cup 2023 left Iranian fans with a bitter taste and yet another heartbreak. This tournament presented Iran with its best chance in 48 years to clinch the Asian trophy, yet familiar shortcomings plagued the team once again, resulting in a loss when victory seemed within reach.

Amidst the disappointment, criticism has been directed towards Amir Ghalenoei for his unwavering faith in established players despite their evident lack of form and fitness for a demanding tournament. Ghalenoei’s tendency to attribute the team’s failures to bad luck rather than addressing underlying issues has drawn skepticism from many observers.

Under mounting pressure, Ghalenoei has finally acknowledged the need for rejuvenation, signaling a potential shift in the team’s composition starting with the match against Turkmenistan, who did not qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

The pressing question now revolves around which players should make way for new blood. Let’s examine the list of potential candidates:

  1. Shoja Khalilzadeh (34 years) – The central defender will miss the Turkmenistan match due to a red card received against Qatar. While known for his courage and determination, Khalilzadeh’s diminishing pace and agility, compounded by his advancing age, highlight his limitations.
  2. Ehsan Hajsafy (33 years) – Once a dynamic winger known for his speed and defensive capabilities, Hajsafy has shown signs of decline in recent times. While still a valuable squad member, his diminishing abilities suggest that his time in the national team may be nearing its end.
  3. Karim Ansarifard (33 years) – Ansarifard’s frequent club changes have impacted his form, diminishing his value to Team Melli. With plenty of alternatives available, his role within the team has become less prominent.
  4. Omid Ebrahimi (35 years) – Ebrahimi’s dedication and work ethic are unquestionable, but his ability to compete at the international level has been called into question due to his age and physical limitations. Retirement from international football may be on the horizon for him.
  5. Shariyar Moghanlou (29 years) – Moghanlou has struggled to make an impact on the international stage, with his lack of speed and decisiveness hindering his effectiveness. His contributions to the team have been minimal, suggesting that his time in the national setup may be limited.
  6. Saeid Ezatolahi (27 years) – Once heralded as a rising star, Ezatolahi has failed to fulfill his potential, with inconsistency and frequent club changes hampering his progress. His physical attributes are no longer sufficient to set him apart, making a temporary exclusion from the squad a viable option.
  7. Ramin Rezaeian (33 years) – Despite being one of the more reliable players in the squad, Rezaeian’s recent form has dipped, particularly in the AFC Asian Cup. While still possessing valuable qualities, his declining speed and subpar performances raise questions about his long-term viability in the team.

In conclusion, while these players have served Team Melli with distinction, it may be time for them to step aside and make room for fresher talent that can inject renewed energy and vigor into the national team.

Mohammad Ghorbani to be called to Team Melli

Mohammad Ghorbani, the former Sepahan Esfahan Midfielder who joined FC Orenburg in the Russian Premier League in the winter transfer window is being called to Team Melli.

According to the Russian media, this 22-year-old player has been invited by Amir Ghalenoei to join Team Melli’s squad for the upcoming two matches against Turkmenistan in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers. Ghorbani will be with his club for the match between “Orenburg” and “Spartak” Moscow in the Cup cup, and then fly to Tehran to join the squad. The Iranian national team will host Turkmenistan in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on March 21st, 2024, and will play against the same team in the return match on March 26th.

Ghaleneoi will be announcing the squad in a few days with a focus on new blood to replace his again players.

Worrying league forms of Team Melli goalkeepers.

In the latest round of the Persian Gulf League, the spotlight fell squarely on the performance of Team Melli’s goalkeepers, with their errors leading to conceding goals that should have been easily avoided.

The Premier League witnessed rare occurrences this week, with individual mistakes and bizarre own goals becoming the talk of the town. Alireza Rezaei of Nasaji Mazandaran was the first to make headlines, allowing a seemingly innocuous ball slip through his legs in the dying moments of the game against Naft Abadan.

However, the most alarming incident unfolded during Sepahan’s clash with Peykan, where Payam Niazmand’s errors drew the ire of head coach Jose Morais, prompting a halftime substitution with Nima Mirzazad taking over goalkeeping duties.

Yet, the most disappointing display of the week came from Persepolis’s Alireza Beiranvand, the stalwart goalkeeper for Team Melli. Despite his status, Beiranvand’s recent form has been under scrutiny since the AFC Asian Cup 2023. His performance against Foolad Khuzestan further fueled doubts, as elementary errors led to both of Foolad’s goals, including a momentary lapse that resulted in a Persepolis own goal.

With Amir Ghalenoei and his coaching staff closely monitoring these league matches, concerns have undoubtedly arisen regarding the reliability of Team Melli’s main goalkeepers. However, amidst these worries, Esteghlal’s Keeper and Team Melli’s third-choice goalkeeper, Hossein Hosseini, emerged as a beacon of hope by maintaining a clean sheet.

As the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers loom on the horizon, all eyes are on Ghalenoei’s next move. Will he adhere to his pledge of rejuvenating the Team Melli squad, or will he opt for continuity with the old guard under the guise of needing more time? The next two matches will undoubtedly provide crucial insights into the direction Ghalenoei chooses for the national team.

Mohebbi leads Rostov to victory over League leaders.

In the 20th round of the Russian Premiere League, Rostov FC hosted the league leader Krasnodar, on Friday evening and managed to win thanks to a brace by Iranian forward Mohammad Mohebbi.

The hosts won a landslide victory with a score of 2 -1, to upset the top of the table as both Zenit St. Petersburg (37 pts) and Dinamno (38 pts) are yet to play their matches in round 20.

Rostov started the game after the break in the RPL very energetically: they scored and played an excellent game against the league leaders. I expected them to have difficulties

Now Krasnodar must emotionally survive the previous draw and defeat from Rostov. If they can handle it, then they will fight for gold. If they sink into depression, then it will be the end – we will lose the option of a new champion,” Chervichenko commented in an interview with the correspondent of Championat.

After the victory, Rostov climbed to 9th place in the RPL table, Krasnodar remained at the top of the table..

in the 49th minute, Krasnodar‘s player Olakunle Olusegun was sent off for receiving a second yellow card.

Mohebbi was part of Team Melli squad that participated in the recent AFC Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar where Iran was defeated by the eventual winner Qatar in the semi-finals.

Football. Russia. RPL. 20th round.

“Rostov” – “Krasnodar” – 2:1 (1:0).

Goals: Mohebi (25, 62) – Cordoba (66).

Red cards: Olusegun (49).